Many people have their root canal and think that once the root canal is finished, that's all they have to do. But If you’ve had a root canal, you should permanently fill your tooth or crown your tooth as soon as possible to prevent re-infection.
You might feel confused because the term “filling” is used as part of the root canal treatment to mean filling the canals within the root to seal them off from oral bacteria. So why do you need another filling? You’re not alone. Many people think their tooth is filled once the root canal is complete and that they don’t need to do anything more. But that is not the case!
In order to do your root canal, your dentist or root canal specialist had to create a hole (or access) to get to the canals in your tooth. After the root is filled as part of the root canal procedure, this access hole remains as a hole in your tooth. Your dentist or root canal specialist will plug that hole with a temporary filling. A temporary filling is just what its name says it is—a filling material meant to be used short-term. Temporary fillings wear down, wash away, or get pulled out by sticky foods, allowing mouth bacteria to leak back into your tooth and eventually re-infect it. The re-infection can happen in as little as 30 days after the temporary filling is placed under the right conditions.
Clearing up a re-infection requires more dental treatment that can be quite expensive—much more expensive than a permanent filling! And if you choose to clear up the re-infection, you’ll still need the permanent filling and/or crown on the tooth to prevent it from happening again.
Note: The information in this article is not meant to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare professionals.
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist and usually refers root canals out to endodntists (who are root canal specialists. They have 2-3 years of additional training just in the subject of root canals and related treatments). Dr. Robb will fill or crown your tooth after a root canal.
Call 440-960-1940 to reserve your seat at 1320 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH. Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb or on the web at www.drjrobb.com