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Dentistry/Prefabricated Post & Core


What is it and why? Also what is Retreat Root Canal on Anterior mean and why is it needed? Will antibiotics help if I have constant white bumps and swollen gums? Thanks

Dear Tom,

When a root canal becomes re-infected, or begins having pain, sometimes a root canal retreatment is indicated.  This means that the root canal is done over again, first by removing the material (usually gutta percha) used to seal the canal, then attempting to treat what is happening beyond the end of the root, using instruments and solutions that have been proven to work most of the time.  Once these treatments are completed, then the canal is sealed again to prevent bacteria from re-entering the now-hollow canal.

A prefabricated post is a post that fits into the already root-canalled canal of your tooth.  It is like a tiny dowel or rod.  It can be made of gold, stainless steel, titanium or carbon-fiber.  These are manufactured to different sizes to fit different sized root canals.  About half of the sealer is removed with an instrument selected by your dentist to resemble the diameter of your canal.  The post is then checked for fit, then cemented to place.  Now you have a post half inside your root, and half sticking out above your gum.  The dentist then selects a material to build around the post, so that it resembles what your tooth would have looked like after it is prepared for a crown.  Posts and cores are used to help anchor a crown to your root.  Often after a crown has had a root canal, if a post and/or core is not placed before making the crown, the tooth is materially weakened, and more likely to break off at the gumline.

White, swollen gums usually indicate infection.  Antibiotic should help this as long as you take the antibiotic.  Shortly after you stop the antibiotic, the infection will return.  Repeat this enough times, and you will develop a resistance to the antibiotic, making the infection much harder to control.


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

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Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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