Root Canal Treatment

A root canal for kids can sound like a scary proposition. But when you consider the alternative, either letting your child suffer or losing an important anchoring tooth, a kids root canal is by far the better option. And when you have experts in children’s dental care, like the professionals at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, your child is in experienced, caring hands. Call today to make appointment at the closest office — in Woodbridge, NJ, Harlem, NY or the Lower East Side, Manhattan — to find out if your child needs root canal treatment so you can get it done efficiently and as soon as possible.

What Is a Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic or restorative treatment, is a procedure that your child’s dentist performs to remove infected pulp in a tooth with the goal of saving the tooth from being pulled. A kids root canal may be necessary when a tooth shows signs of inflammation. Infected pulp at the base of a tooth’s root leads to pain, swelling and overall discomfort. Your child may also suffer from a fever.

When an infection occurs, an experienced dentist — like those you find at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in Woodbridge, New Jersey or in Manhattan, New York — may recommend a root canal for kids. During this procedure, the dentist drills into the canal, removes the bacteria and the nerve, and fills the canal back up to prevent further infection, which effectively saves the tooth.

What Causes the Need for Root Canal Treatment?

If left untreated, bacterial buildup in a tooth slowly eats away the root, leading to a dead tooth that must be removed. A kids root canal may be necessary because of issues such as:

Untreated cavities

Untreated cavities. Poor oral hygiene, a genetic disposition to caries and lack of proper dental care can lead to cavities. If left untreated, these holes in the teeth get larger and eventually cause an infection of the root and severe pain that requires a pediatric dentist’s intervention.

Cracked or damaged teeth

Cracked or damaged teeth. An injury that cracks or breaks off part of the tooth creates a space for a potential infection. Facial injuries that break or chip teeth are a common occurrence in kids who play sports.

Issues from a previous filling

Issues from a previous filling. If a past filling was done incorrectly, there’s an opportunity for bacteria to grow within the gaps left behind that may lead to the need for root canal treatment.

Postponing dental treatment for children often leads your dentist to perform costly and drastic measures, such as root canal treatment, to prevent an infection from spreading and to save the tooth. Teeth that are anchored by natural roots maintain the shape of your child’s jaw as they continue to develop.

How Is a Root Canal for Kids Performed?

Root canals have a bad reputation for being painful treatments. The dentists at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry believe that a root canal should be no more painful than a regular routine filling. They know how to make your child comfortable during the process by offering a number of anesthetic options to prevent pain.

A root canal for kids treatment typically is broken down into a few uncomplicated stages that include:

  1. Diagnosis. Relying on a visual inspection and x-rays, your pediatric dentist determines whether or not a root canal is necessary. When infection is present, your child may need to take antibiotics before the procedure can be done.
  2. Local anesthesia. Novocain is often administered to prevent your child from feeling any pain.
  3. Cleaning. The damaged pulp is removed with tiny dental instruments.
  1. Replacement. The newly cleaned out area, the tooth canal, is filled with composite dental resin, also called a white filling, to make sure there are no gaps where future bacteria can form.
  2. Restoration. After a few weeks, a cap or crown is placed over the filling to protect that tooth from further infection, strength the tooth and prevent the tooth from cracking.

The dentists at this dental practice — in Woodbridge, NJ and in Manhattan, NY — use the latest technology in dentistry for comfortable, yet effective dental procedures. Regular dental cleanings are not painful. If your children don’t practice healthy habits and you don’t take them to regular check-ups, the price may be a deeper cleaning that is both more expensive and more invasive.

Are Root Canal Treatments Safe for Children?

A root canal for kids can be performed on permanent and baby teeth. This procedure is a type of restorative and preventative dentistry. It fends off more serious and intrusive treatments in the future.

Proper analysis and treatment of a primary tooth protects the gum and bone around the root to maintain a healthy space for the adult tooth to grow into. Root canals for kids with baby teeth are fairly common and often less painful than one administered to adults. A kids root canal provides:

  • Solution for abnormal baby tooth growth. If your child has a tooth that hasn’t grown in properly, a root canal may be needed if the root has been infected due to that abnormal growth. Catching an issue in early childhood provides a solid foundation for adult teeth to grow into.
  • Preventing tooth loss. If an injury or infection develops within a baby tooth before its natural time to fall out, it’s no longer a healthy placeholder for the future adult tooth. Proper speech development also is impaired when teeth are pulled.

Providing your children with a healthy set of teeth and a vibrant smile sets them up for a happier future. Dental procedures as an adult are more painful and financially stressful. For top quality care for all your kids’ dental needs, contact Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. Introduce your kids to an experienced pediatric dentist for continuing dental health. With three locations — including Woodbridge, NJ, Harlem, NY and the Lower East Side of Manhattan — there’s an office near you.

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