Teeth sometimes have large portions missing due to decay, fracture, the loss of a filling and, in the case of root canal treatment, the creation of an access cavity. Core placement refers to a procedure where a dentist replaces missing tooth structure in preparation for making a new dental crown. Replacing these missing portions creates the optimal foundation for the new restoration.
Core placement, also commonly referred to as ‘build up’ helps to rebuild the tooth so that it is closer to its former dimensions and structure. This procedure helps the dentist greatly increase the stability of the crown, and therefore maximizing it’s long-term chances for success.
When placing just a core, your dentist will apply dental restorative material to the tooth, with the goal of placing enough material to prepare the tooth for a crown; the resulting tooth/core combination will be the same size and shape that it was before any of the tooth structure was lost or removed during a procedure.
Post & Core
Sometimes a core build up on its own may not give sufficient support for the crown. In this case, a post may be used to help anchor the core material to the tooth. This is accomplished by drilling an access space for the post, usually in alignment with one of the root canals that was sealed during root canal therapy. A post matching the size of the access space is placed and bonded in place. Next, dental core material is placed around the post. The dental core is then anchored by both the post and the surrounding tooth structure.
Once this process is complete, your dentist can complete the preparation process and place the crown over the tooth. If the dentist places a temporary crown, you will need to return to the office, usually within a week or two, to have the permanent crown cemented in place.