Will my appearance be affected by a root canal?

Occasionally the tooth will discolor before or after the root canal is performed, which can be unsightly. A crown or veneer will be needed to solve this change in appearance as the discoloration is intrinsic.

An older approach to this problem used to be internal whitening of the tooth. This is not recommended as it may cause internal resorption of the tooth.

Another way appearance can be affected after a root canal is if the crown (usually required after a root canal) is poorly done (dark margins at the gum line).

Root canals are not noticeable after getting the treatment, since the procedure is done within the tooth. However, sometimes after a root canal procedure the tooth can become discolored and require cosmetic treatment such as a crown. Most teeth require a crown after root canal therapy since it is considered to be standard of care unless it is an anterior tooth and the patient will not benefit from getting a crown. So in summary, the answer to your question is no, root canal procedure itself is not noticeable. 

It can if your tooth becomes abscessed. Your face can swell due to pus from the infection. When this happens you need to see a dentist ASAP.
Stanislav Moline
Most root canal procedures require only small access through either top or back side of the teeth, so there is no change in appearance at first. The access is closed with a temporary restoration (which may not be tooth-colored); however, it will be replaced with harder one and a crown is usually placed later, which will make your appearance better.

If the tooth is severely decayed, it may require the decayed area to be removed and replaced with a filling, which may be visible at first; however, like stated above, it will be replaced with harder one and a crown is usually placed later, which will make your appearance better.

Read more at: -- on official website of American Association of Endodontists

Read also more at: -- on my website.

Most of the time, the appearance of a tooth is not affected by a root canal. A root canal is a filling of the root part of the tooth. Sometimes teeth with root canals can darken over time. Treatments for darkened teeth include whitening, veneers, and crowns. Your dentist can best advise you which treatment would be best for your darkened tooth with a root canal.

A root canal can save your teeth and your smile. There should be no noticeable change. If you continue to care for your teeth and gums your restored tooth could last a lifetime. 

It shouldn't, any more than a typical crown would alter your appearance. Most root canals are protected with a crown (in my opinion, it's almost pointless to do one without the other), so if you get a good quality crown that matches the shape and color of your root-canaled tooth, there should be no noticeable difference.

No, your appearane will not be affected by a root canal. A successful root canal is typical done on a tooth where it can restored back to its full function and appearance with a crown or filling (commonly in front teeth where majority of the tooth is healthy and intact.)
In most cases the answer is no -- your appearance will not be affected. Most teeth that receive a root canal require a crown (cap) because a root canal treated tooth loses some of its strength and resilience, becomes brittle and has a significant risk of breaking. The crown (cap) that will be placed gives the tooth strength to protect it from breaking and is extremely cosmetic so that it will blend in with your other teeth.

There are some rare exceptions where a root canal treated tooth does not require a crown (cap). In that situation, your appearance may be affected. The tooth can discolor and progressively get darker over time. In that situation you can either bleach the tooth until it matches the shade of your teeth or you can place a veneer on it to match the shade of your teeth. A veneer is very thin porcelain covering that gets bonded to the front surface of your tooth.
Lucia Yau, DDS
A root canal treated tooth can sometimes change color (becomes darker) because the nerve and blood vessels to the tooth has been removed. The tooth becomes more prone to chipping. Therefore, rebuilding the tooth and protecting the tooth with a crown are often recommended.
By the time your dentist has finished giving you a root canal, there will be no noticeable cosmetic changes to your smile or teeth. This is because the tooth that got the root canal is covered with a special crown shaped to look like the original tooth. Its color can even be matched to the color of the rest of your teeth. With proper dental care, the crown should last a long time.

Continue Learning about Root Canal Therapy

What may happen before a root canal treatment?
William M. Litaker Jr., DDSWilliam M. Litaker Jr., DDS
Before root canal treatment an x-ray will be taken of your tooth. Your tooth will also be numbed wit...
More Answers
What happens in the first 24 hours after a wisdom tooth is extracted?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
In the first 24 hours after a wisdom tooth is extracted you may experience swelling and discomfort. ...
More Answers
How long will my tooth last after root canal therapy?
Russell P. Fitton III., DDSRussell P. Fitton III., DDS
They certainly can! It depends on how much tooth structure remains to support the permanent filling ...
More Answers
What are the risks of not getting a root canal?
Dr. Saul N. Miller, DDSDr. Saul N. Miller, DDS
Unfortunately, if a root canal is indicated, the only alternative is extraction. If treatment is del...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.