What to Do When Your Child Has Severe Tooth Decay

Tooth decay often plays a major role in children’s dental health care. In fact, most people experience it at some point in their lives, and for many people, the first instance is during their childhood. The good news is that tooth decay is more preventable today than it’s ever been thanks to advancements in dental hygiene and health care. Even if it does develop in your child’s tooth, decay can often be treated with a minimally invasive procedure, such as a tooth filling. However, if your child experiences more severe tooth decay, then more comprehensive treatment may be necessary.

What severe decay means for your child’s tooth

Tooth decay looks the same no matter the age of the tooth it affects. The condition describes an infection in healthy, natural tooth structure that’s caused by bacteria naturally inhabiting the mouth. In severe cases, the infection can erode significant amounts of tooth structure and reach the nerves and tissues that are housed in the tooth’s pulp chamber. However, teeth themselves differ depending on age. Younger permanent teeth or primary (baby) teeth may not be able to withstand the root canal treatment that is typically recommended for adult teeth with severe decay.

How adult tooth decay is treated

Modern tooth fillings for both children and adults are typically made from a biocompatible, tooth-colored resin material. This makes treating mild to moderate cavities minimally invasive, allowing us to preserve most of your child’s healthy, natural tooth structure in the process. When adults exhibit severe tooth decay and the infection has reached their tooth’s pulp chamber, the conventional solution is often to perform root canal treatment. This involves carefully accessing the tooth’s interior chamber in order to clean out the infected tissues and tooth structure. Yet, children’s teeth are significantly smaller and still growing and developing. Therefore, addressing more severe tooth decay in your child’s tooth decay must be a more delicate process.

Minimizing treatment for children’s teeth

While conventional root canal therapy may not be a viable solution for dealing with your child’s severe tooth decay, the process for doing so is somewhat similar. During pulpotomy treatment, we can carefully remove the infection from your child’s tooth while minimizing any changes to the tooth structure. This helps ensure the tooth is not compromised any further by progressive tooth infection, yet keeps treatment conservative enough not to negatively impact your child’s oral health development.

Learn if your child’s tooth needs a pulpotomy

Traditional root canal treatment may not be appropriate for children’s teeth, but we can perform a minimized version specifically for children who experience severe tooth decay. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Pediatric Dental Care at Casa Linda in Dallas, TX today at 214-321-4880. We proudly serve patients who live around Casa Linda and all surrounding Dallas communities.