Dental posts are a treatment in dentistry that aims to give teeth stability after a root canal treatment. Especially in cases where most of the natural tissue had to be removed. And in order to fully understand how dental posts work, we need to go over the ins and outs of a root canal. So read along to learn about the treatment, uses, pros, and cons.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a treatment that resolves cavity infections in the pulp of the tooth. The pulp contains the nerve, some connective tissue, and blood vessels.
Your dentist will remove all the pulp components out. Then they’ll clean the gap and fill it with a rubber-like material. During this process, even the crown of your tooth is affected. A lot of drilling is involved, and at times the dental cap dissolves away.
Which means, in some cases you will mostly lose the dental functions of your tooth following a root canal treatment. Even though, some dental tissue remains, you cannot make full use of it.
So instead of removing it all to consider dental implants, if you have enough tissue remaining, you dentist can use the alternative of dental posts to anchor the crown. Of course, if you already have enough tissue following a root canal treatment, you can directly opt for a dental crown.
What Are Dental Posts?
Dental posts refer to a tiny metal structure that your doctor inserts into your tooth, where your pulp used to be. They also go by the names prefabricated posts or reinforcing rods.
They are a very common practice in dentistry and usually, they are there to help support a restoration. The function of the post is to take the place of the nerve which your dentist removed. It acts as an anchor and a link to be a stable base for a restoration, such as a crown. Many people might confuse them with dental implants, but the two are very different.
Dental implants involve a whole titanium root, and they are suitable in cases where the person doesn’t have a root at all or if the root is entirely dysfunctional.
On the other hand, dental posts are metal pins that your dentist inserts in an already existing root. Of course, the root will have lost a great majority of its natural tissue, but regardless, it is still there and functioning.
Types of Dental Posts
1- Gold-plated dental posts
2- stainless steel dental posts
3- Titanium-metal dental posts
1- Pre-made dental posts
These are posts that come pre-made from the manufacturer.
2- Cast dental posts
These are custom made and can involve more than one post.
Your dentist will take you through all the different materials and types of posts and what is best for you.
Dental Posts Procedure
Your dentist will begin by removing some of the filling material from the root canal treatment. Then, they’ll follow this with a cleaning session ensuring the space where your nerve used to be before a root canal is ready for the procedure.
The following steps will differ depending on whether you are suitable for pre-made dental posts or cats dental posts. In the case of pre-made dental posts, all your dentist has to do is fill the pulp area with a cementing material and place the dental post.
As for the cast dental posts, there will be a bit more extra work to do. In order to take an impression of your post, your dentist will fill with a burnout, a plastic post, and resin.
Following this and once it dries, your dentist will remove the plastic post and resin and send it to an off-site laboratory to make your permanent dental posts.
Once all this is over, your dentist will begin with your crown design process. Of course there are plenty of crowns types that are compatible with various financial plans. You can read more about them in the following dental crowns guide.
Advantages of Dental Posts
One of the biggest advantages of dental posts is that they retain normal dental functions with as little work as possible. Instead of removing your root and remaining tooth structure, your dentist can help you recover tooth functions with a few tweaks.
How Long Do Dental Posts Last?
According to recent research, dental posts have an average longevity of 15 years. The crowns may need re-cementing from time to time, especially if you do not take care of your restoration.
To help increase the durability of your dental posts, it is best to practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice daily, floss, and use anti-bacterial mouth wash.
Are You Suitable for the Treatment?
There are a number of factors by which your dentist will determine whether you’re a suitable candidate for dental posts or not. And they will have to take take x-ray of your mouth to make this decision. Mostly, because it is dependent on your dental anatomy.
1- Having enough dental cap
2- Having a canal of enough depth
3- The anatomy of your canal and whether it has curvature
4- The state of your tooth and its restorability
But most importantly, you should have lost at least 50% of your tooth’s tissue and structure. Otherwise, you don’t need dental posts as the crown can fit directly to your teeth. Likewise, of you lost too much tissue during your root canal treatment, it is likely that you’ll have to resort to dental implants instead.
Dental posts are a such a great technique to make use of the remaining dental tissue following a root canal treatment.
The post will give your tooth stability and help anchor the coming crown, so that by the end you can restore your dental functions. It is more cost efficient than dental implants, and aside from being an affordable alternative, dental posts are practical and efficient.
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