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Braces or Clear Aligners After a Root Canal

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What is the best orthodontic treatment option to consider after root canal treatment?

If you have recently had a root canal or planning to get the treatment, one of the questions you may ask yourself is if you can get braces or clear aligners afterwards. In some cases, some people will want to get their teeth aligned, whether for cosmetic or functional purposes, even after a root canal.

But which orthodontic treatment method is ideal?

This article extensively covers this topic by exploring:

  • The correlation between a root canal and orthodontic treatments;
  • Root canal procedure and cost;
  • How to choose the best teeth alignment option after root canal treatment;
  • Post-root canal care tips.

Understanding Root Canal Therapy

Also known as endodontic therapy, a root canal treatment is a dental procedure designed to treat a severely damaged or infected tooth due to a cavity or decay.

Dentists remove the infected or inflamed pulp from the tooth before cleaning and disinfecting the pulp chamber and root canals. Finally, the space is sealed to prevent further infection.

Root Canal Procedure

Getting a root canal treatment is as simple as these few steps:

  1. The diagnosis: The first step involves the diagnosis with your dentist. They will evaluate the situation and determine if you are a good candidate for a root canal.
  2. Anesthesia: Root canal therapy involves digging into the pulp section of your tooth, which can be quite painful. However, your dentist or endodontist (a specialist in root canal treatments) administers local anesthesia to numb the treatment area. This ensures that you remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
  3. Access opening: Once the anesthesia is administered, the dentist creates a small access opening in the crown. This allows them to reach the pulp chamber and root canals.
  4. Pulp removal: The dentists remove the infected or damaged pulp using specialized dental instruments. You will not feel any pain during the entire process, but in most cases, you will be awake. The canals are also cleaned and shaped to eliminate any remaining debris. Furthermore, the dentist disinfects the area to ensure no breeding of bacteria to eliminate the risk of further infection.
  5. Filling and sealing: Once the canals are cleaned and disinfected, the dentist fills them with a biocompatible material, generally known as gutta-percha. Thereafter, the access opening is sealed.

In some cases, the treated tooth may require additional work, such as restoration. This procedure involves treatments, such as placing a dental crown over the treated tooth to restore strength and function.

Root Canal Cost

A simple front tooth root canal procedure can cost between $300 to $1,500 per tooth. However, the cost can range from $500 to $2,000 or more per tooth for molars or more complex cases.

However, how much a root canal costs depends on various factors, including:

  • The location of the tooth: Front teeth are usually much easier to deal with, as they have fewer roots and canals, which is not the case for molars and wisdom teeth. This is why a root canal on molars may be more expensive than your incisors.
  • The severity of the infection: The extent of infection or damage to the tooth’s pulp can affect the complexity of the root canal. More severe infections may require additional appointments and treatments.
  • Geographic location: It is a no-brainer that dental costs can vary depending on the region or city you are in. More urban places, or areas with higher costs of living, may demand higher charges for a root canal treatment.
  • Additional treatments: In some cases, the treated tooth requires further restoration, such as getting a dental crown. This ensures that the tooth regains its integrity, meaning the total cost of getting a root canal treatment may increase.
  • Dental insurance coverage: If you have dental insurance, it can help to offset the cost of a root canal treatment.

However, it would be prudent to note that coverage policies may vary, which is why it is important to consult with your dentist and the insurer regarding the extent of coverage. Moreover, you can also consider other avenues to get cheap dental care to bring down the total cost of your treatment.

The Role of Orthodontic Treatment Post-Root Canal

Let’s begin by responding to the elephant in the room. So, can you really get braces after this treatment?

The short answer is, yes, you can get braces after root canal treatment. In fact, dental experts suggest that getting braces after a root canal can be more beneficial in your journey towards stellar oral health and teeth alignment.

But how exactly are these two seemingly different dental treatments related?

A root canal procedure often involves a process that can weaken the tooth slightly, making it susceptible to damage, especially if there are bite or alignment issues.

In this case, braces or clear aligners can help address these concerns by gradually moving the teeth into their proper positions. Orthodontic treatment is also helpful as it redistributes bite forces, ensuring the treated tooth is properly aligned with the overall dental arch.

Moreover, if the treated tooth requires structural support during root canal recovery or the surrounding teeth require realignment, orthodontic treatment can be ideal after a root canal.

Can You Get Root Canal with Braces?

If you already have braces or on your orthodontic treatment, you can still get root canal therapy without any issues. Braces are designed to work around your teeth that require to be moved. This means they do not get in the way of any work done inside the tooth.

