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

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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.


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.


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.


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.

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