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Pediatric Dentistry: What is a Baby Root Canal?
Most parents who think of pediatric dentistry think of routine checkups that entail routine cleanings or exams. Some parents do not realize that children have a high risk of developing cavities or infections near or in their teeth that will require more than a routine cleaning. When this happens, a root canal is likely necessary.
The term root canal often induces fear and anxiety in patients of all ages because, historically, it has a reputation of causing severe pain. Thankfully, times have changed. Pediatric dentistry, in particular, makes an effort to minimize pain and ensure a seamless procedure. Below is an overview of root canals and what they entail as they pertain to pediatric dentistry. This information can be especially helpful to review when preparing children for an upcoming appointment.
Root canals in pediatric dentistry
What is a pediatric dentistry root canal?
A root canal in pediatric dentistry is a procedure that is typically needed for a baby tooth. Baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth, which is why salvaging an infected tooth through a root canal is key. A pediatric dentistry root canal serves the same purpose as a traditional root canal, but it is geared towards baby teeth as opposed to adult teeth. Additionally, because the procedure is done in a pediatric dentistry setting, actions are gentler and more concise to ensure minimal pain. Root canal procedures in pediatric dentistry typically follow the steps outlined below.
- A sedative will be administered, which may be an oral medicine or nitrous oxide.
- The child's mouth is completely numbed so that they do not feel any pain or discomfort.
- The pediatric dentist will use a dental drill to drill into the infected tooth and remove the infected parts of the tooth.
- Once the roots of the tooth are exposed, the pediatric dentist will clean out the area with a water pick and anti-bacterial dental agent.
- The child will be given a temporary dental crown to cover the freshly cleaned tooth.
- A few weeks later, a permanent dental crown will replace the temporary crown on top of the previously infected tooth.
While the steps above are the general steps of pediatric dentistry root canals, there may be some variation depending on the child's needs and the severity of the infection.
How to prepare a child
Children can be prepared by visiting the pediatric dentistry practice beforehand. This gives the child a chance to become familiar with the practice and the dentist. Additionally, it can be helpful for the pediatric dentist to talk the child through the procedure so that they know what to expect.
Get started with pediatric dentistry care
When looking for further information on root canals in pediatric dentistry, it is best to consult directly with the dentist. Any questions or concerns can be appropriately addressed, and additional information on preparation tips can be provided. While the term root canal does sound frightening, rest assured that pediatric dentistry care will keep your child safe. Reach out today to get started with an appointment.
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