When parents hear that the kids need to have a root canal, their minds begin to race. Why do the kids need this procedure? Isn’t the root canal painful? Is there no other way to save the tooth? Why did it happen in the first place? Parents might have to look at the family’s eating habits to get to the bottom of the problem.
Yes, a root canal can be done on kids, too. This therapy is not solely for adults since kids’ teeth can get damaged or infected, too. Parents need to understand why this procedure is vital to save the kids’ teeth. A pediatric dentist can explain the procedure and why it is better than a tooth extraction.
What is a root canal for kids?
A root canal is a surgical procedure that removes the diseased pulp from the kid’s tooth. The pulp is the most important part of the tooth, so the dying tissue from deep inside needs to be removed. The process will stop and prevent further infection. That tooth pulp also contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.
What causes babies to need a root canal? Tooth decay is the main reason for a root canal. When bacteria get inside the mouth, they can also get through gaps and cracks in the teeth and settle into the pulp. The bacteria damage the inside of the tooth, so the root canal will pull the pulp out to save the tooth.
Safe for kids
Parents are worried about their kids undergoing a root canal. In fact, many of them would rather let their kids lose teeth prematurely than undergo a root canal. After all, permanent teeth would grow in the same spots, right? The problem is when a baby tooth falls out because of bacteria, infection, and pus, it might lead to developmental issues, such as:
- Slurred speech
- Inability to chew properly
- Wrong alignment of permanent teeth
- Crooked teeth
Preparing kids for root canal
Of course, parents will have a more challenging time preparing kids for a root canal. The common belief is that root canals are painful. Tell the kids that the pediatric dentist will give them medicine for the pain. Once the kids are sure they will not be in pain, they will be more open to the procedure, and parents will not have to worry.
Depending on the kids' age, the dentist will do an X-ray. The results of the X-ray will give the dentists an idea of where the infected tooth is located. The dentists will also determine the size and shape of the root canal. Normally, the root canal procedure will last for an hour, but that depends on the severity of the problem.
Avoiding root canal
Parents need to help kids avoid root canals in the future. Proper dental hygiene begins at home. You should teach them to brush properly, floss every day, and use mouthwash. Good eating habits such as avoiding hard candies and sweets and staying away from acidic food will also help.
Request an appointment or call Camelback Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics at 602-362-7072 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.
Concerned about your child's pacifier use? Read on to find out why it is important to break that habit sooner rather than later. Breaking an ingrained habit in a child is a difficult task. As a kid grows older and their behavior persists, it becomes important to seek a professional for dental habit counseling. According…
At least once in their toddler years, a child will experience a chipped tooth. Just imagine how rowdy kids can be at four or five years old. They will play, run around, do sports, and chip their tooth in the process. While it is nothing to be worried about, some parents will see this as…
A pediatric dentist prefers to take a proactive approach regarding the health of their patients’ teeth. They offer preventative care that ensures that primary and permanent teeth stay healthy.You might be wondering if there is any reason to take care of baby teeth, since they fall out eventually. The truth is that the health of…