Yes, even a baby tooth can require a root canal treatment.
Hearing that your child will need a root canal treatment can sometimes be startling. It can be a little overwhelming and scary! Tooth decay happens, even on baby teeth, and it is important to take care of the problem before it goes too far and causes lasting damage. Thankfully, the technology is here to help remove the dead and decaying tissue from inside that little tooth, keeping your child’s beautiful smile shining.
How did this happen?
There are many reasons why your child might need a root canal and crown. They may have had an accident or injury that severely damaged the tooth, or maybe the cavity in your child’s tooth became severely infected. If the dentist determines that removing the affected tooth would cause issues with your child’s eating or speech, a root canal treatment might be the best choice for them in the long run.
But aren’t they just baby teeth?
Even though people usually think of root canals as a treatment for adults, it is a procedure that can be done at any age. After all, children aren’t exempt from tooth decay. Yes, even if the affected tooth is a baby tooth that will be replaced, it is always best to address the issue before it has a chance to cause any lasting damage.
If ignored, the decay could spread to other teeth, or even into the jaw. If the tooth is lost or pulled too early, it can cause their permanent teeth to come in incorrectly. This can affect how the child’s jaw moves over time or cause problems that will need to be fixed through orthodontics when they are older.
Signs to Watch For
A minor cavity shouldn’t hurt too much—though it should still be addressed before it gets worse. If the pain is excessive, there is a high chance the tooth decay has spread deeper into the tooth.
The pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp pain, and will vary from child to child. Regardless, the tooth will certainly be bugging your little one and likely keeping them (and you!) up at night.
Fever and Swelling
If your child spikes a fever or has swollen gums and glands, there is an increased chance that the tooth has become infected. Don’t ignore these symptoms! Be sure to contact your child’s dentist as soon as possible if any of these signs appear.
Don’t ignore it!
Be sure to contact your child’s dentist if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Every child is different, meaning every cavity can have its own unique symptoms. The sooner the problem is addressed, the easier the treatment will likely be.
Remember, if a root canal treatment is suggested by your child’s dentist, they have a very good reason for it—even if it was suggested for a baby tooth. If the problem is ignored for too long, the tooth decay can spread to other teeth, or even to the jaw. This can affect your child for the rest of their life. If the adult teeth erupt incorrectly due to the premature loss of the baby tooth, it can mean future orthodontic care for your child, or even create issues with their jaw functionality over time.
Don’t forget to bring up any of your questions or concerns with the dentist. You want to be sure both you and your child leave that appointment knowing what’s going on.
The idea of your little one going through a root canal treatment can terrify any parent. Be sure to ask any questions you may have—your child’s dentist will want to ensure you and your child are both comfortable with the process. Remember, once your child’s root canal treatment is complete, they will start feeling better in no time!
If the affected tooth is a molar, a pre-formed stainless steel crown will be placed over the tooth. If it is an anterior tooth, aesthetic EZCrowns by Sprig will be used instead. Both of these options are durable, and ready to withstand your child’s active lifestyle.
Prevention Is Key
As parents, we often want to control everything when it comes to our children. We don’t want them to be in pain, we want to ensure that nothing ever happens to them. But we can’t keep them in a bubble. Sometimes things happen, even when we do everything possible.
When it comes to tooth decay, prevention is key. The best thing we can do for our child’s dental health is to ensure our children understand how to care for their teeth. From a young age, teach them to brush their teeth twice a day, and don’t forget to teach them how to floss! These skills will follow them for the rest of their life and could simplify their dental care in the future.
It makes it easier for both the parent and child to have all of the dental solutions under one roof. Here at We Make Kids Smile, we are fully equipped to take care of your child’s dental health—whether they need routine cleanings, or need further work such as a root canal treatment and crown.
Contact We Make Kids Smile and make an appointment today.
Whether your child is in need of routine cleaning or you think they might be a candidate for something like a root canal treatment, be sure to call or text us for an appointment. We are here to answer any questions you might have!