Ferrule Effect: What Is It?

During your dental appointments, your dentist may use some terms that you don't understand. Even after they explain it, you may still be a little unclear. Here's one term you may hear if you have a damaged tooth.

What Is the Ferrule Effect?

This term refers to the need to have several millimeters of sound tooth structure left above the bone (alveolar bone) to decrease the risk of a tooth fracturing after certain procedures that require a crown, such as a root canal. A tooth may require a root canal if it has deep decay, a fracture, or a large restoration close to the pulp. The root canal procedure is meant to help retain your tooth's function, but it may leave very little natural tooth structure remaining.

An amount of sound tooth structure should be above the alveolar bone and soft tissue, explains research in the Balkan Journal of Dental Medicine. This leaves space for the soft tissue to attach to the tooth and space for the ferrule or crown. In cases where there isn't much of the tooth remaining, you may need a surgical procedure called crown lengthening. During this procedure, the oral surgeon removes tissue and bone to expose enough tooth structure above the bone.

Placing Your Restoration

To allow for the ferrule effect, your dentist will insert a post into the root canal system. A core extends off the post. Your dentist will shape the tooth material appropriately with a bur on a high-speed hand piece, and then the crown can be cemented onto the tooth and post.

Why Ferrule Effect Is Important

Teeth or crowns may flex or move. This movement can lead to fracture. The ferrule effect helps reduce the risk of the tooth fracturing, though it doesn't guarantee it.

A solid tooth foundation is necessary so that a crown has its finish margin on natural tooth structure. Sometimes, even with surgery, the tooth may not have enough available tooth structure to allow for crown placement. In these cases, the dentist can't use a crown to restore the tooth's function and the tooth may need to be extracted. To prevent the possible loss of your teeth, make sure to keep up with a daily oral hygiene routine. Try using a battery-powered toothbrush, such as the Colgate 360° Total Advanced Sonic Power. It removes more bacteria with 20,000 strokes per minute to keep your mouth healthy and clean.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Tips for Care After a ROOT CANAL

A treated and restored tooth can last a lifetime with proper care. Root canals have a high success rate. Here are a few ways to take care of your teeth after a root canal:

  • Practice good oral hygiene – brush teeth twice a day, and floss at least once. Taking care of your teeth can help prevent future problems.

  • Visit the dentist regularly – cleanings and examinations by dentists and hygienists.

  • Avoid chewing on hard foods – chewing on hard foods such as ice can cause teeth to break, and can harm root canals.