Post and Cores
What is a post, what is it made of, and why do I need one?
These are questions that are very often asked about a procedure that is required in order to rebuild the proper support for a cap or crown. Let me take a moment to explain….
First of all, a post is a metallic structure that is placed within the body of the root of a tooth that has had previous root canal therapy.
It can only be placed in a tooth that has had endodontic therapy ( root canal ) since once the dentist enters the nerve, the nerve dies. Root canal therapy prevents further infection and discomfort. During root canal therapy, the space previously occupied by the nerve is filled with a sterile plastic material call gutta-percha.
In fabricating your post, we remove some of this plastic material making sure we leave the last two to three millimeters to seal the end of the root. This space that is fabricated is necessary in order to anchor the post within the root of the tooth.
There are different types of posts. The type that is chosen for you will depend upon a number of factors. The post can either be 1) prefabricated or 2) it can be cast at the dental laboratory. In either case, the result of anchorage for a crown is the same.
The part of the post that shows is called the core. It is upon this core that we can anchor a cap or crown. The post is cemented permanently into your tooth usually separate from the crown. The crown ( or cap ) is then ready to be placed.
Although posts are usually recommended when there is minimal support for a crown, they are not always necessary. The use of a post will be determined on an individual basis based upon support and structural requirements.