Ensuring the dental health of our children is a key responsibility as parents. Among the various treatments our little ones might require, root canal therapy often raises questions and concerns. The team at My Kidz Dentist in Phoenix, Arizona, helps you understand when a root canal is necessary to empower you to make well-informed decisions for your child’s well-being.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure to treat infection or damage in a child's tooth. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t an overly complex or inherently dangerous procedure.
In pediatric dentistry, root canals are routine treatments designed to save a damaged tooth and prevent further oral health issues. During a root canal, our experienced dentists remove the damaged area of the tooth (the pulp). We then clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth, fill it with a dental material, and seal it.
Does your child need a root canal?
Parents can help recognize signs indicating your child needs a root canal. Common signs a child needs a root canal include:
- Complaining about persistent tooth pain
- Avoiding hot or cold foods
- Swelling or tenderness in the gums
- Discoloration of the tooth
Schedule an appointment if your child exhibits any of these symptoms.
Why should you consider root canals for baby teeth?
Many parents wonder whether their child needs a root canal in a baby tooth, considering the tooth will soon be replaced by a permanent tooth. If our team recommends a root canal on a baby tooth, it is because the tooth cannot be saved by other methods. Your child’s natural tooth is the best space maintainer for their permanent teeth.
Losing baby teeth too early because of extractions can result in your child’s permanent teeth coming in crooked or too crowded.
Causes of tooth decay and damage in children
Tooth decay and damage in children can be attributed to several factors, including poor oral hygiene, sugary diets, dental trauma, and in some cases, genetic predisposition. Regular dental check-ups are essential in detecting these problems early and addressing them before they escalate into more serious conditions.
Expectations during the root canal procedure
The root canal procedure in children is similar to that in adults, but it's usually simpler and quicker. After administering local anesthesia to ensure comfort, one of our compassionate dentists will remove the infected pulp, clean the inside of the tooth, and fill it with dental material.
Some mild discomfort after a root canal is normal, but it typically resolves quickly. Our team is experienced at managing dental procedures with minimal discomfort to the child.
Preventing tooth decay
Preventing tooth decay and the need for procedures like root canals starts with good oral hygiene practices. Encourage your child to brush twice daily, floss regularly, and maintain a balanced diet low in sugary snacks and drinks. Additionally, schedule regular dental check-ups so that our team can find and fix dental issues at their earliest stages.
Schedule an appointment
Early detection and treatment of dental issues in children are crucial. When in doubt, always seek advice from our pediatric dental team – we are your best resource for ensuring your child’s oral health. Call our office, or schedule an appointment online to learn more.