Dental crowns increase risk of root canal: study

November 8, 2017

Over 37 million crowns are placed every year by dentists in the United States.

Dental crowns are by far the most popular indirect procedure even though they require drilling approximately 75% of the tooth away, turning the tooth into a small peg, compared with drilling only 35% of the tooth away for a supra-gingival procedure (see photo).

Removing more than half of the tooth traumatizes the tooth and gum and also can cause irreversible damage to the nerve, as some research shows.

The permanent damage to the tooth pulp leads to inflammation and pain which then leads to an increased risk that the tooth will require a root canal in the future.

Alternatives to dental crowns do exist. There are modern advances in materials and dental techniques that are healthier for the patient and also more predictable for the dentist. Supra-gingival minimally invasive dentistry is a modern technique and uses up-to-date advances in materials such as adhesion. Supra-gingival onlays are a great alternative to dental crowns. The onlays are made of porcelain and do not require turning the tooth into a peg nor damaging the pulp. Supra-gingival veneers are also a great substitute for crowns for front teeth, because they are minimally-invasive and preserve the tooth structure, creating a healthier treatment option for the patient.


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