How Long Can a Root Canal Last Without a Crown – 4 Things to Expect

April 22, 2024

Having tooth trouble? A root canal can save your natural tooth by removing the infected or inflamed pulp, keeping it from needing to be extracted. After the dental pulp is removed, the tooth is temporarily filled and sealed, but because it’s in a weakened state, sometimes a crown is needed for extra reinforcement. While crowns are a great way to maximize the lifespan of your root canal, not everyone opts for one, which leads us to the question “How Long Does A Root Canal Last Without a Crown?” Let’s find out!

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What Is The Lifespan of a Root Canal With & Without a Crown?

A root canal is highly effective at alleviating pain or sensitivity that comes from an infected pulp. While root canals boast a high success rate of 95%, they alone cannot restore the tooth to its pre-infection function and strength, which is why a crown is often recommended, but you can still maintain the tooth for a significant amount of time.

  • How long does a root canal last without a crown? A successful root canal procedure can last endure upwards of 1-5 years, without a crown being placed on top.
  • If your root canal is topped with a crown, the lifespan gets significantly extended to 5-15 years or longer, with proper care.

Now, there are several factors that come into play when determining how long a root canal can last without a crown.

  1. Getting Timely Treatment. How quickly you treat an infected tooth will determine how long a root canal can last without a crown, as a severely infected tooth will require more excavation. With less healthy structure left over, the quicker the root canal may degrade without a crown. As long as you seek immediate treatment, your root canal should last.
  2. The Quality of the Restoration. A root canal with a permanent dental filling will prevent future infections, so long as it’s a high-quality restoration that isn’t faulty. If any gaps show, bacteria can get in and re-infect the tooth.
  3. Tooth Location. If you’re getting a front tooth treated, these don’t experience the same amount of biting pressure as your molars, so they can last a lot longer without needing a crown.
  4. How Old Your Teeth Are. As you age, your teeth become more brittle, which can affect how long a root canal can last without a crown.
  5. Prior Restorations. If the tooth has undergone multiple restorations, it’s going to be more fragile without a crown, which is something to consider if you’re looking to avoid future cracks, chips, and infections.
  6. Personal Hygiene Habits: If you maintain good oral hygiene practices post-root canal, such as regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, these can preserve the health of your tooth prior to getting a crown.

4 Things to Expect When Delaying Crown Placement – Key Considerations

If you’re getting a root canal treatment done on a back molar that will eventually need a crown, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  1. Chewing Limitations: A crown adds strength to the tooth, so without one it’s a good idea to avoid eating really hard foods, as the tooth may be more susceptible to breaking, especially if there’s pre-existing damage.
  2. Sensitivity: Over time, the exposed tooth structure might become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
  3. Aesthetic Concerns: If the root canal is to treat a heavily damaged tooth, not having a crown placed on top may leave it looking a little wonky, and not in line with your other teeth. Crowns are fantastic for improving the look of teeth that have had restorations done.
  4. Future Cost: While it may be tempting to skip a crown initially due to cost, the potential for future repairs can end up costing more in the long run.

Protecting Your Dental Health With Root Canals – Schedule a Consultation

Root canals effectively alleviate pain from cavities and tooth infections, while saving your natural tooth from extraction. If you’re worried about how long a root canal can last without a crown and want to know how a crown can extend the lifespan of your tooth, schedule a consultation with us here at Tampa Palms Dentistry. We’d be happy to answer your questions and create a personalized treatment plan to ensure your smile stays healthy and vibrant for years to come.

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