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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

Is it Always Necessary to Have a Root Canal Before a Tooth is Crowned?

by Jimmy Carter

In dentistry, root canal therapy often precedes crown placement. However, this is not always the case. Provided the inner chamber (pulpal chamber) of a tooth has not been compromised, there is usually no need for a root canal procedure to be performed prior to crown placement. Each individual case is different and only a certified dentist can decide what is best for a tooth.

It all depends on how badly a tooth is damaged. A vital tooth, in other words, one in which the nerve is still intact, is always more structurally sound than a dead tooth, or one which has had the nerve removed. This is because the blood vessels within a tooth carry nutrients to the dentin layer under enamel, continuously strengthening it. When the nerve is removed, this is no longer possible.

If you are considering having a dental crown placed on a tooth, there are two reasons that the tooth may need a root canal prior to your dentist placing the crown.

If the Nerve is Inflamed a Root Canal is Necessary

When a broken, cracked or decayed tooth is causing you toothache, then your dentist will need to carry out a root canal before placing a crown over the tooth. In this case, the root canal is necessary because the infected tissue within the tooth needs to be removed. Otherwise, complications will arise in within a short timeframe.

For example, if a crown is placed on a tooth within which the nerve is infected, that tooth will develop an abscess. That abscess will cause the infection to spread to the surrounding gum and bone tissue. The dentist may then need to drill a hole into the dental crown to perform a root canal, thus weakening the crown.

If a Tooth is Badly Damaged it will Need a Crown and Post

When much of a tooth is damaged, but the nerve is still intact, your dentist may have no choice but to remove the nerve anyway. This is because the dentist needs to make room for a post which will be inserted into the root canal of the tooth. This post will then be strengthened with composite resin before the crown is placed over it to provide the crown with a sturdy platform.

If a post is not used in this instance, the crown could fail due to the lack of remaining tooth, resulting in the nerve becoming infected as a result. Therefore, if a tooth is badly damaged, a root canal should be performed in order to make room for a crown and post.

Root canals and dental crowns often go hand-in-hand when it comes to strengthening teeth. If one of your teeth is badly broken, a root canal and crown could restore completely, giving you a fully functional tooth for smiling, eating and speaking.