A temporary filling is just that -- temporary. To restore the tooth in a way in which it will last a lifetime without cracking or breaking, it will need a permanent crown -- a cap fitted and placed over the crown of the tooth. Permanent crowns are typically made in dental laboratories, and can be made out of a porcelain and metal compound, all metal, or all ceramic materials. The porcelain-metal compound and all-ceramic crowns look just like natural teeth.
When the affected tooth has been satisfactorily cleaned and filled, the crown is then cemented into place over the entire visible part of the repaired tooth, and then the procedure is complete.
Because the nerve was removed during the root canal, the repaired tooth may feel, well, not quite right. That's OK; this is a temporary adjustment. The tooth will behave just like a natural tooth, but it will no longer be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures -- it's the nerve that provided that sensation. Many patients report relief from any post-procedure pain and swelling with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. And most dentists schedule a post-treatment appointment to make sure the area has properly healed and that any infection has cleared.
Good oral hygiene at home and routine twice-yearly visits to a dentist are big steps toward preventing tooth decay and periodontal disease, two common oral health problems, and sticking with the combo long-term will increase your odds of keeping your natural teeth throughout your lifetime.
More Great Links
- American Association of Endodontists. "Endodontic Facts." (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.aae.org/News_Room/Endodontic_Facts.aspx
- American Association of Endodontists. "Root Canals." (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.aae.org/Patients/Endodontic_Treatments/Root_Canals.aspx
- American Association of Endodontists. "Root Canal Treatment." (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.aae.org/patients/rootcanal/
- American Association of Endodontists. "Traumatic Dental Injuries." (Oct. 28, 2011) http://aae.org/Patients/Your_Teeth/Traumatic_Dental_Injuries.aspx
- American Dental Association. "Endodontic Treatment." (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.ada.org/2890.aspx
- Carrotte, P. "Endodontics: Part 2 Diagnosis and treatment planning." British Dental Journal. Vol. 197. Pages 231 - 238. 2004. (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v197/n5/full/4811612a.html
- Colgate -- Oral and Dental Health Resource Center. "Crowns." 2008. (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Checkups-and-Dental-Procedures/Crowns-Bridges/article/Crowns.cvsp?cid=ppc_gg_nb_stan_crowns_&kw=teeth%20crown
- Colgate -- Oral and Dental Health Resource Center. "Restoring the Tooth after Root Canal." 2008. (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Popular-Topics/Common-Dental-Procedures/article/Restoring-the-Tooth-after-Root-Canal.cvsp
- Colgate -- Oral and Dental Health Resource Center. "Root Canal Treatment." 2008. (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Checkups-and-Dental-Procedures/Root-Canal-Treatment/article/Root-Canal-Treatment.cvsp
- Delta Dental. "What is a Root Canal?" (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.deltadental.com/Public/OralHealth/whatisroot.jsp
- Gordon, M.P.J. And N. P. Chandler. "Electronic apex locators." International Endodontic Journal. Vol. 37. Pages 425 - 437. 2004. (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.endoexperience.com/documents/electronicapexlocator.pdf
- Morsczeck, Christian; Frerich, Bernhard; and Oliver Driemel. "Dental Stem Cell Patents." Recent Patents on DNA & Gene Sequences. Vol. 3, no. 1. Pages 39 - 43. 2009. (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.benthamscience.com/dnag/samples/dnag3-1/0006DNAG.pdf
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. "Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) in Adults (Ages 20 to 64)." 2011. (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/DentalCaries/DentalCariesAdults20to64.htm
- PBS. "American Experience â€“ The Great Transatlantic Cable." 2004. (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/cable/peopleevents/e_gutta.html
- ScienceDaily. "Technique to Reattach Teeth Using Stem Cells." 2010. (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929123630.htm
- WebMD. "An Overview of Root Canals." 2009. (Oct. 28, 2011) http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/root-canals