Root Canal on a Veneered Tooth

I had four porcelain veneers done. One of the teeth started bothering me. I really thought it was actually a sinus infection but instead, it turned out I developed a periapical abscess. My dentist said that means I need a root canal treatment. Will this ruin my porcelain veneer? Can I avoid the root canal treatment?


Dear Melody,

We will talk about how to prevent a root canal treatment from ruining a porcelain veneers in a moment. First, however, I’d like to know something. It is very rare for a porcelain veneer to need a root canal treatment. Because of that, I am wondering if what your dentist gave you were porcelain crowns and he just called them veneers.

Tooth being prepped for porcelainv
Veneer Prep
preparation for a dental crown
Crown Prep

The image above and left shows how little preparation is actually done with a porcelain veneer. The image above and right shows crown preparation which is much more aggressive. Is it possible your tooth preparation looked more like the tooth on the right? If so, what you received is a dental crown. You’d also know by the restoration going all the way around your tooth instead of just on the front. If he told you veneers and gave you crowns, you have the right to a refund as a result of the dishonesty.

Protecting a Porcelain Veneer from a Root Canal Treatment

A tooth with a root canal treatment tends to turn dark. Because the veneers are translucent, that can allow the darkness to show through. Here is what your dentist needs to know in order to keep it white for as long as possible.

First, it will be important that he clean out all the root canal filling and dental cement from inside the crown of the tooth. Then, he or she should place a white fiberglass post in the area and fill the remaining space with a white composite filling. This will forestall any darkening of the tooth for many years.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. Steven Collins.