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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

If you are a senior considering dental implants, you may have to worry about issues other dental patients don't have to think about. For example, you may need more time to recover after receiving your implants. My name is Jodi, and I've been working with seniors for years. I decided to create this blog to help the seniors I can't meet in person. In this space, I'm going to post entries on everything related to dental implants and seniors. From tips on flossing implants after arthritis has claimed some of your dexterity, to guiding you through the implants-vs-dentures debate, this blog is designed for you. Thanks for reading. I hope you find what you need!



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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

Root Canals: What Are They

by Jimmy Carter

You may have been told that you need a root canal due to some advanced decay in a tooth. What exactly is this, and how will you benefit from this treatment, as opposed to extraction, or doing nothing?

What's Being Treated?

Within each tooth is a pulp, which is the living tissue. The pulp consists of blood vessels, connecting tissues and nerves. When you develop a crack in the tooth, food particles and bacteria can get in and cause infection within the tissue. If this is left to go on, the infection can spread into the bone all around the tooth. Normally, root canal treatment is advised if there is a high level of inflammation in the affected tooth.

A root canal filling is much more complicated than a general filling, which is usually placed on the top of the damaged tooth. Also, because of this complication and the fact that the tooth will be somewhat weakened by the process, a crown is normally required to ensure you maintain biting strength.

How Does the Tooth Survive the Treatment?

You may wonder how the tooth can actually survive if the "living" part of it is actually removed? While the root canal process does remove the infected pulp and cleans the canal within to ensure that infection does not return, the tooth itself is still alive. This is because the ligaments that attach the tooth to the bone, also known as the periodontal membrane, remain untouched. This allows the tooth to function, even though inside it does not contain the original tissue.

Planning for the Best Outcome

Note that for this entire process to be successful, it is important that infection has not spread into the bone beneath. Also, you need to have a crown fitted as soon as possible after the root canal to ensure the best outcome. The crown protects the work already done within.

Furthermore, if the tooth itself has been significantly damaged by decay, the dentist may have to insert a post within the treated root canal in order to be able to accommodate and reinforce the crown on top. It's important that this is done carefully by the dentist in order to avoid an increased risk of root fractures in the future.

What are the Alternatives?

It is better to have a root canal treatment than simply opt to have a diseased tooth removed. This is because implants and bridgework can fail over time, and this procedure is likely to involve more treatment time and associated costs anyway. This is why it's important to get root canal work done as soon as possible if you're been told that it is necessary in your case.

For more information, contact a business such as TLC Dental.