Root Canal Treatments
If your child’s dentist has recommended root canal, or endodontic treatment, you might be asking yourself why. If it were a simple cavity that had been caught and treated in the early stages, a regular dental filling or maybe even a dental crown would be the recommended treatment. But in more severe cases, when a cavity progresses to the point of infection, a root canal is needed. Because infection can migrate out of the tooth root itself, and into the surrounding jawbone, it can cause more pain and/or possibly form an abscess in your child’s tooth.
Symptoms and diagnosis:
A pediatric dentist, or an endodontist who specializes in tooth pain and pulp damage, can perform a root canal treatment in children. In the initial dental exam, the dentist will review your child’s complete medical history. He/she will also assess the pain. If pain occurs in response to stimuli, such as hot or cold, sweet or acidic foods and beverages, or impact with another tooth, are a number of possible causes not all of which would require root canal treatment. But spontaneous (unprovoked), constant, throbbing pain typically indicates extensive pulp damage. Infection can travel out of the root tip and into the surrounding jawbone, possibly forming an abscess, and trigger secondary pain. An x-ray will be taken to visualize what’s happening inside the tooth below the gum line.
Root canal procedure:
Root canal treatment is usually an in-office procedure performed under local anesthesia that completely numbs the affected tooth. When a root canal is performed, the infected portions of the tooth, including the pulp, are carefully removed. Tooth pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and other tissue. Any infection of your child’s tooth pulp can be very painful for them, and many parents worry about their kids experiencing pain during the actual root canal treatment. But there’s no need to worry…a root canal will actually relieve the pain by getting rid of the damaged portions of your child’s tooth. Once the pulp is removed and the empty space is disinfected, sterilized, and filled, a crown or other restoration will be applied, further sealing the tooth to prevent more decay.
Preparing for your child's root canal treatment:
As you probably already know, most of the legends you may have heard about root canal therapy simply aren't true. In fact, the procedure generally causes little discomfort and is quite successful in relieving tooth pain! Pediatric dentists are highly skilled at using anesthesia to block the sensation of pain, and are experienced in calming the fears of young ones. While it's understandable that you may be nervous, it will help if you don't let your child pick up on your own anxiety. A calming voice and a gentle touch can do much to relieve stress. A root canal is nothing to fear: think of it as a treatment that may save your child from some tooth pain now, and potentially a lot of corrective dental work later on. Call us today or visit our office located at 130 Almshouse Road #101 Richboro, PA 18954.