Do Children Ever Need Root Canal Treatment?
When a cavity forms, both kids and adults need to receive a dental filling. But what if a child has an infected tooth? Will they need a root canal? In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist talks about how we can treat infected teeth with a root canal alternative known as a pulpotomy.
The Onset of Dental Infection
Cavities occur when harmful oral bacteria reach the dentin, the sensitive structure that makes up most of the tooth. This occurs when the enamel is weakened and eroded, or damaged through injury or teeth grinding. An infection means the bacteria has moved beyond the dentin and made contact with the pulp, the tooth’s nerve center. This could occur due to untreated cavities or severe injury. Without treatment, the infection could grow so severe the tooth needs to be extracted before the infection reaches other parts of the smile. Warning signs include persistent tooth sensitivity and toothaches, pain when biting down or chewing, swelling near the aching tooth, or even a discharge from it. When your child experiences discomfort, bring him or her in right away for an examination.
Preparing for Treatment
With detailed digital imagery, we can diagnose the smile with precision and accuracy. We identify the presence and position of the infection so we can plan the treatment. Our team also wants to make sure your children are comfortable. We know how to talk to kids and help them feel relaxed, and we also offer local anesthesia and sedation so they’re calm and comfortable throughout the treatment process. We always want them to look forward to their next visit.
Once your little one is comfortable, our team will begin the procedure. In lieu of the traditional root canal, we offer a conservative alternative known as a pulpotomy. We open the tooth and then remove the infected portion of the inner tissues. A medicated filling is then added to the tooth, and cured. For minor cases, this is where the procedure ends. If the infection is more severe, we may need to cap the tooth with a crown. For teeth undergoing major pressure from chewing and speaking, we could opt for stainless steel. We also have more lifelike NuSmile zirconia too. To help keep smiles healthy in the new year, make sure your kids brush and floss daily, cut back on sugary and starchy foods and drinks, and make time to see us every six months for a checkup and cleaning too!
Does Your Child Need to See Our Team?
If you have questions about treating discomfort in little smiles, or if you would like to schedule a restorative procedure, we invite you to contact your Dallas, TX pediatric dentist, Dr. Marr, by calling (214) 321-4880.
filed under: Restorations for Kids