Do Kids Need to Have Root Canal Treatment?
Yes, kids can have a type of root canal treatment that is slightly different to an adult root canal. With prompt treatment from one of our pediatric dentists brooklyn at the Kids Dentistry Center, a lot can be done to help save badly infected baby teeth.
When Might a Child Need Root Canal Treatment?
Children can get decayed teeth every bit as easily as an adult and it’s just as painful for them to have an infected tooth. Tooth decay can advance quite quickly in a child’s tooth which is why it’s so important to make sure your kid visits Dr. Marina Krepkh or any of our excellent pediatric dentists at regular intervals. To avoid root canal treatment our aim is to catch any tooth decay before it reaches the pulp and begins to cause significant pain.
Indirect Pulp Treatment
We can treat relatively deep cavities where the decay hasn’t reached or barely exposes the pulp through removing much of the decay before applying a special antibacterial agent. The cavity may be lined with special cement before the tooth is temporarily restored. These materials help to sterilize the area where the decay was present and allow any inflammation in the pulp to subside. After a while a more permanent filling can be used, once we are sure treatment has been successful.
Treating a Tooth Where the Decay Has Reached the Pulp
If the decay has reached the pulp then your child will need what’s called a pulpotomy. This is a partial pulp removal that has a 90% success rate. It is used to treat decay in primary teeth where the pulp has been exposed but where the infection is confined to the crown of the tooth which is the part normally exposed above the gums. During this treatment our pediatric dentist will remove the pulp but will leave the root canals intact. The root canals extend down into the tooth roots and leaving them in place helps the tooth to remain partially vital. Treatment can only be successful if the remaining tissue in the root canal is healthy. If it isn’t then your kid may need what’s called a pulpectomy.
What Is a Pulpectomy?
This procedure removes all the pulp tissue and is used where the infection is quite substantial. If this is the case then your child might have been in quite a bit of pain and it’s possible their gums or cheek may have become swollen. To treat this, the pediatric dentist will drill into the tooth to allow the infection to drain out and may prescribe antibiotics. The procedure to remove the pulp resembles an adult root canal treatment and removes all the infected tissues from the pulp and the root canals. The root canals are thoroughly disinfected and are filled so they cannot become reinfected. The filling material is quite special as it can be completely absorbed by the body. This is important when treating primary teeth as the tooth roots have to be absorbed so the primary tooth can be shed naturally to make room for the adult tooth.
Afterwards the tooth is restored with either a stainless steel crown if it is right in the back of the mouth, or with a composite tooth colored resin crown as these crowns are purely temporary until the adult teeth emerge.
Kids Best Dentist NYC
Dr. Marina Krepkh (Brooklyn Pediatric Dentist)
7708 4th Avenue 1st floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209 (Bay Ridge)