What’s Difference Between a Root Canal and a Crown?

What’s Difference Between a Root Canal and a Crown?We experience many dental patients that are anxious about their dental visit.  That’s why Dr. Mansky and his dental team in Troy, MI like to keep their dental patients informed.   Today’s article covers so basic dental information on the differences between a root canal and a dental crown.

What is a Root Canal Treatment?

Generally, root canal treatment is administered when a cavity (tooth decay) is deep and has reached the tooth’s pulp.   The pulp is where the tooth’s nerves are located and, in some cases, we find that the nerve may be exposed and causing severe pain.  Unfortunately, a filling wouldn’t top the infection from spreading and causing more pain.

Another reason a root canal may be needed is if the tooth has undergone some previous or current trauma.  This could include the tooth being cracked or inflamed by a deep cavity as previously mentioned.  The root canal treatment desensitizes the tooth and once completed, the tooth may become brittle and require a dental crown to strengthen the now weakened tooth.

Common symptoms could include tooth/gum pain, a tooth is tender when touched, tooth becomes abscessed and puss occurs either enclosed in the jawbone or draining from the mouth, or, swelling occurs in the lymph nodes under the jaw.

After the root canal treatment has been completed, the tooth will continue to function just like any other tooth.   With proper oral care, the tooth could last a lifetime.

In short, a root canal may be needed when one or more of the following occurs:

  • When your tooth decay is deep and is reaching the nerve
  • When a tooth abscess occurs
  • When a tooth has experienced some sort of trauma
  • When irreversible pulpitis occurs (innermost tissue in your tooth is inflamed)

What is a Crown?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped covering that is placed on a tooth to restore the tooths shape, size, and strength.  A dental crown is placed on top of the tooth once a root canal has been performed.  In some cases, a crown is placed on a tooth when there is extensive decay but has yet to reach the pulp.   When this is the case, the tooth is grown down, a dental impression is made, and a temporary crown is placed until the permanent crown is completed.

Dental crowns are made with several types of materials that include porcelain, ceramic, zirconia, metal, composite resin or, a combination of these materials.  Your local dentist considers several factors when deciding what material to use.   They include the tooth’s location, the function of the tooth, how much of your natural tooth is remaining, color of the surrounding teeth and, the position of your gum tissue.


In short, a crown may be needed when one or more of the following occurs:

  • When a broken tooth needs to be restored
  • When added strength to the tooth is need due to a large filling or wear
  • When the cosmetic appearance of a tooth is needed
  • When a dental implant needs to be covered
  • When there is recurring decay around a large filling


Dr. Mansky practices comfortable, health-centered dentistry with a strong emphasis on getting to know each of his patients.  If you believe you have one or more of the common symptoms for a root canal treatment, or are looking for a new dental home, give the Team at Paul Mansky, DDS a call at 248-689-5508 to schedule a dental examination.  Our dental office is in Troy, Michigan and conveniently located in Long Lake Plaza on Long Lake Road, just east of Rochester Road.   We look forward to speaking with you soon!