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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Answers About Root Canals

When it comes to dental care, there are many types of damage your teeth can endure, as well as many types of treatments to address those issues. One dental procedure many people have done is a root canal. If you've been hearing the term 'root canal' with regard to dental issues you are dealing with, then you may have questions about the procedure. You can find the answers to some of the questions you might have here: 

Why is a root canal done?

The dentist may suggest a root canal if you have infection or inflammation to the pulp of your tooth. The pulp is the inner part that's soft; it has a lot of nerves, which is why you can experience a lot of pain and discomfort when the pulp has problems. A root canal can be done while leaving the crown of your tooth intact. This means the end result will be a crown that's been preserved and with no pulp containing to give you issues. 

How does the pulp get damaged?

It may seem strange to have the pulp get infected, inflamed, or even injured when it's safely underneath the protection of the tooth crown. However, there are many things that can affect the pump. A tooth with an untreated cavity can put the pump at risk. Also, a chip or crack in the crown can allow the pulp to be damaged. Something important to know is that the pulp can also sustain damage if your tooth was injured, even if your tooth remains fully intact. 

What are the symptoms of damaged or infected pulp?

If you have problems with the pulp, then you can experience a great deal of pain. Also, there may be the feeling of swelling and your gums may be warmer. 

How are pulp issues diagnosed?

When you go into the dental office due to issues like tooth pain, they will take an X-ray of your tooth. This will allow them to see what's going on inside the tooth so that they can confirm pulp damage or infection. 

What happens during the root canal?

When you go in for a root canal, you will be given anesthesia, so you won't feel anything during the procedure. Once the gum has been numbed, a small opening will be made at the top of the crown. Then, the pulp will be removed. The area will likely be covered with a topical antibiotic to prevent any reinfection. The hole will be filled, and you may also be prescribed an oral antibiotic to take. 


Hopefully, you now have answers to your questions about root canals. This can help you feel better about the procedure, if you have to have it done.