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Saving Teeth First – The Truth About Root Canal Treatment

 Saving Teeth First – The Truth About Root Canal Treatment

Does your child need to see a root canal specialist in Wheat Ridge? If they have a painful, abscessed tooth, there are root canal procedures for kids to prevent tooth loss and discomfort. The process is a bit different than endodontic procedures in adults.

Does Your Child Have an Abscessed Tooth?

Abscessed teeth are caused by infected, inflamed nerves inside of your child’s tooth. Usually, an abscess is the result of a deep cavity, crack, or traumatic injury. The symptoms can include severe pain, sensitivity to heat or pressure, or a visible fistula (pimple) on the gums next to your child’s tooth.

An abscessed tooth can only be treated with nerve therapy, such as a pulpotomy (root canal for kids .)

During your child’s exam, we’ll take an X-ray that shows us the entire tooth structure, including the areas around the root tips. If visible cysts are seen at the end of the root, the tooth is likely abscessed.

 Root Canal Procedures for Kids

Pediatric root canals are technically called “pulpotomies.” A pulpotomy involves removing the infected nerve and then medicating the inside of the tooth. Unlike adult root canals, pediatric dentists don’t place a permanent filling material down into the baby root canal. You still want the tooth to resorb with time, so it’s important to leave those canals open.

Sometimes a full root canal isn’t needed and we’ll just perform what’s called a “pulp cap”. This approach is used when the cavity is deep, but there are no visible signs of an abscess.

After the pulpotomy, we will also need to place a temporary crown over the tooth. Pediatric crowns protect the tooth for the few years your child still has that tooth. They are usually made out of stainless steel or some type of tooth-colored material. Without a crown, the non-vital tooth would be more prone to fractures or breakage whenever your child chews on it.

 Why Not Pull the Tooth Instead?

Your child’s primary teeth are made to eventually fall out. But losing one prematurely can cause a domino effect when it comes to oral development and proper eruption patterns. If we have to remove a tooth because of pain, the space it creates can permanently alter their smile alignment or lead to an impacted tooth due to the adjacent teeth collapsing inward.

The primary tooth needs to act as a guide for the permanent tooth forming below it. As the adult tooth develops, the baby tooth slowly shrinks back. Performing a baby root canal or pulpotomy helps buy time and preserve the tooth.

In instances where the infection is extremely severe, or your child is in excruciating pain, removing the tooth may provide the fastest form of relief. When that’s the case, our Wheat Ridge dentists will want to place a space maintainer (such as a “band and loop”) to help preserve spacing until the adult tooth erupts.

 Who Should You See for Treatment?

If you need a family or pediatric dentist, Wheat Ridge families can entrust their child’s smile to the team at Kid Focus Dentistry. You don’t necessarily need endodontic specialists (Wheat Ridge) like you would for an adult root canal. Root canal procedures for kids can be performed by a general or pediatric dentist.

It’s best not to wait to see a dentist, as untreated dental abscesses can potentially lead to life-threatening situations. If your child’s abscess is so severe that swelling has spread into their face or is making breathing difficult, call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room.

Need a Root Canal Specialist in Wheat Ridge?

At Kid Focus Dentistry, we have close relationships with experts like endodontic specialists. Wheat Ridge families can also bring their children to see a family or pediatric dentist for their child’s pediatric root canal (pulpotomy.)

For more information on pulp therapy or root canal procedures for kids, call Kid Focus Dentistry in Wheat Ridge.