In a word, no.
This is another one of those common questions I get asked all the time. When I tell a patient who has a broken down tooth they need a crown to preserve, I am asked about root canal treatment before the crown. People are relieved to hear that a tooth does not need root canal treatment before "crowning" as long as the tooth is healthy. Generally crowns are to repair broken down or weakend teeth. What gets people confused is that often, after a root canal, a crown is often recommended.
What's the difference?
Well root canal treatment results in a weakened tooth, one that can fracture sometimes resulting in tooth loss. A crown or onlay after root canal will hold the tooth together and allow it to be used for chewing normally. Most of the time a tooth needs root canal treatment because it has either a large cavity or large filling that results in the tooth becoming infected. To treat the nerve in the tooth we end up weakening the tooth further. You may hear stories from people you know who say they had root canal and lost their tooth. I'll bet 90% of the time it is because they didn't follow their dentists recommendation to crown the tooth afterwards, and it fractures as it it has become structurally weaker.
So now you know the difference.
Great things start with a smile!
Dr Steven Rosenblat