Root Canal Treatment for Children

If your child’s dentist has recommended root canal, or endodontic (“endo” = inside; “dont” = tooth), treatment, you might be asking why. After all, root canal treatment is a way of saving a tooth with bacterial infection or inflammation by removing the pulp in the center of the tooth. Since your child’s primary (baby) teeth will eventually come out on their own, you might wonder what the point is of trying to save one that is at risk of being lost prematurely.

A kids dentist may be a dental specialist called a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists have gone through kids dentistry training to learn about the unique dental needs of children. Treatment Root canal treatment is usually an in-office procedure performed under local anesthesia that completely numbs the affected tooth. Prior to performing root canal therapy, the dentist will place a rubber “dam” around the tooth, isolating it from the rest of the mouth to prevent contamination. Then, he or she will use a miniature drill to create a tiny opening in the tooth to access the pulp. Using very small instruments, the dentist will next remove all the diseased pulp tissue from the entire length of the root canal(s) and pulp chamber, and disinfect them with antiseptic and antibacterial solutions. The cleaned space is typically filled with gutta-percha, a rubber-like natural material. The final step is to seal the access hole that was made to treat the canal(s).

Treatment

Root canal treatment is usually an in-office procedure performed under local anesthesia that completely numbs the affected tooth.

Prior to performing root canal therapy, the dentist will place a rubber “dam” around the tooth, isolating it from the rest of the mouth to prevent contamination. Then, he or she will use a miniature drill to create a tiny opening in the tooth to access the pulp. Using very small instruments, the dentist will next remove all the diseased pulp tissue from the entire length of the root canal(s) and pulp chamber, and disinfect them with antiseptic and antibacterial solutions. The cleaned space is typically filled with gutta-percha, a rubber-like natural material. The final step is to seal the access hole that was made to treat the canal(s).

Protecting Teeth and Saving Smiles

As is typical of other types of medical problems, the optimal approach is to prevent pulp damage by helping children keep their teeth healthy and protected. That starts with good dental hygiene practices, regular dental visits, and the use of protective mouthguards while playing sports.