Pediatric Root CanalNapa, CA
Pediatric root canals can help prevent premature tooth loss. Although many people believe that primary teeth (also known as baby teeth) are not as important as permanent teeth, premature primary tooth loss can negatively affect permanent teeth erupting from the gums. Pediatric root canal treatments remove diseased pulp to preserve a primary or permanent tooth.
Pediatric root canals are available at Dr. David Suttie Dentistry for Children in Napa and the surrounding area. We will do everything we can to keep your child’s oral health in optimal condition. Call us today at 707-887-5072 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
When Pediatric Root Canals Are Necessary
Just as with adults, there are many different reasons a child may need a root canal. Some of the most common reasons for a pediatric root canal include:
- Breaking a tooth, resulting in exposed pulp
- Having a tooth that is ultra-sensitive to temperature changes
- Feeling unexplained pain in a tooth at any time
Often, parents believe pediatric root canals are unnecessary for primary teeth. In reality, unless the teeth were already going to fall out soon, pediatric root canals are the best way to ensure proper tooth eruption. In addition to being essential for a child’s ability to speak and chew, primary teeth also hold spaces for the permanent teeth. Should a primary tooth be lost prematurely, the surrounding teeth may end up crowding into the empty space — causing it to come in crooked or even preventing it from erupting altogether.
What Happens Before a Pediatric Root Canal
Each pediatric root canal treatment is unique to its patient. At Dr. David Suttie Dentistry for Children, we understand that some children are particularly scared of going to the dentist. We are here to answer any questions and concerns that children and parents may have before the procedure. We will provide medicine to prevent pain and, depending on the child’s age, use X-rays to examine the targeted area.
These X-rays help determine the size and shape of the root canals, along with the extent of the infection. We will administer local anesthesia during the procedure to prevent pain. Any fillings or other dental devices will be removed before putting a rubber sheet around the tooth to prevent saliva from entering the tooth pulp. This rubber sheet will also protect the child from breathing in or swallowing any liquids or tooth pieces during the procedure. Afterward, if necessary, we will prescribe antibiotics to prevent or treat any bacterial infections.
What Happens During a Pediatric Root Canal
During a root canal procedure, Dr. Suttie will insert certain dental devices into the child’s root canals to remove the diseased pulp with cleaning fluids. He may also take an X-ray to determine if there is more pulp to remove. Once all the pulp has been removed, Dr. Suttie will use a germ-killing liquid to clean the open root canal.
After the root canal has been dried, it will be filled with a biocompatible material to replace the pulp and ensure that the root canals seal completely. The root canal may also be filled with a steroid paste to reduce any swelling. Then, it will be capped with a temporary or permanent crown to protect the pulp.
Possible Complications of Pediatric Root Canals
Pediatric root canals are a common, safe treatment. However, like with any other medical procedure, they come with their own set of potential risks. While complications are rare, it is always best for parents to be well-informed before a procedure. Dr. Suttie has over 30 successful years of experience working as a pediatric dentist, meaning patients can rest assured knowing that they are in good hands.
Since the procedure involves going into the root canal of the patient’s tooth, it is possible for the tip of a dental tool to get stuck. Similarly, the child may swallow the dental tool if the tip is dropped into the mouth. The child may develop a fistula between the tooth root and the sinus as a result. With any root canal procedure, there is a possibility that not all the disease tissue will be completely removed. Additionally, the root may not be filled completely or tightly. However, retreatment is always an option in the future. We will take every precaution necessary to ensure the patient’s safety during the treatment and any follow-up appointments.
Call Us Today
Pediatric root canals are often necessary to ensure a child’s continued oral health. We at Dr. David Suttie Dentistry for Children can help. Call us today at 707-887-5072 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are pediatric root canals painful?
In general, it is a popular misconception that root canals are excruciatingly painful. However, this is not the case. Thanks to modern technologies and local anesthesia, getting a root canal treatment is about as uncomfortable as getting a cavity filled.
What are the signs my child might need a root canal?
Only a pediatric dentist can confirm whether a child needs a root canal treatment. However, there are some common symptoms. These include lingering tooth sensitivity to temperature, sensitivity to sweets, pain when biting or applying pressure, and pain radiating from another area. The affected tooth may ache either consistently or sporadically, and the pain may be severe and throbbing. Pain may also respond to postural or atmospheric pressure changes (e.g., when going from sitting to standing or swimming to the bottom of a pool).
Is there an alternative to pediatric root canals?
Typically, the only alternative to a pediatric root canal is tooth extraction. However, it is always best to preserve the natural tooth. As mentioned, premature tooth loss can disrupt permanent tooth eruption. If the child’s affected tooth is a permanent tooth, it may be restored with a tooth replacement option. However, tooth replacement is usually a more timely and expensive process.
What will happen after my child’s pediatric root canal?
The treated tooth may feel sensitive for a few days. However, any discomfort can usually be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. Make sure your child avoids chewing on the treated tooth until they have received their filling.
How can I help my child avoid needing a pediatric root canal?
Good oral hygiene is always integral in preventing a root canal treatment. Teach your child how to brush and floss properly, and instruct them to brush at least twice a day. Rinsing with a fluoridated mouthwash also helps. Finally, make sure your child comes in for regular dental checkups and is eating a balanced diet.
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