Because primary teeth are so important, the pediatric dentists at Advanced Dental NYC recommend that these teeth be kept intact instead of being prematurely extracted. It is for this reason that root canal therapy (pulpatomy) for kids is a potential option for saving a baby tooth that is affected by extensive decay.
When does a child need root canal therapy (pulpotomy)?
The need for root canal therapy (pulpotomy) is often indicated if a tooth is giving your child pain, is sensitive to different temperatures, or if it is chipped or cracked with the pulp already exposed. 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 (pulpatomy) 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 erupts.
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 in Advanced Dental NYC 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 and a lot less painful for children. Also, after the root canal therapy - pulpatomy - is completed, a baby crown is placed on the tooth right away to protect the weakened tooth.
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 in Advanced Dental NYC for a 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 tooth root canal therapy is performed?
Since the affected nerves of the tooth are removed, your child should 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 sensitivity to the crown or to any dental procedure for the first two weeks. During this time, it is important to continue brushing, particularly around the gums of the tooth, to keep them from becoming inflamed. If excessive pain or irritation is experienced, have the child brought to the dental office for a re-evaluation.