Dr. Lavin examining a patient

After your endodontic treatment is complete in our office, you might be wondering if that’s the end of the process for restoring your tooth to normal functionality. The answer is: not quite yet.

Although the inside of your tooth was sealed at the completion of the endodontic treatment, the crown still needs to be restored. This restorative work will need to be done by your dentist in his or her office.

There are two main factors that direct what type of restorative work will be needed:

  1. The position of the tooth
  2. The amount of remaining tooth structure

Position of the tooth

The position of the tooth is important because of the difference in function by location. In other words: your front teeth and your back teeth both have different jobs to do when chewing, and therefore, have different restorative needs.

The teeth toward the front are used more for tearing and cutting your food. This type of function allows your front teeth to be restored with a composite, which is a tooth-colored restoration, provided there is sufficient tooth structure remaining.

The teeth in the back are designed for chewing and grinding your food, and the amount of force placed on them is much higher. These back teeth (posterior teeth) are best served with a full-coverage restoration called a crown. The crown holds the remaining tooth structure together and evenly disperses the chewing forces.

Tooth structure remaining

The second factor is the amount of tooth structure remaining. If your tooth has lost considerable amounts of enamel and dentin because of decay or fracture, it may require more restorative work. In these cases, the remaining tooth structure is rebuilt with a large filling called a core. The core functions as the foundation for a crown, which is the final restorative step your dentist will complete.

You may already have a crown on your tooth prior to your endodontic procedure. If this is the case, we work hard to save your existing crown, and, if possible, we will place a small restoration to fill the endodontic access.

Be sure to attend your follow-up dental appointments so you will be able to chew with strong and healthy teeth for years to come!