One of the most nerve-wracking sentences you can hear at the dentist’s office is “You need a root canal.” Part of the fear may come from lack of information. However, the actual procedure is easier and more stress-free then in times past, thanks to modern dentistry. A root canal is a procedure used to remove infected pulp from the root canal and interior of a tooth and replace it with another material. If the tooth is badly deteriorated, a crown may be added to protect it. In some cases, a screw-like post made of titanium is inserted into the canal to anchor the filling, provide more stability, and help ensure a better bond between filing and root.
Why Will I Need a Post?
Root canals are only necessary if chronic infection or injury is apparent, but the problem is not bad enough to warrant pulling the tooth. The decision to insert a post is done at the dentist’s discretion once he empties the infected portions and examines the rest of the tooth. Posts are installed to within 5mm of bottom the widest canal of the tooth, then the gutta-percha is used to fill the cavity. If a post is required to support the filling, a crown will be placed as well.
What About After?
Contrary to popular belief, a root canal does not cause pain. In fact, once the damaged material and affected nerves are removed, there will be no pain in that tooth at all. Best of all, the work can usually be done in one visit if the damage is not too severe. The procedure is very delicate and precise, but done correctly, using modern endodontic equipment and methods, the post, core, and crowns will last between 8.5 (92%) and 10 years (84%).
Dental posts and cores
What is a Post Crown?
On the ferrule effect and the biomechanical stability of teeth restored with cores, posts, and crowns