Of the many diverse materials a dentist uses to improve your smile and your bite, one of the more common is the dental post.
But what is a dental post?
A dental post is a small, thick metal shaft implanted in a tooth that has been compromised by a root canal procedure.
When a tooth becomes severely decayed, abscessed, chipped or broken, the result can be intense pain when the nerves inside the tooth – part of the root canal – become exposed or irritated. A root canal treatment can save the remains of tooth, but the procedure includes drilling into the tooth to clean out the infected pulp and seal off the area against further damage.
But before a cosmetic replacement can be fashioned, the remaining tooth must be structurally sound. That’s where the dental post comes in.
- The dental post is placed painlessly in the center of the tooth where the pulp used to be and bonded there.
- With the post securely in place, the “build” of the crown can proceed. The core material of the crown is made of composite resins, which give a convincingly natural appearance to the crown and help it blend with your other teeth.
Your dentist will advise you on whether your root canal requires a post. In some cases, if sufficient tooth remains after a root canal, the crown can be affixed without the post.
When performed by an experienced professional, the post-and-crown treatment can save your tooth while improving your health and appearance.
The dental implant alternative
For some patients, a dental post and crown may be just the answer for a tooth that’s been through root canal treatment.
But for others, the procedure has taken too much of the tooth to restore. In such cases, your dentist will recommend a dental implant (dental implants in one day may be an option). Unlike a post, a dental implant is a completely new, whole tooth that replaces the one lost to root canal treatment.
A titanium root is surgically implanted into the jawbone and allowed to heal. Once it is integrated, the root becomes the anchor for a, bridge, crown or set of dentures that should look and feel just like the rest of your teeth.
Trust the expert
As an implant expert, John C. Stone, DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) has more than 30 years of experience in prosthodontics, also known as cosmetic dentistry.
Dr. Stone not only performs successful cosmetic procedures, he teaches implant dentistry to other dentists at two local continuing dental education programs. Generations of family members trust Dr. Stone to replace or restore teeth and to provide ongoing dental care.