An Yi Ma's research investigating various types of fiber post removal strategies lays the foundation for an evidence-based set of practices for fiber post removal in a general dentist's office.
Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Fiber posts are often used as a platform for restoring teeth, and they are now the primary choice for many dentists around the world because of their impact on the restorations long-term survivability. 

In some cases,  however, these fiber posts need to be removed, such as during endodontic treatment when the fiber post has already been cemented, when the fiber post has not been fully sealed during cementation and must be replaced, when tooth decay reaches the fiber post and must be replaced, or when the crown and fiber post has fractured. The techniques often used to remove fiber posts are challenging, and if done incorrectly, increase the risk of complications, including endangering the long-term health of a tooth. 

As a result, many general dentists refer patients to endodontists for fiber post removal, despite the fact that many restorations are performed in by general dentists.

An Yi Ma

An Yi Ma, clinical assistant professor in clinic administration, is investigating various methods for removing fiber posts with the aim of identifying a technique that could be accurately, effectively, and conservatively used by general dentists without the need for a endodontics referral.

There are three methods for removing fiber posts: traditional freehand, static surgical guides, and dynamic navigation. Ma's study is the first to investigate the three techniques in comparison to one another. By doing so, she aims to provide an evidentiary basis for outlining a set of gold-standard practices for fiber post removal.

If successful, the resulting research could improve the ability of general dentists to employ fiber post removal techniques in their own offices without the need for external referrals to endodontic specialists. This development would be financially beneficial to patients and clinics, reduce the time-commitment required for treatment, and improve dentist and patient satisfaction.

The study is supported by the University of Iowa College of Dentistry’s Clinical/Dental Education Research Initiative Support Program (CRISP). This program is intended to provide support for faculty who have a specific clinical (or dental education) research question.