However, you are required to discuss the specifics with your dentist, as they may recommend removing braces before a root canal treatment.

Choosing the Right Option After Root Canal: Braces vs. Clear Aligners

When you undergo a root canal treatment, you are heading towards a healthier and more confident smile. However, the journey doesn’t end there. Some individuals may have to get orthodontic treatment to realize a better, fuller smile.

However, the big question arises — which is the best orthodontic treatment method to use between braces and clear aligners?

Both teeth alignment treatment options have their merits and demerits. Here are a few pros and cons of each method, helping you to choose the right option after root canal treatment:

Traditional Braces

A woman smiling with traditional braces

Traditional braces have stood the test of time as a reliable option for achieving a well-aligned smile. These sturdy and effective appliances consist of metal brackets affixed to the teeth, connected by archwires that gently guide teeth into their desired positions.

While their appearance may be more noticeable, the benefits of traditional braces extend beyond aesthetics, making them a suitable choice, especially for individuals who have undergone a root canal.

Let’s explore the advantages and considerations of using traditional braces after a root canal:

  • Better support and stability: Traditional braces provide a robust and stable mechanism for aligning teeth. This is particularly beneficial for a tooth that has undergone a root canal, as the constant pressure from braces can help evenly distribute forces during chewing, minimizing the risk of damaging the treated tooth.
  • Precision: Braces allow for precise control over tooth movement. If your case involves complex misalignment or bite issues, braces can make intricate adjustments, ensuring optimal results.
  • Treatment of severe cases: Braces are highly effective for treating more severe orthodontic issues that may be present after a root canal. They can address the alignment of the treated tooth and any surrounding teeth that require realignment.
  • Aesthetic concerns: Traditional braces are visible and may affect the aesthetics of your smile during the treatment period.
  • Oral hygiene challenges: The brackets and wires of braces can make oral hygiene more challenging, requiring extra effort to clean around them effectively.

Clear Aligners

On a purple background, a hand holding two clear aligners, one of the treatments recommended to have after root canal

Clear aligners are a more modern approach to orthodontics that involve a series of transparent, removable trays that gradually shift teeth into alignment.

The discreet appearance and convenience of clear aligners have made them a popular choice for individuals seeking an aesthetically pleasing orthodontic solution.

While you can easily get some of the best teeth aligners, you may have to consider their pros and cons to determine if they are the right fit for your orthodontic needs post-root canal therapy:

  • Aesthetic appeal: Clear aligners are nearly invisible, allowing you to undergo orthodontic treatment without compromising your appearance.
  • Removability: Clear aligners are removable, making it easier to maintain good oral hygiene and enjoy your favorite foods without restrictions.
  • Comfort: Clear aligners are generally more comfortable than braces, as they don't have wires or brackets that can cause irritation.
  • Limited treatment scope: Clear aligners are best suited for mild to moderate orthodontic issues. They may not provide the same structural support to a treated tooth as braces, especially for more complex cases.
  • Compliance: Success with clear aligners relies on consistent wear. If you're not diligent about wearing them as instructed, your treatment progress may be compromised.

Making the Choice

If you are undecided about what to do after root canal treatment, it is essential that you consult with your dentist, getting the right advice from an endodontist and an orthodontist.

These dental professionals can evaluate your specific conditions and assess your needs to recommend the most suitable option. Moreover, by understanding a few Invisalign tips and tricks and ways to take care of your braces, you may not have a hard time deciding.

Bottom Line

As you stand at the crossroads of choosing between traditional braces and modern clear aligners after root canal procedure, remember that both options hold the promise of a healthier, more confident smile.

Each path has its own advantages and considerations, making it crucial to align your decision with your unique needs, preferences, and dental goals.

Ultimately, the right choice between braces and clear aligners after a root canal emerges from a thoughtful consultation with dental professionals, understanding your dental needs, and a clear vision of your desired outcome.

Your oral health and overall well-being are at the heart of this decision, as both orthodontic options hold the potential to enhance the success of your root canal procedure.


How long does a root canal take?

A straightforward root canal procedure for a single tooth can take approximately 1 to 2 hours. However, more complex cases or those involving multiple canals may require additional time or multiple appointments.

What factors influence the cost of a root canal treatment?

The cost of a root canal procedure is influenced by several factors, such as the severity of the condition, the location of the damaged tooth, the geographical location of the dentist, and the additional treatments you may require.

Are root canals covered by dental insurance?

Yes, root canals are typically covered by dental insurance, although coverage levels and policies can vary widely depending on your insurance provider and plan.


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