What Should I Do If My Child Has Toothache?
If your child has toothache, then please don’t ignore it but instead book an appointment with the Kids Dentistry Center for a proper evaluation. We have several great pediatric dentists including Dr. Marina Krepkh and can examine your child’s mouth to determine the cause of their dental pain. Prompt treatment can often help to save the tooth but otherwise it may be necessary to extract it. It’s likely the tooth is infected in some way, possibly due to untreated tooth decay.
What Happens during an Examination for Toothache?
Our pediatric dentists will visually examine the tooth and if necessary can take a dental x-ray of the tooth in question to determine the extent of any damage and infection. This will show whether the roots of the tooth are infected and helps us to accurately plan treatment. Once the examination is completed, our pediatric dentist will discuss their findings with you, including all available treatment options. There are several ways and infected tooth can be treated and the most straightforward is to simply fill a cavity.
Treating Toothache with a Filling
Sometimes toothache can be treated with a simple filling, provided it is diagnosed early in the day. During this treatment our dentist will numb the tooth before removing all the decayed portion of the tooth. If the decay is near the pulp in the centre of the tooth then the dentist may place a special type of lining to help protect the pulp and reduce any irritation or inflammation which could otherwise cause discomfort. They can then place a suitable filling to repair it and restore it so it can be used normally. Treatment is quick and straightforward but often toothache will mean a tooth is more extensively infected.
Treating Toothache with a Pulpotomy
If the infection has reached the central part of the tooth or the pulp then a different type of treatment is required which is very similar to a mini root canal. This treatment is called a pulpotomy and is carried out on a child’s primary or milk teeth. During this treatment the pulp in the center of the tooth will be cleaned out and removed. Afterwards the area will be disinfected and sealed so the infection cannot spread to the root canals in the tooth which extend into the tooth roots. Afterwards the tooth is restored with either a filling or a crown. This treatment can save a badly infected tooth from being extracted, ensuring it will last long enough until the adult teeth are ready to push through.
Treating Toothache with an Extraction
If a tooth is so badly infected it has become abscessed, then it may be necessary to remove the tooth to clear up the infection. This is something we try to avoid doing, even if the affected tooth is only a baby tooth. Baby teeth have an important role to play in the development of adult teeth and when they are lost too soon it can create problems with the way the adult teeth erupt, increasing the chances a child will require orthodontic treatment to correct teeth that have come through crooked or twisted due to overcrowding in the mouth.
This is because when a tooth is lost too soon the remaining teeth tend to drift into the space left behind, reducing the amount of space for the adult tooth to erupt. When a tooth is lost too soon then we may often fit a space maintainer to help keep open the space until the adult tooth is ready to erupt, minimizing problems caused by an early tooth extraction.