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How Long Can You Delay Getting A Crown?

Updated: May 19, 2023

Everyone is curious as to how long they can wait on getting a crown. Should they do it now or can they wait? Part of the reason is because of cost and the other part is probably due to hesitation in going to the dentist so frequently!

pfm crown
pfm crown

Our purpose here today is to explain to you the consequences of not getting the crown. How long can you really wait to do this?

Table of Contents:

How long can you delay getting a crown with a root canal?

You should not delay getting a crown on a tooth with a root canal. A tooth with a root canal is structurally weakened not because it has no nerve but rather because it has no blood supply going to it. When there is no blood supply going to the tooth, it is no longer receiving any nutrients. A tooth without any nutrients is a weak tooth that is prone to fracture.

A weakened tooth won't crack on its own but all it takes is just for you to bite down the wrong way. If you break the tooth while eating, it will become non-restorable. This means that we cannot save it anymore. Even if your dentist puts a crown on, it won't work. Once you fracture the tooth with a root canal, it is the end.

If it cracks right down the middle splitting the tooth in half it will have literally become two separate teeth. We can no longer put a crown on a root canal treated tooth like this because there is not enough tooth left.

fractured root canal tooth with no crown
fractured root canal tooth with no crown

Unfortunately for this patient, they only delayed getting the crown for two weeks and it cracked within that time.

We're not trying to scare you by saying that you must get a crown immediately after a root canal and that you can't delay it for even a single day but we're just letting you know about what could happen if you decide to delay getting the crown.

Of course we've had plenty of situations where a patient has delayed the procedure for up to 1-3 months and their tooth didn't crack. In rare cases, we've had someone delay the crown for up to a year and they were not broken either.

But at the end of the day, our long island city dentist cannot guarantee to you that it can last that long without a crown. If your tooth fractures before the promised time, we don't want you blaming us! Therefore, our recommendation for how long you can delay it, would be as soon as you possibly can.

How long can you delay getting a crown without a root canal?

If you are getting a crown on a tooth without a root canal, the answer would be that it depends on the condition of the tooth.

If the tooth has a large filling on it

The recommendation would be to get a crown on it because it is structurally weakened. This tooth won't be as weak as a root canal tooth because it still has nutrients going to it. Of course it would depend on how big the filling is. It won't fracture immediately or definitely but the chances of it cracking when you bite down the wrong way increases as the filling gets larger.

  • A tooth that is 50% filling and 50% normal tooth has a higher chance of breaking compared to one with only 25% filling.

  • A tooth with 80% filling has a higher chance of fracturing compared to a tooth with only 50% filling.

The chances for the tooth increases as the filling gets larger. You shouldn't delay for too long if the cavity filling is very big.

If the tooth has a temporary crown on it

The recommendation would be to not delay getting the crown because temporary crowns are exactly what its name means, temporary. They are not meant to be permanent so they don't last forever. In fact, the material that these temporaries are made out of are dental acrylic. The same acrylic as the fake nails that you see women use. Yes, those are acrylic nails.

On a night out in town, your date may leave the house with 10 acrylic nails but by the end of the night it may be less than 10. These things will break and pop off. The same goes for your temporary crowns.

Typically, you may be able to delay getting the crowns for 1-2 months but beyond that point, they risk breaking. That is how long a temporary crown can last, 1-2 months at most so please do not wait too long for the permanent crown!

Final thoughts

Crowns are a wonderful option for restoring teeth. How long you can delay getting it would depend on its specific situation but even then, we still wouldn't recommend waiting because if something does happen to your tooth... If it fractures, we don't want you blaming us for it! Just be aware that the cost for a fractured tooth would require a dental implant and that is significantly more expensive than the crown.



David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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