Once an endodontist has completed a successful root canal of your tooth, they will place a temporary crown or filling to protect the compromised tooth. It is then up to you to consult a dentist as soon as possible to ensure the longevity of the tooth in question. Temporary crowns or fillings are not meant to last more than several weeks. If you prolong further treatment any longer than that, then the filling or crown will begin to break down, leading to coronal leakage, re-contamination and yet another costly root canal on the same tooth. 

It is important for the sake of your health and finances to learn about the likely outcomes of each course of action--or inaction as the case may be. 


If finances are tight, you may be forced to delay treatment on your tooth post root canal. According to a recent survey, almost two in five Americans delay needed dental treatment for the same reason. This is unwise. While delaying treatment might be less of a strain on your wallet now, research shows that teeth left untreated after a root canal are lost 6 times faster than those treated with a crown. 

In the long run, doing nothing now could cost far more than you might pay to have a dentist place a permanent filling or crown now. At the very least, you may well need another root canal. The worst case scenario might even mean you lose the tooth, after which you will be forced to either replace it (costly) or leave the gap in your smile. 

An Extraction at a Later Date

You could opt to try to keep the tooth for as long as possible without further treatment, and later get it extracted, but this is just asking for trouble. Studies show that bonded teeth, and teeth treated with fillings or crowns, last much longer than those with temporary solutions. 

By taking this course of action, your tooth may be infected again once the temporary protection breaks down. After weeks or months of pain, and the subsequent extraction, you will then be faced with a difficult choice: leave the gap in your smile and risk the surrounding teeth shifting into the gap, or fork out more money for a dental bridge, denture or implant to replace the missing tooth. 

As most teeth, post root canal tend to be fragile, you need to seek a more permanent solution for your tooth in the form of a filling or crown. 

A Filling

Fillings, in regard to molars, are generally inadvisable and most dentists will explain this to you. Molars (large back teeth) must be capable of withstanding the heavy forces experienced whilst you chew your food, and it is standard practice nowadays for dentists to recommend crowns. 

However, for the smaller front teeth and even premolars in relatively good condition, a filling should be sufficient. 

A filling is cheaper and can be completed in just one visit. 

A Porcelain Crown

While fillings are the cheaper and faster option, with crowns usually taking two visits to complete, research proves that crowns offer better protection than fillings. This is because a crown will cup and cover your tooth, essentially acting as a splint, to protect against damage while you chew your food. 

A large filling placed into a molar leaves the tooth at risk of breaking on the weaker side in future. 

Your safest and cheapest option in the long run then, is to opt for a crown as soon as possible. 

Once an endodontist has completed your root canal, discuss further options with your dentist. Together, you can settle upon a suitable course of action in regards to finances, aesthetics and the health of your teeth.