When a tooth develops a cavity, we often address the concern in the early stages with a filling. But what if the cavity has reached a more advanced stage, or a painful infection or dental abscess has developed in your child’s tooth? In these cases, a root canal from your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist could help address the issue and avoid the need for tooth extraction.
The Causes of an Infected Tooth
Within each tooth is a group of blood vessels and nerves called the pulp, which is crucial for the continued health and function of your tooth. Should a crack or chip form in a tooth, or an advanced cavity develop, this could expose the pulp to bacteria, allowing a painful infection to arise. Eventually, this could lead to a prematurely lost tooth, leading to the potential spread of infection and the risk of misalignment, as the arrival of permanent teeth will be impacted. Warning signs may include toothaches and pain when biting down or chewing, swelling near a tooth, or a discharge from it. If your child attends routine visits, then we can likely uncover this issue in the earliest stages, before your child suffers from increasing discomfort.
The Treatment Process
A pediatric root canal, also known as a pulpotomy, is a more conservative treatment than a root canal for adults. However, the results are the same: a halt to discomfort and a lifelike tooth. First, we administer sedation to help your little one remain calm and comfortable throughout the proceedings. We then use a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and open it to access and remove infected tissues. We then place a medicated filling to restore the missing tissues and structure, completing the procedure. In some cases, we may cap the tooth with a dental crown. An extraction could be necessary if the infection leaves the tooth weakened and at a risk of future breakage, otherwise your child will likely enjoy a newly restored and comfortable tooth.
Keeping Smiles Healthy
Following treatment, you and your family can take steps to help reduce the risk of future issues like tooth decay or infection. First, make sure your child brushes his or her teeth in the morning and again at night, using a fluoride toothpaste. Floss before bed, and try to cut back on sugary foods and drinks. Every six months, be sure to see us for a checkup and cleaning appointment.
Does Your Child Have an Aching Tooth?
Endodontic treatment helps preserve smiles and prevent the need for an extraction in many cases. 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.