Is It Possible To Get Tooth Decay Under A Crown With Root Canal?

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Tooth decay under crown with a root canal

Yes, it is possible to get decay underneath a crown even if it had a root canal. The root canal itself does not prevent future decay. As a matter of fact, the root canal procedure does not remove any tooth decay at all. The whole purpose of the procedure is actually to just remove the pulp of the tooth. The root canal specialist will remove the nerve from the tooth and then return the patient to their general dentist for the full cavity removal.

Your general dentist will complete the cavity removal or at least to the best of their ability before putting the crown on for you. Once again, just because the tooth had a root canal and it is dead, it does not make it immune to cavities. Even with the crown put on, it can still get a new cavity.

The only difference is that the crown itself cannot get a cavity but the tooth underneath of it can still get a cavity.

tooth decay under crown with root canal
tooth decay under crown with root canal

This is a picture of tooth decay under a crown. It is actually the same tooth as the very first picture from up above. This is evidence that you can get tooth decay under a crown with a root canal. We will show you another picture of the decay from a different angle.

Tooth decay in root canal
Tooth decay in root canal

Can you see the pink dots in this picture? That is the root canal and look how much the cavity has gotten into the canal. So, what does this tell you?

Even if you have a crown with a root canal, you still need to practice good oral hygiene. Just because your tooth is covered by a porcelain cap, the tooth underneath of it can still get a cavity. Therefore, you must continue to brush for at least 2 minutes twice a day. Floss before you go to bed and use some mouthwash. If you don't like Listerine, you can try some coconut oil pulling.

Why does the porcelain crown not get a cavity?

The porcelain is unable to get a cavity because the acid that the bacteria eats from the sugar in your mouth is unable to melt through the porcelain. This is the reason why the tooth cap itself is immune but unfortunately you cannot wrap the root of the entire tooth in porcelain.

How does decay get under the crown?

There is always a gap somewhere along the gum line where your crown ends that the bacteria can cause a cavity. Most of the time your dentist will place the margin of the crown below the gumline but not everyone brushes at the gumline and leave plaque there. The plaque is where all of the bacteria are so if they are left underneath the gumline, they are basically positioned right underneath the crown. If they just eat some sugar, they can produce some acid that will cause decay under the crown.

Decay under crown at gumline
Decay under crown at gumline

This is another picture of tooth decay under a crown but at the gum line. As you can imagine, that is the perfect entry point for a cavity so make sure you brush the gumline!

How to prevent decay under crown?

It is very simple to prevent decay under a crown because all you have to do is be strict with your oral hygiene regime. In addition to the brushing and flossing, make sure you minimize the amount of sugar that you eat throughout the day. If there is no sugar, there is no fuel for the bacteria to cause any tooth decay. Aside from sugar you should also avoid foods that will cause an acidic environment in your mouth. Cavities don't start forming until the pH gets below 5.5

So just to recap on how to prevent decay underneath a crown.

  • Brush and floss twice a day.

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste.

  • Minimize sweet, sour, and acidic foods in your diet.

Last but not least, don't forget to go in for your 6 month dental check ups and cleaning with your favorite dentist in long island city! You can book a consultation with our office on Jackson Ave.

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