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Breaking Down the Truth Behind a Baby Root Canal

The term baby root canal can be somewhat confusing. Often, parents wonder if a baby root canal means a root canal for a baby tooth? Can an actual root canal even be performed on a child? And what about a baby root canal vs an extraction of a tooth? At Kangaroo Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we regularly help demystify pediatric dental procedures and processes for parents and caregivers. It’s our goal to ensure that parents feel comfortable, safe, and informed when it comes to the care and wellbeing of their children.

Three Common Questions Answered About a Baby Root Canal

Below, we explain everything you need to know about baby root canal procedures.

  1. Does a baby root canal mean a root canal of a baby tooth?

A baby tooth root canal is referred to as a “Pulpotomy.” Dr. Mona Beylin performs a pulpotomy to remove the infection from the inside of a damaged tooth and nerve. Dr. Mona reserves pulpectomies in instances when keeping your child’s tooth is a better solution.

Although primary teeth are sometimes considered disposable—they’ll be replaced by permanent teeth, after all—baby teeth are valuable in several ways:

  • shutterstock_642659902Baby teeth help shape the integrity of your child’s mouth
  • Primary teeth help determine how permanent teeth will develop
  • Baby teeth affect the healthy bite of your child and the way he/she speaks

When a baby tooth is removed prematurely, it can disrupt any of the previously mentioned scenarios, in addition to causing other issues.

Once Dr. Mona removes the infection, she’ll place a stainless steel crown over the tooth. The procedure is quick and completely safe for children of all ages.

  1. Can an actual root canal even be performed on a child?

In addition to pulpotomies, root canals can indeed be performed—on a child’s permanent teeth. A root canal is suggested when:

  • Cavities have caused extensive damage to the permanent tooth
  • An infection has formed in the gap following the loss of a baby tooth
  • Permanent teeth exhibit incomplete growth or weakness
  • Permanent teeth have root-nerve damage

All in-office root canals are performed by Dr. Simon Beylin. During your child’s root canal, he/she will be able to watch his/her favorite movie. Laughing gas is available to help children feel relaxed and comfortable.

  1. Is there a difference between a baby root canal versus an extraction?

Yes, a baby root canal removes the infection of the tooth and reinforces the existing tooth. An extraction involves the removal of a tooth.

How do I Know Which Procedure Is Right for my Child?

To determine whether your child is in need of a pulpotomy, baby root canal, or other procedure, Dr. Mona will:

  • Go over any symptoms your child is experiencing
  • Capture x-rays to get a clear image of the infected tooth and surrounding structures
  • Perform a complete visual exam of the mouth

If a pulpotomy or baby root canal is recommended for your child, understand that we will do everything possible to ensure she/he is comfortable and at ease. Baby root canal recovery time varies, but typically your child will be feeling better within a couple of days.

If you’d like to know more about baby root canal cost, alternatives, or general information, our Kangaroo Smiles experts are here to help. Click here to get started or call us any time at 978-425-1496.

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