What Are Dental Posts?
The decision by your dentist to place a post in your tooth is made according to how much of the original tooth structure is still viable or remaining above your gum line. When the tooth is severely fractured or has sustained an excessive amount of dental decay, the necessity of placing a post within the remaining tooth structure is readily apparent. The post takes place of healthy tooth structure in order to support a dental crown, also known as a cap. The post is known as a foundation restoration.
A post is typically placed within the root canal for the purposes of attaching a crown to it in order to restore the functionality of a severely damaged tooth. Without the post, the crown has nothing to hold onto and cannot be kept in place. The root must be properly prepared in order to secure placement for the post.
Typically, the tooth has undergone root canal, and the nerve has been replaced with a material known as gutta-percha. This is a plastic material that is perfectly sterile. A portion of the gutta-percha is removed to make room for the placement of the post at the upper end of the root. The end of the root canal remains sealed with a minimum of two to three millimeters of gutta-percha to prevent infection, discomfort, or decay.
What Type of Dental Posts Are There?
Two basic types of dental posts exist. The first type is a prefabricated one. These are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate different types of teeth. The second involves the casting of the post at a specialized dental laboratory. Both types of dental posts provide secure anchorage for the placement of a dental crown.
The post is permanently cemented into your tooth. It is a separate entity form the crown, which will be permanently cemented to it. The portion of the post that sits above the root is known as the core. Typically, additional buildup is needed to make the core suitable for holding the crown in place. Local anesthesia is typically used during the placement of the post and core to prevent pain or discomfort.