One of the most important reasons why prevention is such a heavy focus of your child’s dental health care is because, once a problem like tooth decay develops, it’s impact must be addressed immediately. The longer it takes, the more advanced the decay or other concern can become, and the treatment needed to address could be more extensive than expected. In the case of treating children’s teeth that are affected by decay, prevention and prompt treatment are especially important. Today, we examine why, and what your options may be if your child’s tooth becomes severely decayed and needs saving.
The state of a severely decayed tooth
Tooth decay is most commonly recognized for the cavities that they cause to form in natural tooth structure. The process begins when your child’s tooth enamel grows too weak under attacks from oral bacteria and acids from their food and beverages. Enough of this and your child’s tooth structure will be exposed to harmful oral bacteria and infection, or decay, that leads to a cavity forming. When this infection becomes severe, it means that your child’s tooth has become decayed within its inner chamber, called the pulp, and the root canal that’s connected to it.
When your child needs more than a filling
When the state of your child’s tooth decay is severe, the common method of treating cavities with minimal, tooth-colored fillings won’t suffice for your child’s tooth. For severely decayed adult teeth, the preferable solution may be root canal treatment, which involves removing the infected tissues from within the pulp and root canal, then filling and sealing them. However, with children’s teeth, particularly primary ones, full root canal treatment may be more extensive than your child’s dentist prefers. Instead, we may suggest performing pulpotomy on the tooth, which is a more conservative version of treating the infected inner structures of your child’s tooth.
In extreme cases of tooth decay
The point of pulpotomy for a severely infected child’s tooth is to remove the extent of the infection while preserving as much of the healthy, natural tooth structure as possible. Whenever possible, it’s preferable to restore and protect natural tooth structure and avoid having to replace it. Yet, some cases of extreme tooth decay might not be treatable even with personalized pulpotomy. To help your child avoid other, more severe oral health concerns, the tooth may need to be extracted.
Learn about treating your child’s severe tooth decay
When tooth decay becomes too severe for a tooth filling, saving your child’s tooth and oral health could require more involved treatment, such as pulpotomy. 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.