When your child has a badly decayed primary tooth, root canal therapy might be the best way to keep the tooth healthy and retain function until their adult tooth grows in. At Visalia Dentistry 4 Kids in Visalia, California, dedicated pediatric dentist Tracy Law, DDS, offers customized and comfortable children’s root canals, performed with the utmost care. Call the office to arrange your child’s appointment now.
Many parents ask whether extraction or a root canal is a better choice for a decayed baby tooth. In most cases, a root canal is the preferred treatment for several important reasons.
A root canal preserves your child's natural tooth, in its normal position. With a tooth extraction, your child has an empty tooth socket before they otherwise would. If the adult tooth isn't close to erupting, an empty socket allows other teeth to shift out of position, which can cause major alignment problems.
If your child loses one or more baby teeth before their natural time, it can interfere with normal speech development or distort speech.
Losing baby teeth too early can cause problems with chewing. Your child could develop irregular chewing patterns because of the missing tooth, potentially leading to excessive wear to other teeth.
Children’s root canals are often the best choice for Visalia Dentistry 4 Kids patients. But, tooth extraction might be better in certain situations. Dr. Law discusses both options with you to help you decide what’s best for your child.
If your child is fearful or anxious about dental work, nitrous oxide is usually the best sedation option. Nitrous oxide relaxes your child, but they remain awake and able to communicate during the procedure. Dr. Law numbs the affected tooth with a local anesthetic, too.
Dr. Law then creates an opening in the tooth crown to remove the infected pulp in the middle of the tooth. If needed, Dr. Law removes infected tissue from the tooth roots, as well. Once your child’s tooth is free of infection, Dr. Law disinfects the area and fills the tooth with sterile material.
Depending on how much tooth material Dr. Law removes, he may place either a composite filling or a stainless steel dental crown to protect the tooth after the root canal.
After a root canal, Dr. Law recommends specific recovery guidelines. Usually, over-the-counter pain relievers, in formulas and doses appropriate for your child’s age, offer sufficient pain relief. You can also offer your child an ice pack for their outer jaw. Dr. Law might recommend a soft diet for a day or two.
Children’s root canals can save your child’s current tooth, and also their future oral health. Book an appointment at Visalia Dentistry 4 Kids by phone today.