Because primary teeth are so important, the pediatric dentist at Willow Pass Dental Care Pediatric Department, as well as in our other practices, will recommend that these teeth be kept intact instead of being prematurely extracted. It is, for this reason, that root canal therapy for kids is a potential option for saving a baby tooth that is affected by extensive decay.
When does a child need root canal therapy?
This treatment is often indicated if your child feels pain in a tooth, is sensitive to different temperatures, or if the tooth is chipped or cracked with the pulp already exposed. When this happens, the pulp becomes damaged beyond simple medication or surface repair. As a result, the infected pulp is removed, and a crown is placed on the tooth, allowing it to be strong enough so the tooth can remain in the child’s mouth until the permanent tooth erupts.
How is root canal therapy on baby teeth different than that done on adult teeth?
For children, a pulpotomy is done, where only the infected pulp chamber is removed. For the most part, the dentist does not need to use special instruments to remove the pulp from roots of the tooth since only the surface nerve structure in the chamber is removed. This makes the procedure much faster and a lot more painless for children. Also, after the treatment is completed, a baby crown is placed on the tooth right away to protect the weakened tooth.
What will happen when the permanent tooth wants to come in if the baby tooth has a root canal and crown?
Since the material we use in Willow Pass Dental Care Pediatric Department for the baby root canal is completely biocompatible, it will not negatively affect the incoming permanent tooth. Rather, the tooth will get loose in its own time and will fall out like all other baby teeth.
Will my child have pain after a baby root canal is performed?
Since the affected nerves of the tooth are removed, your child should have very minimal pain after the treatment. During the treatment itself, the tooth is completely numbed using local anesthesia. However, it is common to have sensitivity to the crown or to any dental procedure for the first two weeks. During this time, it is important to continue brushing, particularly around the gums of the tooth, to keep them from becoming inflamed. If excessive pain or irritation is experienced, have the child brought to the dental office for a re-evaluation.
Root Canals On Permanent Teeth
At the Willow Pass Dental Care Pediatric Department endodontic procedures, or root canals, are used to save a child’s tooth from extraction.
How do you know that your tooth needs a root canal?
Once the decay has reached the nerves of the tooth, the child may experience pain on biting and sensitivity to hot or cold. Sometimes, no symptoms are there at all, but the infection is present, and the pain could occur over night. The pain is sharp shooting and can be so severe that it can prevent the child from sleeping at night. Once the dentist does the exam and x-rays, he or she can often see that the decay has spread to the nerves of the tooth and needs immediate treatment. At this point, to prevent the infection from spreading it is important to remove the affected nerve tissue through a root canal. This will prevent the need to have to pull the tooth in the future.
Why do a root canal?
Endodontic procedures, such as a root canal, helps save the child’s tooth from premature extraction. The early loss of a tooth can cause problems not only in the functioning, chewing, and speech, but also result in orthodontic problems in the future. Other permanent teeth may shift to fill the remaining space and adjust the bite altogether. Moreover, replacing the lost tooth in the future can be costly because it will require a bridge or a dental implant. Thus, the best option possible is to save the tooth by doing a root canal and placing a dental crown on it.
How does a dentist do a root canal?
The root canal experts at Willow Pass Dental Care Pediatric Department always assess the tooth first to see if it can be saved through an endodontic procedure. Once this is determined, the tooth is made numb, so that the child is completely comfortable. The decay is then removed along with the affected nerve tissue in the canals. After a thorough cleaning and devitalizing process, the dentist will fill the hollowed chamber with a special biocompatible material that will essentially plug the root canal to prevent further damage or infection. The affected tooth will then be covered using filling material that will mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, restoring strength and functionality to the tooth and diminishing discomfort for the child. Finally, the child will have a crown placed on the tooth to protect it from breaking.
Why does a tooth that has a root canal need a dental crown?
Once the infection has spread to the nerves of a tooth and the tooth is devitalized through a root canal, a crown is necessary. This is because the tooth is weakened and can no longer take the pressure of chewing and biting without cracking. If the child is young and the tooth has not fully erupted, a simple stainless steel crown will be placed on the tooth. Once the child is older, however, the stainless steel crown can be replaced with a white porcelain crown.