Kids Root Canal in Brisbane

Kid’s Root Canal

Root Canal for Children

If you are shocked or scared when your child’s pediatric dentist says: your child needs a baby root canal, this article may help you grasp the whole idea better. First, let’s see what dentists mean by “Root Canal”. 

The Definition of Root Canal

Underneath enamel and dentine that are the tooth’s protective layers, lies an unmineralized oral tissue called the dental pulp. Dental Pulp is the tooth’s innermost portion and has specialized cells, living connective tissue, tiny blood vessels, and large nerves. Tooth pulp stretches from the tooth’s crown to the end of the root.

If decay, bacterial infection, or injury passes through the tooth’s protective layers and reaches the pulp, root canals become necessary to save the infected tooth.

Root canals involve removing the diseased pulp, cleaning the inside of the tooth, and sealing the tooth.

Are Root Canals Necessary for Your Kid’s Teeth?

When Is Root Canal Treatment Necessary for Your Child’s Tooth?

Many adults believe that root canals are only performed on adult teeth or permanent teeth.

Some people believe that because a child’s baby tooth will eventually fall out, there’s no need to save or take good care of it! However, primary teeth play an essential role in your child’s oral health and keeping them in the mouth until they can fall out naturally can prevent possible future dental issues for the kid.

Factors that can damage the pulp tissue and increase the risk of baby root canals include:

  • Chipped or cracked tooth
  • Tooth decay (deep decay)
  • Repeated dental procedures on a tooth
  • Large fillings
  • Tooth abscess

The Importance of Baby Teeth or Primary Teeth on Their Oral health

Your child will begin to have their first baby tooth or primary tooth when they are about six months old. At around three years old most children will have all their baby teeth. Eventually, at around five to six years old, the baby teeth at the front begin to fall out and are replaced by adult teeth.

Your child needs their baby teeth to smile, speak, and chew food properly. A baby tooth is also considered a space holder for the future permanent tooth that is growing beneath the gums, and it needs to stay in place long enough.

Paediatric dentists may recommend root canals to save the tooth from extraction when the decay is close to the nerve and prevent premature baby tooth loss.

If your child’s tooth is lost before it’s expected, it can result in dental issues including:

  • Bite problems
  • Delaying the development of a permanent tooth
  • Abnormal eruption of permanent teeth
  • Speech problems
  • Eating problems
  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth

Common Signs That Your Child Needs Root Canal Treatment

Parents are recommended to arrange a dental visit with a pediatric dentist for their child as soon as they have their first baby tooth and no later than their first birthday. It may surprise you to know your child’s teeth are prone to tooth decay from the very beginning. Therefore, any signs of a dental problem should be checked by an experienced pediatric dentist.

Your child may have some signs that indicate they need a root canal:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Dental caries extending to the pulp/nerve

Dentists Checkup

While some symptoms are apparent and you can recognize them, some are only recognizable with a thorough evaluation by your child’s pediatric dentist.

A certified pediatric dentist will determine whether your child needs a root canal after performing a physical examination and taking dental x-rays. 

X-rays can help the dentist spot hidden signs of infection and determine the intensity of the infection.

The dentist will also assess the child’s primary tooth to see if a root canal is ideal. In some cases, tooth extraction will be a better treatment option than a root canal.

Baby Root Canal Procedure Explained

What Happens During Baby Root Canal Treatment?

baby root canal or pulpotomy(partial root canal)is a dental procedure performed mainly on a baby tooth. While adult root canals involve removing the entire pulp tissue, a baby root canal is considered partial nerve treatment. The dentist removes the tooth’s pulp in the crown during the procedure but leaves the pulp in the root canal intact.

The healthy pulp won’t be touched during pulpotomy, and only the diseased pulp will be removed.

Baby Root Canal Procedure

Pulpotomy or partial root canal is a type of pulp therapy and a relatively simple procedure, different from an adult root canal where the entire pulp tissue is removed.

Pulpotomy’s goal is to preserve the integrity of the baby tooth until the adult tooth erupts.

  • The dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the infected tooth and the area around the tooth.
  • The dentist will remove bacteria, decay, or the damaged part of the nerve and the diseased pulp tissue from deep inside your child’s tooth.
  • The area will be sterilized and disinfected.
  • A medicament will be placed over the remaining portion.
  • The space will be sealed up typically with a crown to support and protect the tooth from acids, saliva and bacteria.

Your child’s dentist may first place a temporary filling on the top of the tooth and, after a few weeks, a permanent crown to protect the tooth.

A baby root canal is done to prevent premature tooth loss in a child and keep the tooth’s roots alive. The procedure is less invasive.

Other Approaches to managing deep caries

Indirect pulp therapy and pulpectomy are other approaches that may be used if there is deep caries in a primary tooth.

Indirect pulp therapy: Indirect pulp therapy is also known as indirect pulp capping and will be performed if the infection has affected the outer dentine layers. Since the infection has not caused massive damage and the inner pulp is healthy, the pulp won’t be touched.

Pulpectomy: If the infection has reached the pulp in the roots, the dentist cannot save the tooth by pulpotomy, and a more complex procedure is needed. The pulp in the root of the tooth will be completely removed to get rid of the infection.

Is a Baby Root Canal Painful?

Before your child’s root canal procedure begins, pediatric dentists numb the tooth and its surrounding area using local anaesthesia to ensure your child experience a pain-free procedure.

A child who has undergone root canal treatment may experience a little pain, swelling, and pressure. These side effects are expected and parts of the recovery process. The dentist will probably prescribe pain medication to help relieve the pain and inflammation.

Helpful Tips for Great Oral Health

  • Clean your child’s teeth as soon as they emerge.
  • Teach your child how to brush their teeth.
  • Schedule your child’s first dental visit within six months of the first tooth coming in.
  • Limit your child’s sugar-based foods to prevent early childhood caries or tooth decay.
  • Brush your child’s teeth twice a day using a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Consult your child’s dentist to see what type of fluoride toothpaste is appropriate for your child’s age.
  • Please read our article for more details

Do not worry if your child needs oral care but is afraid of the dentist. Here in our professional dental clinic, we provide Happy Gas to make your child comfortable and less scared.

Our experienced paediatric dentists will discuss different treatment options with you and choose the best one based on your child’s unique situation.

Please contact us for more information on 0733434869