What Happens After Root Canals Are Complete: Wait! There's More!

Most people assume that when they visit their dentists for root canals, the root-canal procedure is complete when the root is clear of pain and disease—but this is not so. In fact, there is always more dental work to be done once the root canal is complete and the dead root has been filled or removed. Here is what many dentists do to the affected teeth after your root-canal procedure is finished.

Partial Implant

If the tooth may be unsteady or unable to hold its place on its own, your dentist may do a partial implant. This requires placing a false root in the area where the dead root of the tooth once existed. Then the living tooth is bonded to the fake root to provide a little more stability and less wiggle room for the tooth to move out of alignment. (If more than one root was affected on any one tooth, your dentist may just suggest a total removal and dental-implant replacement for that tooth.)

Dental Crowns

Another route to preserving and protecting the teeth that just came through the root-canal procedure is to crown them. Your dentist treats the root-canal teeth in the same fashion as cracked or broken teeth and places dental crowns on them. This may also occur if your root-canal teeth were too damaged to save otherwise or were accidentally cracked during the root-canal process. (This can happen through no fault of the dentist but rather because there are weak teeth or teeth with especially bad decay present, as is the case with root-canal teeth.)

Gum-Tissue Adjustment

To help the root-canal teeth heal and adhere to their new additions or subtractions, your dentist may also try to get the gum tissue to "grow." The gum tissue is pulled up to cover the bottom of the tooth where the root canal took place. It may be stitched in place or tightened around the tooth until the growth of the tissue is permanent. This provides more protection for the affected teeth and keeps the root-canal area cleaner.


Dental sealants may also be applied to protect the root-canal teeth. Since particularly bad decay or injury to your teeth are what caused the dead roots, your dentist may want to seal your teeth against future decay. This prevents future decay just long enough for your root-canal teeth to heal and refuse the sugars and acids that could create more problems.