Do Kids Even Get Root Canals?
Sometimes, if they haven’t done such a great job of maintaining a diligent daily dental hygiene regimen.
Or they eat too many sweets, or some other reason why their baby teeth have developed tooth decay that has progressed to the level of becoming infected.
Root canal canal treatment for children – and adults – helps save the tooth (or teeth) from bacterial infection or additional inflammation, pain, & decay.
Although kids have primary teeth which will eventually give way to their permanent teeth, a root canal still may be the most effective form of treatment to save the primary tooth – or teeth.
According to DentalPlans.com, saving a baby tooth may be just as important as saving a fully developed adult tooth.
“The untimely loss of baby teeth can interfere with chewing, speech development, and, most importantly, the alignment of newly developing permanent teeth.
Here’s why: Each baby tooth holds the space open for the permanent tooth that will emerge behind it, and all teeth do not fall out at the same time.
If there’s a gap that forms prematurely, the remaining teeth will shift position to fill it. And that can affect the ultimate alignment of permanent teeth.
Root canal treatment may also be recommended to treat a recently erupted permanent tooth (with roots not fully formed or developed) that has had pulp (nerve) damage.”
When Would A Child Ever Need A Root Canal?
Whether it’s your teeth or those of your children, when a cavity progresses to the point of infection, a root canal is needed.
If it were a simple cavity (tooth decay), that had been caught & treated in the early stages, a regular dental filling or maybe even a dental crown would be the recommended treatment.
But in more severe cases, where treatment was delayed or if they haven’t visited a dentist in awhile, then your child may need a root canal.
If a children’s root canal is the recommended treatment, there is no need to worry.
When a root canal is performed, the pulp in the center of the tooth is removed.
First, the infected portions of the tooth, including the pulp, is carefully removed. Tooth pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and other tissue.
Any infections of your child’s tooth pulp can be very painful for them, and many parents worry about their kids experiencing pain during the actual root canal treatment.
But there’s no need to worry…a root canal will actually relieve the pain by getting rid of the damaged portions of your child’s tooth.
Root canals don’t hurt, toothaches do!
What Symptoms Would Your Child Experience That Would Require A Root Canal?
Any general dentist with additional training & experience can perform root canal treatment in children, there is often no need to see a specialist (Endodontist).
Because infection can migrate out of the tooth root itself, and into the surrounding jawbone – causing more pain and/or possibly forming an abscess – you should call us immediately if your child experiences any of the following symptoms:
– Lingering sensitivity to cold liquids
– Lingering sensitivity to hot liquids
– Sensitivity to sweets
– Pain to biting pressure
– Pain that is referred from a tooth to another area, such as the neck, temple, or the ear
– Spontaneous toothache, such as that experienced while reading a magazine, watching television, etc.
– Constant or intermittent pain
– Severe pain– Throbbing pain
– Pain that may occur in response to atmospheric pressure changes, such as when flying or swimming to the bottom of the pool
– Pain that may occur in response to postural changes, such as when going from a standing to a reclining position– Swelling
How Does A Root Canal Save Your Child’s Smile?
The only way to repair a damaged, decayed tooth, including any infection, is through dental treatment.
Your children’s teeth won’t repair themselves, in the case of an infection, root canal treatment is likely needed to rid the tooth and surrounding areas of infection.
If your child does require root canal treatment, there are a few ways to make sure they’re comfortable & experience little, if any pain.
Through a combination of sedation & anesthesia your child will remain comfortable during the root canal procedure.
Following the removal of infected tooth pulp, the second stage of your children’s root canal will entail placing a protective barrier on the tooth to prevent any future infection.
In most children’s root canal cases, this involves a dental crown.
Dental crowns protect the remaining tooth, and restore your child’s ability to chew, eat, & talk normally. Crowns also help prevent any food particles or bacteria from entering into your child’s newly restored tooth.
Although root canals are not as common in children as in adults, often times dentists recommend a root canal as opposed to an extraction.
Because Root Canals Save Teeth!
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This post originally appeared on Dental Patient News and has been republished with permission.