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Why Root Canal Treatment Is Different in Pediatric Dentistry

Why Root Canal Treatment Is Different in Pediatric Dentistry

You may already be familiar with adult root canal treatment as this procedure is invaluable for saving teeth that are badly infected. During an adult root canal treatment, the nerves contained in the center of the tooth are removed, including those extending into the root canals in the tooth roots. This is fine for adult teeth that have finished developing, but treatment is rather different in pediatric dentistry for children’s milk or primary teeth, due to their structure and function. As primary teeth get ready to fall out, the tooth roots are resorbed by the body, allowing the tooth to loosen and to fall out naturally.

Root Canal Treatment in Pediatric Dentistry

This can complicate the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of a primary tooth. That is why it is so important to take a child to a good pediatric dentist such as Dr. Marina Krepkh or any of the great pediatric dentistry team at the Kids Dentistry Center. Pediatric dentists have specialized training in treating problems with children’s teeth and they will routinely treat root canal issues with primary teeth and will know exactly the best procedure to use.  This experience and specialized knowledge is vital, particularly when seeing children who may not always be able to remember or describe how a tooth feels. They will ensure your kid’s root canal treatment is both safe and appropriate and this therapy is very predictable. You will find a good pediatric dentist will do everything possible to save a primary tooth until it is time for it to come out naturally. There are various different techniques that can be used in pediatric dentistry.

Indirect Pulp Treatment

An indirect pulp treatment may be suggested if your child has a large cavity that doesn’t quite expose the pulp that contains all the nerves of the tooth. In this case, as much of the softer decay is removed as possible without penetrating the pulp. Next, an antibacterial agent will be applied to the tooth along with lining cements to cover the exposed dentin, preventing any further infection. These materials help sterilize the infected dentin and reduce the acidity caused by tooth decay. This treatment can allow the inflammation to subside and as a result reactionary dentin is deposited next to the pulp as it protects itself. A temporary filling is placed for several weeks with a more permanent filling being placed at a later date once the tooth is comfortable and healing. This treatment can be extremely effective.

Direct Pulp Capping

Direct pulp capping treatment preventing the dental pulp from dying is another technique that is very similar and which is used when the pulp is partially exposed but where there is no decay. During this treatment the pulp is capped using materials similar to those used with an indirect pulp treatment, sealing the tooth and preventing infection.


A pulpotomy treatment, a partial pulp removal, is used for primary teeth when the inflammation and infection is confined to the inside of the crown which is the part of the tooth exposed in the mouth. By removing this part of the pulp, the vitality of the nerves in the root canals is preserved.

If your child has been complaining about an uncomfortable tooth (read also: What Should I Do If My Child Has Toothache?) or has tooth sensitivity whenever they eat something hot or cold then it might be time for a checkup with one of our excellent pediatric dentists.


Kids Best Dentist Brooklyn NYC
Dr. Marina Krepkh
7708 4th Avenue 1st floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209 (Bay Ridge)
(718) 491-5300

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Monday 10am – 8pm
Tuesday 11am – 5pm
Wednesday 2pm-7pm
Thursday 3pm-7pm
Friday 10am-4pm

Once a month on Saturday, call the office 718-491-5300 to find out which Saturday.