Plenty of adults are familiar with the root canal experience, but did you know that a baby root canal is a popular procedure too? If your child has been complaining about a persistent, throbbing sensation in a tooth that seems to come on without a cause (is not triggered by heat, cold, acid, or sweetness), our pediatric dentist might recommend a baby root canal treatment.
Root canals in adults are often used to treat bacterial infections deep within the tooth. In a root canal, infected or heavily damaged tissue is removed from the inner pulp of the tooth, which is then sealed and topped with a crown. In children, root canals are often performed to treat serious cavities that have spread deep into the tooth – down to the nerve, in some cases. Root canals are also performed on children in cases of infection or trauma to a tooth or teeth.
You may be asking yourself why a child would need such a complex treatment for a baby tooth that is going to fall out anyway. It goes without saying that in the event that your child’s tooth is infected, leaving that infection untreated could allow it to spread to the rest of the mouth and jaw, causing even more serious repercussions. In addition, allowing even a cavity to continue to deteriorate could lead to damage of the gum line or to premature loss of the tooth.
So, why not just pull the tooth? Well, when baby teeth fall out or are removed too early, adult teeth often hurry to fill in the gaps, which can lead to problems with spacing and alignment once the adult teeth begin growing in. Beyond that, early loss of or damage to baby teeth can affect a child’s speech, chewing ability, and other aspects of oral development and function.
The good news is that children who have baby root canals or similar procedures rarely have complications related to the procedure. Children (and adults, for that matter) typically have a smooth recovery from the procedure, which is not as invasive as it sounds.
If your child is experiencing persistent tooth discomfort, do not wait. If an infection, injury, or other problem is caught early enough, the damaged portion of the tooth can be easily removed, a crown attached, and the baby tooth will fall out as normal, leaving your child with a happy, healthy smile.
Get in touch with us at Ashburn Children’s Dentistry to learn more about a baby root canal. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our office in Ashburn, VA!