"Ferrule Comes First. Post Is Second!" Fake News and Alternative Facts? A Systematic Review

J Endod. 2018 Feb;44(2):212-219. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2017.09.020. Epub 2017 Dec 8.


Introduction: Both the role of an endodontic post and the ferrule effect have been discussed for decades. The clinical impact of endodontic posts compared with post-free restoration with or without ferrule support was not systematically reviewed so far. It was assumed that the effect of an endodontic post compared with a post-free restoration can be evaluated only when at the same time a ferrule or no-ferrule situation was clinically compared.

Methods: The specific PICO question was as follows: Patient: adults with sufficient endodontic treatment needing a core or post; Intervention: post-endodontic treatment using posts with or without ferrule; Comparison: post-endodontic treatment without posts with or without ferrule; Outcomes: failure rates of post/core complexes with or without ferrule support. A Medline search was performed via PubMed in June 2017 using relevant electronic databases. Additionally, hand search was performed. Only prospective clinical studies in humans comparing the success/survival of teeth restored with or without posts over a minimum time of observation of 5 years were included.

Results: In total, 7 randomized controlled trials and 1 prospective clinical trial met inclusion criteria. Cochrane rating showed high risk of bias in 5 studies. Two of 3 studies support the ferrule-effect concept. Seven of 8 show no post effect. Clinical evidence regarding the influence of tooth location on its survival is scarce.

Conclusion: Ferrule effect and maintaining cavity walls are the predominant factors with regard to tooth and restoration survival of endodontically treated teeth. Most studies do not confirm a positive effect of post placement.

Keywords: Buildup; clinical trial; core; dowel; endodontically treated teeth; no-post; post-and-core; post-free; post-retained; screw.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Dental Restoration, Permanent / methods
  • Humans
  • Post and Core Technique*
  • Root Canal Therapy
  • Tooth, Nonvital / therapy*