When are root canals in children needed?

We often associate root canals as a procedure needed for adults. And though it might be more common for an adult to need a root canal procedure, root canals in children are often necessary. Root canals are done when diseased pulp needs to be removed from the tooth. Dental pulp is the tissue that contains the nerves and blood vessels that fill the roots of the teeth. If your child’s tooth becomes damaged or infected due to cavities, an abscess, or an injury, a root canal can help save your child’s tooth, ensuring it doesn’t fall out until it is ready to do so on its own. Your dentist will likely avoid recommending root canal therapy unless it is required. But, tooth decay and cavities can increase the chances that your child will need such intensive treatment. If your child’s dentist doesn’t see another way to resolve the problem, then a root canal is likely the best way forward.

Preparing Children for a Root Canal

If your child’s dentist has identified tooth decay or has suggested a root canal for your child, you probably have many questions. In particular, you will want to know how you can prepare your child for a root canal procedure. We’re hopeful that these tips will help relieve any potential anxiety you have about your child’s upcoming root canal and help you ensure your child is best set up for success before the procedure. After all, parental anxiety can often rub off on your child, so taking steps to relieve your dental anxiety will help your child too.

  1. Talk to your child about root canals in children and why they are often needed. Your child may also be feeling some anxiety, and you can help lessen any unnecessary stress, especially if your child is afraid of going to the dentist. Thankfully, today’s root canal procedures are more comfortable than ever. Your child will be given a medicine to help prevent pain, and a children’s dentist will always take steps to put your child at ease.
  2. Your child’s pediatric dentist in Grand Island, NE will take X-rays to examine your child’s mouth and the infected area. The X-rays will help the dentist to understand the severity of the infection.
  3. Your child will receive local anesthesia to help prevent pain. In most cases, they will receive antibiotics after the procedure to help prevent an infection caused by the bacteria.

How can root canals in children be prevented?

The best way that you can prevent a root canal for your child is through proper dental hygiene and habits. Check out this list of tips to help your child avoid ever having to have root canal therapy.

1. Brush teeth twice a day and floss daily.

It shouldn’t be surprising that you and your child need to care for their teeth. Getting a good brushing twice a day along with daily flossing is the most important thing your child can do to prevent tooth decay and maintain good oral health. Brushing helps to avoid the development of plaque formation, and flossing helps clean out those hard-to-reach places.

2. Visit the dentist twice per year.

The team at Pediatric Dental Specialists of Greater Nebraska, along with most dentists, will encourage you to take your child to the dentist once every six months. These regular visits to the dentist ensure that your child receives a proper oral assessment so that course corrections can be taken when necessary if early warning signs of infection are detected. Further, visiting the dentist twice a year ensures your child receives a professional dental cleaning with each trip.

3. Pay attention to possible periodontal disease.

Gum disease attacks the soft tissues in your child’s mouth that help bind, support, and provide blood flow to the teeth. If your child has possible yellowing or other discoloration in the mouth, or if the gums bleed frequently, your child must see their dentist promptly. Periodontal disease can spread throughout the mouth and lead to other systemic health issues when not adequately addressed.

Let your local Omaha pediatric dentist help with any questions you have about root canals in children.

If you believe your child has tooth decay and may need a root canal, you must go to see a pediatric dentist without delay. The sooner your child’s tooth decay can be treated, the sooner they can be back on the path to good oral health. A dentist specialist such as Dr. Reimer from Pediatric Dental Specialists of Greater Nebraska can help. Request an appointment using our easy-to-use online form.

We look forward to seeing you and your child soon.

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