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Do Kids Ever Need Root Canals?

August 17, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — rozas @ 3:16 pm

If you’re like most parents, you may not think your child could ever need a root canal. While this would be nice to assume, it’s unfortunately not the case. Many children face the reality of needing this kind of treatment because of severe decay or damage. But did you know there are two types of procedures a child can experience? If you want to know more about the differences between a pulpotomy and a pulpectomy, read on.

How Necessary Are Root Canals for Kids?

If your child still has their baby teeth, you might think a root canal is not a necessary form of treatment. These teeth will eventually fall out, and they’ll get to start anew with their permanent teeth.

While this way of thinking isn’t entirely wrong, it’s also not completely right. Yes, baby teeth will fall out eventually, but how they are cared for while inside the mouth will determine the health of a child’s permanent teeth once they erupt.

There are several reasons why a root canal might be necessary, such as severe pain, your child has an infection that needs to be treated before it spreads further, or there is a tooth that doesn’t need to fall out just yet. A root canal can help to keep it in place a bit longer.

What Makes a Pulpotomy Different Than a Pulpectomy?

A pulpotomy is commonly performed when a child experiences what is known as pulpitis, which is when the pulp inside the tooth becomes inflamed because of an untreated cavity.

The process involves removing the pulp that exists within the crown. The remaining pulp that lives inside the root canal will remain untouched and intact.

A pulpectomy on the other hand is usually recommended when decay infects a tooth, and it remains untreated for a prolonged period of time. If it extends beyond the crown and into the root canal, it can lead to tooth sensitivity and intense pain. The treatment may also be recommended if severe trauma causes a tooth to crack or break.

To perform a pulpectomy, your child’s pediatric dentist will use local anesthesia before placing a dental dam over the area to isolate the tooth. The decayed portions of the tooth as well as the pulp will be removed before it is filled and capped with a custom crown.

By allowing your child’s dentist to perform a root canal, you help to ensure a brighter, healthier future once their permanent teeth move into place.

About the Author
Dr. Melissa Rozas is a children’s dentist in Coppell who completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston. After finishing her pediatric dental residency at UT/Herman Hospital, she became board-certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. She and her team are equipped to perform root canals should your child suffer from facial trauma or severe decay that extends to the tooth’s pulp. If your child is complaining of intense pain or sensitivity, contact us at (972) 433-7516.

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