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Why Do Kids Need Root Canals?

Just like adults, kids sometimes suffer from deep decay that can affect a tooth’s nerve and cause complications, including pain or even tooth loss. Your trusted team at Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry may recommend a root canal treatment for your child, known as a pulpotomy or baby root canal. The relatively simple procedure will preserve the integrity of the baby tooth until the adult tooth erupts. But why save an infected or damaged baby tooth?

The Importance of Baby Teeth

If a root canal is recommended for your child, you may be wondering if it is necessary. After all, isn’t that baby tooth going to fall out anyway?

Primary teeth play a critical role in your child’s jaw and mouth development. Just like adult teeth, missing a baby tooth can cause problems with speech and eating. Moreover, those tiny pearly whites serve as guides for the proper placement of the adult teeth developing behind the scenes. The premature loss of baby teeth can cause the abnormal eruption of permanent teeth, requiring extensive and costly orthodontic treatment down the road. 

What Are the Signs Your Child Needs a Root Canal?

The first indication that something is wrong is pain, ranging from sharp and intense to a dull ache. The pain may be spontaneous or only in response to a specific stimulus. Sensitivity to hot or cold food is another sign of a root canal problem, as are signs of infection, including gum tenderness and swelling. If an abscess forms, you may notice a pimple-like bump on your child’s gums. Other symptoms your child requires a root canal include fever, general malaise, and tender lymph nodes.

If you notice any of these symptoms or if you suspect that something is not right with your child’s teeth, make sure to contact your trusted team at Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry. We will diagnose the condition and determine the most conservative treatment options to restore your child’s oral health. If a baby root canal treatment is indicated, you can trust us for the outstanding, gentle care your child deserves. 

What Happens During a Baby Root Canal?

Unlike adult root canals that remove the entire pulp tissue, a baby root canal typically involves partial nerve treatment, meaning the procedure is generally much faster and less invasive for children. After the treatment is concluded, we will place a stainless steel or composite resin crown to protect and restore the affected tooth to its health and function. 

The following are the types of root canal treatments we offer:

Pulpotomy: A pulpotomy involves cleaning out the diseased pulp from a tooth that still has a healthy root and filling the area with an antibacterial agent to prevent infection from reaching the healthy pulp tissue. 

Pulpectomy: A pulpectomy is needed when the pulp damage extends into the root canals. It involves removing all the pulp tissue, disinfecting the area, shaping the root canals, then sealing the space. A pulpectomy resembles a root canal. However, the sealant we use can be dissolved by the body, so when it’s time for the permanent tooth to erupt, the baby tooth’s roots are naturally absorbed, and the tooth can develop normally. 

How Can You Prevent the Need for a Root Canal?

The best way to prevent damage to the pulp is to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Make sure to encourage regular brushing and flossing, and don’t forget to visit Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry for your child’s twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings. We will work alongside you to ensure your child enjoys life-long oral health. 

Gentle Kid Root Canals In Glendale, AZ

Contact Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about our baby root canals designed to preserve our patients’ damaged teeth and restore their oral health. Our kid-friendly team will ensure your child receives exceptional, gentle care. Call us and schedule your appointment today.