Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Circumstances When A Tooth Needs To Be Extracted

Joe Lawrence

If you have generally poor oral health, then you may understand that dental professionals will do everything in their power to save a tooth. This often means that treatments like root canals and crown placements are completed well before an extraction is considered. However, this is not always the case. There are some circumstances that call for an immediate tooth extraction. Keep reading to understand when this may be the case so you are not surprised if one of your teeth needs to be pulled. 

Spread Infections

Dental infections are usually treated with antibiotics and root canal treatment. Sometimes this is not enough to retain your oral health though. Specifically, if you allow a tooth infection to progress for months, then bacteria will often travel outside the tooth. The microorganisms can reach the bone, the soft tissues that surround your tooth, and they can even infect nearby teeth through the dental roots. 

The interesting thing about a serious infection that has spread is the fact that the tooth with the initial infection may no longer hurt. This simply means that the tooth is dead and all of the living capillaries, pulp, and dental nerves have degraded and decomposed. 

You will feel significant pain coming from your jaw, the surrounding teeth, or your gums though, so the issue is rarely a painless one if an infection has raged for several months. Since the infection is widespread, your dentist will complete treatments that save your jaw and as many surrounding teeth as possible. This usually means removing the dead tooth and attending to the living teeth and tissues in your mouth. 

Extensive Damage

Sometimes a tooth will be deemed unsalvageable, especially if it has already been repaired a number of times. For example, if the tooth cusp is comprised mostly of resin composite and a cavity develops, then there may not be a lot of the enamel and dentin left. In other words, there is no more natural tooth to bong the resin to. While dentists try to attach crowns well before this type of situation arises, it may not always be possible. 

Other types of damage can result in an extraction as well. Tooth chips that involve the crumbling of the tooth cusp may require extraction. This is also true of cracks that extend down below the gums. 

Dental roots that have been cracked, injured, or broken off due to a blow to the face often need to be extracted as well. This is also true if a large portion of a root breaks away from the tooth during a root canal treatment. 


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Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Caring for an elderly parent tends to be tough enough without the added stress of dealing with dental implants or dentures. But, the prospect is not the end of the world—there are many things you can do to ensure that your parent's dental health is not compromised without having to spend a lot of personal time doing the care yourself. Between working with the right dentist, hiring a service provider for part time work, and giving your parent the tools he or she needs to care for his or her own dental health at home, you'll find that dental health for your loved one isn't so tough or time consuming after all. Hopefully you are able to get the support and information you need right here.