If your child’s tooth has become infected or damaged, you may have heard the term “root canal.” You may be wondering, “Does my child need a root canal? Don’t baby teeth just fall out anyway?” While it’s true that baby teeth will fall out eventually, protecting your child’s mouth from premature loss of a baby tooth can prevent further issues with their adult teeth that can happen if a baby tooth comes out too early.
What is a root canal?
Before answering the question of “does my child need a root canal?” it’s important to know what a root canal is. A root canal is a procedure that a dentist does to remove the pulp, or the center of a tooth, if it has become diseased. When a dentist performs a root canal, pain relief like anesthesia and antibiotics are also usually administered beforehand, to minimize discomfort and to treat and prevent spread of any infection.
Why is it necessary?
If a root canal has been recommended by your dentist, you may be asking, “Why does my child need a root canal?” A root canal may be necessary due to an accident, injury or infection. It is important to treat any of these serious issues promptly.
It may seem like it’d be easier to just remove the tooth since it is a baby tooth and will fall out anyway, but it can be important to save baby teeth as well. Speech or bite alignment issues that are expensive and time intensive to treat can develop if a baby tooth is lost or removed too early.
Talk with your child about why it’s needed
If your dentist has decided that a root canal is necessary for your child, your dentist may tell you things that are important to do to prepare your child before the appointment and procedure. Now that you have an answer to the question “does my child need a root canal?” It may be helpful to talk with your child in an age appropriate way to explain to them what a root canal is and why it is needed. Your child might feel scared, but knowing what is happening and why it is important can help. It may also help your child to feel less anxious about the procedure if you tell them that there will be medicine to help with any discomfort.
Maybe you’re not sure if your child needs a root canal, if so, then it’s time to talk to a dentist. If your child is showing signs of a possible injury or infection in their teeth or mouth, like pain, discoloration, fever or swelling, it’s important to make an appointment for them to see a dentist right away.
Call our Gilbert, Mesa or San Tan Valley dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.