Is your child scheduled for a root canal? Do you have questions or concerns about the procedure? We know this can be a stressful experience for both you and your child. To ensure you are prepared, we have created this step-by-step guide to walk you through the steps of this endodontic treatment. You are in good hands at Youth Dental and Vision, and we will do everything we can to make this a stress-free procedure for your child.
Reasons a Root Canal Is Necessary
Before your dentist can recommend a root canal treatment procedure for your child, they will need to determine why there is pain or discomfort in the affected area. The most common reasons include the following:
- Decay: Tooth decay happens when bacterial infections erode tooth enamel and cause cavities to form. This can lead to infection of the inner layers of the tooth and cause severe pain and discomfort. If this occurs, waiting too long to get a root canal can result in tooth loss. This decay can occur in baby teeth or permanent teeth.
- Trauma: If you’ve had a traumatic injury to your mouth, such as an accident or blow to the face, this can also lead to an infection of the inner layers of your tooth and an exposed tooth root.
- Re-Treatment: Sometimes, a previous root canal procedure may fail and require re-treatment
Root Canal Procedure
Step 1: Examination. The first step for any dental procedure is an examination of your child’s teeth to ensure the proper treatment plan is followed. Your dentist may take x-rays of your mouth or teeth to gain further insight into what is happening inside your child’s mouth.
Step 2: Anesthesia. Once the decision has been made to proceed with a root canal, anesthesia will be administered to ensure your child won’t feel any pain during the procedure. This might include injections around the infected tooth, or topical treatments applied directly to the affected area. The type of anesthesia used will depend on the severity of the condition and other factors such as age or medical history.
Step 3: Assess the canals of the tooth. A protective barrier called a dental dam will be placed over the tooth to isolate it from the rest of the teeth during the procedure. Next, your dentist will create an access point to the pulp chamber of the tooth by drilling into the tooth with a small drill bit. This creates an opening where they can reach down into each individual root canal, clean out any debris, and remove any infected tissue or bacteria that may be present.
Step 4: Cleanse & fill the root canals. Once all of the diseased pulp has been removed from the canals, they will then be cleansed using special instruments like excavators, files, and irrigation solutions to flush away any remaining debris or infected pulp in the area. After this is complete, a rubber-like material called gutta-percha is used to fill each root canal before being sealed off with adhesive cement or another temporary filling material.
Step 5: Crown placement & restoration. Once all of the previous steps are complete, it’s time for the finishing touches! A temporary crown may be placed over the treated tooth until a permanent crown can be placed at a follow-up appointment. In most cases, a stainless steel crown is used; if no crown is needed, a permanent filling will be used.
Your child may experience mild discomfort for a couple of days after the appointment. During this time, it’s important that your child maintains good oral health practices like flossing once a day and brushing twice a day.
Beautiful Teeth and Smiles
A successful root canal procedure can help save your child’s natural tooth from extraction while restoring its function and appearance. With proper care and hygiene after treatment, your child should have no problem with their newly repaired tooth. If you have questions about how to proceed with a root canal procedure for your child, please do not hesitate to contact us today. At Youth Dental and Vision, we’re here for you every step of the way!Visit us in Denver at Denver Youth Dental and Vision and Hampden Youth Dentistry and Orthodontics. We also serve the Thornton and Aurora population. Visit us at Aurora Youth Dental and Vision and Thornton Youth Dentistry. To schedule an appointment at any of our locations, call (720) 707-0229 or complete the online booking form.