Baby Root Canal
While every parent does their best to try to take care of their child’s teeth, it can be a difficult job and can feel like a losing battle. Even after the best attempts at good oral hygiene, parents can be surprised to find that their children have rotten teeth and may even require a “baby root canal”. While the idea of a root canal immediately fills one’s heart with dread, it’s even worse when your child is involved. We’ve set out to help you by explaining everything you need to know about baby root canals.
What is a Baby Root Canal?
A baby root canal is a process that removes the infected part of the pulp in a child’s tooth. Depending on the severity of the infection, the dentist may opt to remove the pulp only from the upper part of the tooth in what’s called a “pulpotomy”; in a worse-case scenario, the dentist would need to remove the pulp from both the entire tooth and the root in a “pulpectomy”. During both these procedures, pulp is removed and then the hollow gap is filled with a type of cement. To finish the process, the dentist will cover the baby tooth with a crown made of stainless steel.
Who Needs a Baby Root Canal?
Baby root canals are often necessary when children have undiscovered cavities that are left for too long and lead to infected pulp. Children who are experiencing these dental infections often have severe pain and discomfort. Little kids with infected teeth often complain when they come in contact with hot or cold liquids, try to chew, eat candy, or even when they move from one position to another. A dentist can examine the teeth and recognize infection in x-rays. If infected teeth are not given the proper care, they may become abscessed and cause severe oral damage.
Why is a Baby Root Canal Necessary?
Some people are confused at the thought of performing a root canal on a baby tooth; after all, won’t these teeth fall out after a few years, anyway? While it is true that baby teeth are temporary and will soon be replaced, they have a purpose for their place in a child’s mouth and it’s best to try to preserve them whenever possible. Losing a baby tooth prematurely can lead to problems chewing along with speech impediments. Baby teeth work to hold a place until permanent teeth are ready to break through the gums – if a baby tooth is taken out too soon, it can allow for extreme shifting and crowding of teeth. Rather than risk the wide variety of side effects associated with pulling a baby tooth, dentists do all that is possible to save the tooth through procedures such as baby root canals.
Is the Process Painful?
The words “root canal” strike fear into the hearts of adults and the idea of putting a child through what sounds like a torture treatment is almost overwhelming to parents. Thankfully, a baby root canal is not as bad as it sounds! Thanks to the use of anesthesia and sedation, children can sleep through the procedure and then awake with their new crown in place. Compared to the pain of an infected tooth, a root canal can actually provide much-needed relief.
While no one wants their child to have to endure a root canal, it maybe the best option once a tooth has become infected. Through this procedure, children can keep their teeth in place, maintaining the best oral health, while doing away with pain and infection. Rather than being frightened of the prospect of a baby root canal, consider how it can positively impact your child.
If your loved one is in need of a baby root canal, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We provide pain-free root canals throughout Western New York and would love to help in any way we can.