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Root Canal For Kids

As parents, it can be stressful to hear that your child may need a root canal. You may have questions and concerns about the procedure, but rest assured that root canals for kids are safe and effective in treating certain dental issues.

Root Canal For Kids

As parents, it can be stressful to hear that your child may need a root canal. You may have questions and concerns about the procedure, but rest assured that root canals for kids are safe and effective in treating certain dental issues.

When is a Root Canal Necessary?

A root canal is necessary when the root of the tooth becomes infected or damaged. An infection in the root can cause a lot of pain and, if left untreated, can lead to the loss of the tooth or even the spread of the infection.

To better understand why a root canal is necessary, it’s helpful to know a little bit about the anatomy of a tooth. Each tooth is made up of three main layers:

  • Enamel: the hard, white outer layer of the tooth you can see.
  • Dentin: the layer under the enamel that makes up most of the tooth.
  • Pulp: the innermost layer of the tooth, which contains blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues.  

Signs Your Child May Need a Root Canal

Since a root canal is typically needed when there is an infection or damage to the pulp, there are a few common signs to watch out for. 

  • Severe tooth pain, especially when biting or chewing.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
  • Swelling or tenderness in the gums near the affected tooth.
  • Darkening or discoloration of the affected tooth.

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with their dentist for a thorough examination.

Baby Root Canal (Pulpotomy)

A baby root canal, or a pulpotomy, is performed on baby teeth when the pulp has been affected by decay or infection. This treatment is necessary to save the tooth and prevent further damage.

Why Baby Teeth Need Root Canals

You may wonder why it’s necessary to save a baby tooth when it is eventually going to fall out. Baby teeth are important for many reasons. They help with chewing food and speech development and make room for permanent teeth. Losing baby teeth too soon can cause problems and lead to expensive dental treatments later when they are older. This is why we do everything we can to preserve a baby tooth!

Root Canal For Kids

Baby Root Canal Procedure

The procedure for a baby root canal is similar to that of an adult root canal. 

  • The dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth.
  • They will create a small opening in the tooth to access the infected or damaged pulp.
  • The affected tissue will be removed, and the inside of the tooth will be cleaned.
  • A special medication will be placed inside the tooth and then the hole is sealed. Sometimes, a crown may be placed on top of the tooth for added protection.

Adult Root Canal

If your child’s permanent tooth needs a root canal, the procedure will be a bit different. An adult root canal involves removing the entire pulp of the tooth (not just the infected pulp) and replacing it with a filling material called gutta percha. 

The Procedure

  • The dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth.
  • An opening will be created in the tooth to access the pulp.
  • The infected or damaged tissue will be removed.
  • The inside of the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned.
  • A special filling material will be placed inside the tooth to prevent future infections.
  • If the tooth being treated is a molar or one of the back grinding teeth, it will need a dental crown.  

After the Procedure

After a root canal, your child may experience some discomfort or sensitivity in the affected area. This is normal and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. To prevent infection or complications, follow the after-care instructions given by the dentist. 

Sedation Options for Root Canals in Kids

We know that dental surgery can cause a lot of fear and anxiety. That’s why we offer sedation options to help your child feel relaxed and comfortable during the procedure. We offer the following sedation options:

  • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
  • Oral conscious sedation
  • IV sedation 
  • General anesthesia 

Dr. Tasos Belegratis, our intravenous sedation specialist, received extensive training and certification in sedation dentistry for children. Dr. Belegratis and our team of experienced dentists will work with you and your child to determine the best sedation option based on their needs.

Denver Pediatric Dentistry

At Youth Dental & Orthodontics, we specialize in providing gentle and compassionate dental care for kids. Our team of experienced dentists is skilled in performing root canals for kids and will ensure that your child’s experience is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

We know that dental care can be expensive. We accept Medicaid at all our locations and work with most insurance companies. We also offer flexible spending accounts and have several payment options. Our goal is to make dental care accessible and affordable for all families.

If you are searching for a kid’s dentist in Denver, we can help. We have locations in Denver, Aurora, Hampden and Thornton. Call (303) 953-8801 to book an appointment at any of our locations or complete the online booking form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a root canal hurt?

No, root canals are generally not painful. The procedure isn’t usually any more painful than a tooth filling. Your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area to ensure it stays numb for the entire procedure. You may feel pressure during the procedure, but it should not be painful.

When is it too late to get a root canal?

If the infection was left for too long without treatment, it may result in bone loss in the jaw and the tooth may need to be pulled out. That’s why it’s important to address any signs of infection or damage to the tooth as soon as possible.

How do I prepare my child for a root canal?

It’s important to be honest with your child about the procedure and what they can expect. You can also use books or videos to explain the process in a kid-friendly way. It may also be helpful to bring their favorite toy or blanket for comfort during the appointment. Our team will do everything we can to make your child feel comfortable and at ease during the root canal procedure.

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