Can a Dentist Save My Tooth Without a Post and Core?
Posted by AllSmiles
I expected my dentist to tell me I needed a root canal, but he also mentioned adding a post and core. I did not fully understand her explanation about why I needed the post and score. It seemed that she was repeating something she had read in a textbook. I am anxious about a root canal, but a post and core sound like a long appointment. When are a post and care necessary? Thank you. Noah from Detroit, MI
Thank you for your question. Dr. Michalski would need to examine and x-ray your tooth for an accurate diagnosis, but we will explain the purpose of a post and core, when it is required, and how it affects the long-term outcome of a tooth.
What Are a Dental Post and Core?
A dental post and core are materials to strengthen a tooth weakened by decay, damage, and root canal treatment. The post is a small cylinder that supports a core. The core is a dental filling material that replaces the tooth pulp and supports a dental crown.
Why Would a Dentist Recommend a Post and Core?
A dentist may recommend a post and core so that your tooth can support a dental crown. Sometimes, preparing your tooth for a crown requires a dentist to remove a lot of decay or damage, leaving a small amount of tooth structure. The core, or dental filling material, will replace the tooth structure and allow a dentist to cement a crown on the tooth.
The process includes these steps:
- Complete root canal therapy to remove tooth decay and infection
- Place one or two posts into the tooth
- Fill the tooth with dental material
- Build up and shape the tooth with dental bonding
- Bond a dental crown to the tooth
Will You Lose Your Tooth Without a Post and Core?
Declining a post and core may result in tooth loss for these reasons:
- You may not have enough tooth structure to support a dental crown.
- Your tooth can become weak and brittle.
- Without a post and core, you may need an extraction and dental implant
Please keep in mind that if you lose the tooth, replacing it with a dental implant and crown can cost $3,000 to $5,000 depending on these factors:
- Condition of surrounding gums and bones
- Procedures you may need in preparation for an implant
- Dental fees in your location in the U.S.
If you are unsure about your dentist’s recommendation for a post and core, schedule a second opinion with an advanced cosmetic dentist trained in root canal therapy and dental implants.
Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, a Rocky Hill, Connecticut dentist and Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologist, sponsors this post.