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Restoring the Tooth after Root Canal

For small cavities in front teeth, your dentist may place a tooth-colored filling after a root canal. The hole drilled in the back of the tooth to find the canal also will need a filling. Usually, your tooth will need a crown. The crown can be made in the dentist's office using a special machine or created in a dental laboratory. Crowns can be all metal, porcelain fused to metal, or all ceramic.

First, your dentist will have to build up a foundation to strengthen the tooth and support the crown. This buildup is called a core. To help hold the core in place, your dentist may have to use a post. A post is a metal or ceramic rod.

There are two ways to put a post and core in a tooth. The post can be pre-made and used with a core material that is built up around it. Or the post and core can be custom-made in one piece to fit your tooth.

This second type is used when a significant amount of the tooth is lost. The custom-made post will take two dental visits. During the first visit, your dentist prepares the tooth and takes an impression so the post and core can be made. During the second visit, your dentist cements the post and core to the tooth. Finally, a crown is made and cemented onto the tooth, post and core.

Last updated May 13, 2014