Post and Core: How Your Dentist Can Save an Extremely Decayed Tooth

Dentist Blog

Extracting a tooth and replacing it with a prosthetic alternative (dental implant, dental bridge, partial dentures) is a last resort as far as your dentist is concerned. The priority is to save the tooth, preserving its connection to your jaw and allowing it to stay functional. A tooth can be at a stage of advanced decay and may still be saved, even if your dentist needs to give it a new frame. This is the case with the post and core technique.

A Post Becomes a Core

The technique involves fitting your tooth with a post that becomes its new core. It's used when the tooth is extremely decayed and a significant amount of its mass has eroded away. Even a partial tooth can be restored using this method, provided its connection to your jaw remains sufficiently strong.

Root Canal Treatment

The tooth's pulp will be removed. This is the tooth's living tissue, and when the surrounding tooth structure is in a state of advanced decay, chances are that this pulp is uncomfortably infected. A root canal will be performed on the tooth in question. This removes the infected (and already necrotic) pulp tissue, which will manage your dental infection. Root canal treatment leaves an empty chamber at the centre of the tooth, where the pulp used to be.

Closing the Tooth

When the tooth is still intact, the empty pulp chamber will be filled with a type of dental latex before the tooth is closed with a filling. Your tooth needs help to physically support any type of dental restoration. Instead of filling the empty pulp chamber with latex, your dentist will insert a small metal post.

New Post, New Tooth

This post becomes the tooth's core. It's secured in the pulp chamber, and the tooth can now have a crown added. The crown will be made of ceramic and will have been manufactured to be a replica of the tooth it's covering, matching its shape and colour. The tooth's new core will help to direct physical pressure (experienced when biting or chewing) along the vertical length of the tooth. Much of the tooth's natural structure and its connection to your jaw have been retained, which is preferable to having the tooth replaced with something prosthetic.

Even when a tooth has experienced significant deterioration over the years, it may not be too late to save it. All it may need is a post to become its new core. 

For more info, contact a local dentist


11 September 2023

Unraveling Dental Myths about Children: A Blog for Parents

When I had my first child, I was a nervous wreck. Every book I read gave different advice, and I just wanted to be right! By the time I had my third child, some of the stress had abated. I now realised, there were tons of different perspectives on everything related to raising children including dentistry. To help parents, I have created this blog dedicated to unraveling dental myths about children. I am including posts that weigh both sides of issues such as thumb sucking, dental caries, breastfeeding, flossing and any other topic I can think of. I hope you find the information you need to unravel dental myths, but most importantly, I hope you find some peace of mind. With kids and dentistry, there can be more than one right answer, and I want you to be able to relax and go with the answer that's right for you.