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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults


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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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Questions And Answers About A Root Canal

If one of your teeth has been causing you chronic discomfort, you may benefit from a root canal. A root canal is an endodontic procedure that involves the removal of the pulp and nerve that lie within your tooth. Indications that you may need a root canal include persistent tooth pain, dental sensitivity to heat and cold, gum swelling and sensitivity around a tooth, and pain that radiates to your ear or jaw.     

Since the nerves of your tooth are removed during a root canal, the discomfort from the affected tooth is eradicated by the procedure. If you are a candidate for a root canal, you may have questions about the procedure. Here are a few questions and answers about root canals:

Why do you need a root canal?

A root canal is used to treat an infected or inflamed tooth. Without a root canal, the infection and discomfort of the tooth can progress. If a tooth infection continues to grow, it can reach your jawbone and cause tooth loss. In addition, it can spread to the teeth that are adjacent to the infected tooth.

The throbbing pain that is associated with a root canal may be great enough to prevent you from sleeping or eating. Even if the pain subsides momentarily from over-the-counter pain medications, it may return with a vengeance. It is best to have the tooth fully treated by a root canal to prevent recurrent issues.

How much does a root canal cost?

The cost of your root canal can vary based on the location of your tooth. Front teeth only have one root canal. However, premolars, which are the teeth in the middle of your mouth, and molars, which are your back teeth, have several. Here are the average costs:

  • Front Tooth: $300 to $1,500
  • Premolar: $400 to $1,800
  • Molar: $500 to $2,000

Does dental insurance cover a root canal procedure?

Dental insurance usually covers dental procedures that are considered medically necessary. For many dental plans, a root canal is coverable. However, since there may be a maximum amount, typically $1,000 to $1,500, which your dental plan pays annually for all covered procedures, you may still incur a small out-of-pocket expense even if your plan pays.

A root canal can help save a tooth that has an infected pulp. However, it is important to see a dentist as soon as you notice symptoms of tooth pain so that a tooth infection does not progress. If you believe that you may have an infected tooth, schedule an appointment with a dentist (such as Baker Allan DDS) today.