Dental implants that require a root canal may need to be replaced or repaired.
That’s why Dr. Robert DeCarlo and his colleagues at the University of Southern California are looking at a novel technique to help patients with root canal issues, which they believe could help them live longer.
“I’ve found that when people have root canal disease, the pain is so bad that it makes them want to put something in their mouth, but that’s not what’s causing the problem,” DeCarlos said.
“The root canal problem is that the root canal implant is causing the pain, and the pain causes the root problem.
That has to be solved.”
The root problem, DeCarrosons research shows, is the pressure of the implant, which causes swelling and inflammation in the tissues that are supposed to support the jawbone.
DeCarolsos team says the problem isn’t unique to root canal implants, and could be a symptom of other dental problems.
“If you’re having pain in your jawbone that’s caused by an implant that doesn’t fit properly, that can also cause other problems like arthritis, gum disease, it can cause bone loss,” De Carlo said.
The root problems that stem from root canal surgeries are known as osteoarthritis, and researchers have identified the most common causes as jaw muscles, bone density, and cartilage damage.
DeCarosos team developed a technique that uses the pressure created when a tooth is removed to help the implant fit.
The researchers are currently testing the device on people with osteoarthropathy, or osteoarchitectural issues that affect the jaw.
“It’s a very new way of using pressure to help improve the implant and its placement,” DeCarlos said.
“The device can also be used to help people who have cartilage problems that are caused by implants that are not being properly adjusted.”
DeCarlos is now working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help other dentists and health care providers use the device.
It will be on the market for a year and is currently being tested by dentists at five different locations.
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