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Ferrule Effect: What Is It?

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

If you have a damaged tooth that’s in need of a root canal or crown, you may hear your dental professional mention the “Ferrule Effect” when talking about these procedures. Knowing what it is before you see your dentist may help with your confusion! Here is everything you need to know.

The ferrule effect is important in that it is the area around the tooth that protects that tooth from further damage, such as a fracture. It's one of the things your dental professional will consider when examining your tooth to determine a treatment for the best outcome.

How Is Ferrule Effect Achieved?

If your damaged tooth requires a crown or root canal, you'll need to have several millimeters of sound tooth structure left to decrease the risk of your tooth fracturing. Sometimes depending on the extent of the damage, you may have very little natural tooth structure remaining.

According to research cited in the Balkan Journal of Dental Medicine, an amount of sound tooth structure should be above the alveolar bone and soft tissue. 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.

Your dental professional will insert a post into the root canal system to allow for the ferrule effect. He or she will shape the tooth material and then cement the crown onto the tooth and post.

Why Is Ferrule Effect So Important?

Teeth and crowns may flex or move. If the ferrule effect isn't right, the movement could lead to a fracture. The ferrule effect helps minimize the risk of this happening.

Sometimes, even if you are diligent in your oral care, you may still end up needing dental work, such as a root canal or a crown. Having a better understanding of the terms, your dental professional is using can help you feel more at ease and better prepared in those situations.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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