Crown vs Root Canal

Crown vs Root Canal

Many patients mistakenly believe that if a tooth requires a crown, it also requires a root canal. While this is not always true, it can be a bit confusing because teeth that require root canal therapy most often do, in fact, require a crown. So what’s the difference? We will attempt to resolve the confusion.

What is a crown?

A crown is a tooth-shaped covering that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and improve its overall appearance. Crowns fully encase the visible portion of the tooth.

When are crowns needed?

  • when restoring a broken tooth
  • to strengthen a weakened tooth caused by wear or a large filling
  • when restoring a tooth that has recurrent decay around a large existing filling
  • to cover a dental implant
  • to improve the cosmetic aspect of a tooth

What is a root canal?

Root canal therapy repairs and saves a an infected or badly decayed tooth. During root canal therapy we remove the pulp, or nerve, of the tooth. Finally, we clean and sterilize the inside of the canals.

After root canal therapy is completed, the treated tooth requires a crown to provide more strength to the slightly weakened tooth.

When is root canal therapy needed?

  • when decay has become so deep it reaches the nerve chamber of the tooth
  • to treat a tooth with an abscess
  • when treatment of a tooth (ie deep filling or crown) causes irreversible pulpitis
  • if a tooth endures some sort of trauma, either recent or in years past


At Adams and Cheek Dentistry, we strive to give our patients optimal dental care while providing as many services as possible in-house. We perform most root canal therapy procedures in our office but will refer to a specialist for more complicated procedures. Please contact Adams and Cheek Dentistry by clicking here or calling 919.866.1360.

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