Usually after a person gets a root canal, a crown is fixed on the repaired tooth. However, there is a difference between a root canal and a crown. A root canal is a dental procedure wherein the pulp of the tooth is removed. This procedure is undertaken to save the tooth when an infection or cavity is present in the root. The dentist removes the nerves and pulp from the affected tooth. Thereafter the tooth is filled to close the cavity made due to the procedure. After a root canal, the affected tooth becomes weak and brittle and is prone to breaking, chipping or fracturing. To avoid this, a cap is put on the tooth and this cap is known as a crown.
On the other hand, a crown is used to cover extensive decay of a tooth. However, in this case the decay has still not reached the pulp and roots of the tooth. So, the tooth is made smaller, an impression is taken and after a few days a crown is placed on it.
So, there are some teeth that require root canal, while there are others that just require filling and crown. It all depends on how severe the decay is and which part of the tooth is affected.
The pulp is a fine tissue resembling a thread. It is present in the middle of the tooth. If the pulp is injured, dead or infected, it is important to remove it. This is the procedure undertaken in a root canal. After the removal of the pulp, the inside space is thoroughly cleaned and then filled with dental cement. This helps to seal the root canal. Usually, pulp gets damaged due to a crack in the tooth, a deep-seated cavity or injury to the tooth. If the pulp is not treated, the damage or infection can spread to the root of the tooth or the jaw bone. To avoid this, root canal is done and thereafter to stop further damage to the tooth, a crown is placed on it.
A crown is put on a tooth when it has a cavity or it is broken. Usually, the cavity has to be large, but it should not extend to the pulp or the root. The dentist cleans out the cavity and then fills it up with dental cement. Thereafter, the tooth is shaped, so that a crown can be fitted on it. Crowns can be made from porcelain, plastic, stainless steel or other metals, such as gold or nickel. Once a crown is fixed to the tooth, it has a lifespan of around 7 years, but in some cases the crown can last for a longer period of time.
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