A+ Dental

Houston Pediatric Specialists

When Does A Child Need Root Canal Therapy?

The need for root canal therapy is indicated if a tooth has a cavity that reaches the nerve, or if the tooth gets chipped resulting in a nerve exposure.

When this happens, the pulp becomes damaged beyond simple medication or surface repair. As a result, the infected pulp is removed through root canal therapy and a crown is placed on the tooth, allowing it to be strong enough so the tooth can remain in the child’s mouth until the permanent tooth comes out.

Root Canal Therapy for Baby Teeth

Because baby teeth are so important, the pediatric dentists at A+ Dental recommend that these teeth be saved instead of being taken out prematurely. It is, for this reason, that root canal therapy for kids is a potential option for saving a baby tooth that is affected by extensive decay.

How Is Root Canal Therapy On Baby Teeth Different Than On Adult Teeth?

For children, a pulpotomy is done, where only the infected pulp chamber is removed. For the most part, the dentist does not need to use special instruments to remove the pulp from roots of the tooth since only the surface nerve structure in the chamber is removed. This makes the root canal therapy procedure much faster, easier, and a lot less painful for children. Also, after the root canal therapy is completed, a crown is placed on the tooth right away to protect the weakened tooth.

When is Tooth Removal Necessary?

At A+ Dental, we would only recommend tooth removal when no other treatment, not even a baby root canal, will save the tooth. Some reasons a tooth may have to be removed include extreme decay past the point of restorability, severe dental trauma, or infection. Another reason might be that the tooth is interrupting proper tooth development. We believe in honest dental care, so we will always let you know exactly why tooth removal is necessary if we suggest that treatment.

What Will Happen When The Permanent Tooth Wants To Come In If The Baby Tooth Has Root Canal Therapy And A Crown?

Since the material we use at A+ Dental for baby tooth root canal therapy is completely biocompatible, it will not negatively affect the incoming permanent tooth. Rather, the tooth and crown will get loose in its own time and will fall out like all other baby teeth.

Will My Child Have Pain After Baby Root Canal Therapy Is Performed?

Since the affected nerve of the tooth is removed, your child may have very minimal pain after the root canal therapy treatment. During the treatment itself, the tooth is completely numbed using local anesthesia. However, it is common to have a sensitivity to the crown or to any dental procedure for the first two weeks.

What Post-Operative Instructions Should I Follow?

After your child has gotten a dental extraction, we will walk you through post-operative instructions to help the area heal as quickly as possible. Know that some bleeding, in the beginning, is normal, and you can change the gauze out every 20 minutes until the blood clot forms.

If your child feels any discomfort, you can give them over-the-counter pain medication. If they have any swelling, you can place an ice pack or a bag of frozen veggies on the area for about 20 minutes. Eat soft foods for the first day after the procedure, and don’t use a straw as this could prevent the blood clot from forming properly.


Ask us a question or schedule an appointment

We can’t wait to talk to you about how we can make your child’s smile healthy and happy. Call us at 832-241-3434 or fill out a form below. A team member will be in touch within 24-48 business hours.