When people think of root canals, they generally think of adults or seniors with bad teeth. However, it is entirely possible for kids to need root canals too. Even though their baby teeth will fall out eventually, there is still a chance of needing a root canal before then. It is possible to avoid this problem with proper care if you know what you are doing. Here is a look at baby tooth root canals.
Root Canals on Baby Teeth
Baby teeth fall out over time, but a damaged baby tooth may need a root canal. This is because baby teeth can be infected just like a regular tooth. A root canal takes damaged or infected pulp out of the tooth in order to save it. Kids have a diet that can accelerate bacterial growth. Without proper care, this can lead to cavities and other problems that can only be fixed through a root canal. While many people would say, “they are just going to fall out anyway”, baby teeth are important to the development of adult teeth. So, the root canal may save the adult tooth and prevent a range of future problems.
Trauma or Decay
Root canals are recommended for teeth that are damaged or are decaying due to bacteria. In most cases, we think of a root canal being necessary when a cavity or other forms of decay are present. This is true, but kids also experience a high level of physical trauma that can damage their teeth. If decay or trauma damage your kid’s teeth than a root canal may be needed to remove the damaged parts of the tooth.
Tooth pain is also caused by nerve pressure or damage. An infection can cause pulp to swell, putting extra pressure on tooth nerves. Likewise, physical trauma can damage the same nerves. If your child is experiencing constant tooth pain, then the nerve under the tooth may be damaged. A root canal can remove enough pulp or damaged nerve tissue to stop the pain.
Uses Local Anesthesia
When doing a root canal, the dental surgeon uses local anesthesia to numb the pain. Local anesthesia is much easier on patients than general anesthesia. It only works on a small area and does not put your kid to sleep. That way, you can drastically reduce the risks of using anesthesia on a child while reducing the discomfort of the procedure.
If Untreated Could Damage Permanent Tooth
Many parents are apprehensive about root canals for kids. However, it is important to get the root canal done if it is the procedure that is needed. Not treating the problem could damage the permanent tooth that will grow in place of the kid tooth. Whatever damage that affects the kid tooth may also pass on to the adult tooth. For example, the bacteria can transfer between teeth and ruin a permanent tooth as it is growing in. If the kid tooth is lost prematurely, it can affect how the permanent tooth grows in. The other teeth can shift into the spot and cause the new tooth to grow in wrong and need additional work. It is easier and less painful in the long-run to get the root canal.
Over the Counter Pain Management
Fortunately, your child will have access to over the counter pain medication to manage pain and swelling. Tylenol and Ibuprofen are commonly prescribed to manage pain. Plus, that pain will go away quickly as your kid heals.
Ready to Get Started?
If your kid is having problems with their teeth, contact Lindemann Root Canal Specialists today at 810-732-7900 to schedule your appointment.