Do Baby Teeth Ever Need Root Canals?

Smiling dark eyed boy looking sideways from the dental chair

No one wants to hear that they need a root canal, but thanks to today’s modern dentistry, root canals are not as scary as they used to be. Sometimes, a child’s baby tooth might need a root canal. These are only recommended if we’ve considered every other option. When the choice is an extraction or a root canal, we’ll almost always choose a root canal. This lets your child keep their natural tooth. Read on to learn more about root canals for children.

Why Would a Baby Tooth Need a Root Canal?

Baby teeth can get infected just like adult teeth. Infections can occur because of severe tooth decay or an injury. If that infection reaches the pulp of the tooth, a root canal is necessary to treat the problem. If the root of the tooth is okay, we’ll only take out the pulp. This is called a “pulpotomy.” If the pulp and the root are infected, we need to clean out the whole area with a “pulpectomy.”

The Root Canal Process

Overall, both a pulpotomy and a pulpectomy follow the same steps. We first numb the area, so your child won’t feel pain. Next, we make a tiny opening in the tooth and take out the infected tissue. To make sure the infection doesn’t spread, we’ll add medication. Once we’re sure the area is clean, we’ll seal it and add a filling or crown to keep the tooth strong. Most baby root canals take only one visit. If you’re concerned about the length of time, just let us know. If your child has anxiety, we can also discuss sedation options.

Why We Prefer Root Canals Over an Extraction

Why perform a root canal on a baby tooth if it will fall out eventually? We want children to keep their baby teeth until they fall out naturally. If they come out before they’re ready, it can cause teeth to shift and disrupt the development of the permanent teeth. Missing teeth can also cause difficulty with eating and speaking.

Is Your Child Experiencing Symptoms of an Infected Tooth?

When a tooth becomes infected, symptoms like throbbing pain and sensitivity are common. If your child is complaining about tooth issues, contact us at Sunshine Pediatric Dentistry as soon as possible. We can identify the problem and decide if a root canal is the best treatment. We’ll make your child as comfortable as possible at our San Antonio office. Once the root canal is over, their pain will be gone and they’ll be back on track with their oral health!

Contact us if your child is experiencing tooth pain!