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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

What to Expect From a Root Canal

by Jimmy Carter

If you have a deep tooth infection, your dentist might recommend getting a root canal. This dental procedure is performed by an endodontist, who specializes in the nerves and pulp of the teeth. The root canal is meant to remove infected pulp inside the canal of the tooth, which is done with a simple procedure. Here are some things to expect from your first root canal treatment.

X-Rays Are Performed First

Even if your regular dentist took x-rays to find out why you were experiencing pain in that tooth, your endodontist likely wants their own. They not only use the x-rays to verify the diagnosis your dentist gave you, but so they ca see the severity of the problem. They are looking for the infected pulp, its location, and if it is affecting just one tooth or multiple teeth. The endodontist will also use the x-rays to make sure they are performing the root canal on the correct tooth.

The Area Will be Numbed

Due to the type of procedure, you need to be numbed for a root canal procedure. Most procedures only last an hour or so, so numbing once should be all that is needed. However, if it is a more complicated situation, the procedure could go on a few hours, in which case you may need to be numbed again. If the procedure is going long and you feel anything you didn't feel during the beginning of the procedure, let the endodontist know right away so they can numb the area again. You should not feel any type of pain.

A Hole is Drilled to Remove the Infected Tissue

During a root canal procedure, the endodontist drills a hole through the tooth to reach the tooth canal. Once there, they will use special tools to remove the infected pulp and tissue. Once the infected tissue has been removed, they fill the hole with a material called gutta percha. This hardens quickly, providing a sufficient filling for the hole so you don't experience another infection following the procedure. You will also have temporary filling material added to the top of the tooth, which helps protect it until you get your crown.

You Need a Crown Following the Procedure

Speaking of crowns, you will need one after your root canal procedure. Once the procedure is complete, you are sent home and instructed to return to your dentist within a couple weeks. The dentist then files down the tooth to accommodate a crown and makes a mold of the tooth. You will wear a temporary crown for another couple weeks. When the permanent crown is back from the lab, you return once more to the dentist to have it bonded to your tooth. This is necessary since your tooth is now considered dead and is susceptible to breaking and cracking.