When dental decay goes untreated for too long, it can create a cavity that becomes so large it works its way through the tooth and into the root. This can cause pain, inflammation and infection. If this happens, your child may require a baby root canal.
What is a baby root canal?
A root canal, pr pulpotomy, involves removal of a cavity, along with any infected portion of your child’s tooth pulp, nerve and blood vessels that are causing pain and discomfort. Our pediatric dentistry experts offer two types of baby root canals:
A partial pulpotomy happens when we remove the infected portions of the tooth and its pulp.
A complete pulpotomy is needed when the entire nerve and pulp of the tooth is so infected that we must remove all of it.
Partial pulpotomy procedure
During a partial pulpotomy, our dentists will remove the diseased areas of the tooth and any portions of the nerve. Medication is placed in the affected area to prevent further decay and infection. Then, we prepare the tooth to receive a crown to cap it and restore its shape and function.
Complete pulpotomy procedure
During a complete pulpotomy, also known as a pulpectomy, we remove the entire nerve and pulp of the tooth. Once our dental experts remove the affected insides of the tooth, the tooth is filled with a dental cement that helps stabilize it for the crown. A crown is then placed on top of the tooth to restore it to ideal function.
If the baby teeth are going to fall out anyway, why should my child undergo a root canal?
It is true that the baby teeth will eventually fall out, but it is important to preserve them until they are ready to fall out on their own. Performing a root canal, rather than an extraction, ensures your child’s smile can grow and develop as it should and the permanent teeth can erupt properly. It also ensures your child’s mouth can function as it should and retain proper chewing and biting functions.
What are signs that my child may need a root canal?
The best way to determine if your child needs a root canal is by visiting a pediatric dentist. However, there are some signs that could indicate your child may need a root canal:
- Toothache or pain
- Redness or swelling of the gums
How long does a baby root canal take?
If you’ve undergone a root canal as an adult, you are probably wondering if the procedure is as involved for your child. Luckily, baby root canals are much quicker to perform than an adult root canal and can be done in only one short visit. Most of the time, your child’s visit should take less than an hour.