Most people think of endodontics as being exclusively for adults. After all, why would a child need root canal therapy or other complex dental treatment? While we wish all children could enjoy perfectly healthy teeth, that is not always the case. Decay, infection, or trauma may make endodontic treatment necessary in order to preserve the child’s long-term oral health. On this page, we talk more about why that is so and what you can expect if your child must visit an endodontist.
Baby teeth are meant to fall out on their own, so why would we go to the trouble of saving one with root canal therapy? If a damaged or decayed baby tooth gets extracted or falls out too soon, the child may suffer from bite or speech problems as a result.
Root canals for kids follows the same basic steps as root canal therapy for adults. We numb the area, clean out the damaged or infected tissue, and then fill in the tooth. To prepare your child for this procedure, make sure to explain why it is necessary, and make it clear that they will have medication to help with any discomfort. The more they understand about what is going to happen, the more likely it is that they will remain calm during their appointment.
There are two basic reasons why a child may need root canal therapy:
Kids’ tooth decay is extremely common. In some cases, it becomes so severe that a cavity becomes deep enough to reach the inner portion of a tooth. A serious infection can result. A root canal removes the decayed tissue as well as the nerve that is causing the child pain.
If your child suffers an injury due to an accident, they may need root canal therapy. However, it is possible that they will need another endodontic treatment instead. This may be true if the injured tooth is not yet fully developed.
Here are some tips to help your child enjoy a comfortable recovery following their endodontic treatment: