Will my child need a dental crown after root canal treatment?

childrens root canal Fort WorthEven a child may need a root canal if a tooth is so severely damaged by decay or injury that its inner core could be exposed to harmful bacteria. A children’s root canal is rather similar to the procedure that an adult patient would undergo. This includes the placement of a dental crown on the targeted tooth to protect it from breaking after the root canal.

A children’s root canal leaves the tooth more susceptible to breakage, so a dental crown can help to strengthen the tooth to reduce the risk of this outcome and the further treatment that it would necessitate. The process of placing a crown is also the same in a pediatric patient as it is in an adult one.

The pediatric dentist will request the crown to be designed specifically to fit on your child’s tooth. When the crown is ready, it will be bonded to the tooth.

Rest assured that this entire treatment process should not result in significant discomfort for your child. Your child should experience no more pain from a root canal than he or she would when having a cavity filled. An experienced pediatric dentist will thoroughly explain all of the steps in the process and work to ease any anxiety that your child may have about the treatment.

Similarly, your child should not have any pain associated with the process of placing the crown on the tooth. This is a simple restoration and does not require any sort of invasive procedure.

The purpose of a root canal is preserving a child’s natural tooth, whether to avoid the negative consequences of premature primary tooth loss or to save a permanent tooth that has already erupted and been damaged. A dental crown is an additional step that helps to achieve this goal after a root canal.

Call our office today to speak to our child’s dentist to learn more about this aspect of treatment and to ask any questions you may have.

Why Early Detection of Tooth Decay is So Important

childrens root canal Fort WorthThe underlying health of your child’s teeth and gums is important, so proper oral hygiene and regular visits to a pediatric dentist may be imperative tasks for you and your family. Taking steps to protect your child’s teeth from tooth decay is also necessary. Considering cavities and decay are common issues that affect millions of children and adults each year, understating the importance of early detection is essential.

Signs of Tooth Decay

In severe forms of decay, the teeth will appear heavily discolored. Teeth may appear dark brown or black due to the decay. While you may not see these obvious signs, your child may still be dealing with an early form of tooth decay.

In the early stages of tooth decay, you may notice the following:

  • A lighter, whiter band may appear on the teeth, closest to the gum line. This white line may be very light, making it difficult to notice, but it is one of the first signs of decay.
  • A yellowish, brown, or black band on the tooth surface, nearest to the gum line, is a sign of a more progressed form of decay.

When tooth decay is detected in these early stages, your child’s pediatric dentist is able to provide more conservative treatment.

Treating Tooth Decay

With regular exams and proper oral hygiene, you and your child’s dentist can help combat tooth decay. Unfortunately, if the decay is not detected until the later stages, your child may require a more involved treatment.

Advanced tooth decay not only affects your child’s appearance, but it can also become painful and dangerous due to possible infections. The dentist may complete a children’s root canal in an attempt to save one or more decaying teeth. During the root canal, the dentist will remove tooth pulp from the underlying nerves of the tooth. While a children’s root canal is more invasive, it can prevent tooth loss in patients with advanced stages of decay.

Early detection is key to your child’s dental health. To schedule your child’s next professional dental exam, contact Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry at 817-569-6633.

How does a root canal become infected?

children’s root canal Fort WorthA root canal is a procedure where the soft interior of the roots of a tooth are removed due to a breach in the tooth or infection. A tooth that has been severely damaged due to decay or a break in the tooth itself can lead to bacteria invading the tooth. This can occur in patients of all ages; a children’s root canal specialist may be consulted if symptoms are present in a child.

If your kid’s dentist has recommended a root canal to salvage your child’s tooth, the procedure is completed; and based on which tooth was involved, the opening that allowed treatment to be done is sealed in one of two ways.

If no obvious infection was noted, the root canal is cleaned out removing the nerve and pulp tissue, and the access point is sealed with either a tooth colored material known as composite resin or a larger restoration like a crown may be needed (usually if the tooth is cracked or broken, the procedure will be completed with a crown to prevent further problems).

If there was an undetected crack in the root of the tooth, or the restoration placed to seal the access point for the root canal is improperly placed or defective, the patient may experience the need for retreatment due to infection. Bacteria may permeate the tooth resulting in infection.

The clues that the root canal may be infected may not be as obvious as the original problem. While chewing pain and sensitivity to heat and cold signaled a problem with the tooth originally, an infected root canal can occur without obvious signs present. The patient is aware that the nerve was removed, so pain may not be present.

If a root canal becomes infected, the dentist may see a fistula. This is infected matter that has burrowed to the surface, and can be immediately spotted if present after a children’s root canal procedure. Another possible cause for infection is that the tooth involved may have had more roots than anticipated. This is why a dental x-ray is taken to try to identify all roots. But if all of a tooth’s roots are not treated, this can lead to infection following the procedure.

The root canal procedure has a very high success rate. To learn more or to schedule your child’s appointment, contact Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry at 817-569-6633 today.

Root Canal vs. Tooth Extraction

children's root canal Fort WorthA tooth ache is a signal that there is something wrong. Decay, gum disease, or some type of infection could be the problem. A visit to the dentist is warranted … the diagnosis could mean the difference between treatment and tooth loss. When it is your child, concern goes into overdrive. A children’s root canal may be the best choice.

When this diagnosis is given, it is advisable to receive treatment by someone who specializes in treating children … a pediatric dentist. This dental professional has studied the impact treatment has on a child and will be your best option for an excellent outcome.

Unlike an adult, there are more factors to consider when faced with a children’s root canal. How old is the child, which tooth is involved, how extensive is the problem. When an adult is faced with needed endodontic therapy, it is either a root canal or tooth extraction.

The situation with a child is very different. Is the tooth a primary tooth that is close to being lost naturally? If a “baby” tooth is involved, it is important to know the facts. A primary tooth is critical to forming correct speech patterns, chewing correctly, and maintaining space for the permanent tooth to erupt.

Losing the tooth too soon can interrupt the natural growing process … remaining teeth can drift toward the open space creating problems when the permanent tooth is ready to come in.

If the primary tooth is loose, extraction would likely be recommended. There is no reason to try to salvage a tooth that will be naturally lost very soon anyway.

When a child is experiencing a problem with a permanent tooth, your pediatric dentist will x-ray the tooth to determine the extent of decay or infection. When root canal therapy is indicated, the dentist will take the time to explain to parent and patient what is involved.

A root canal has earned a much undeserved reputation as a long, painful experience; however, with the advances made in corrective dentistry, the process is usually completed quickly and without any discomfort.

Taking your child for their first dental appointment around the age of one will help familiarize your child with the dental experience. This can be important when dental treatment is needed determining whether your child will be uneasy or be able to handle this appointment with ease.

Call 817-569-6633 to speak with our experienced pediatric dentistry team today.

Will a tooth need special care after root canal therapy?

children's root canal Fort WorthIdeally, a tooth after root canal therapy should require no special care. With a children’s root canal, there can be residual soreness or discomfort after the procedure. This discomfort can come from the use of a local anesthetic, having the mouth open for an extended period of time creating pressure on the low jaw and face muscles, or from the restoration process used to protect the tooth after the root canal therapy, depending on the type of restoration used.

Root canal therapy is designed to help dentists preserve natural teeth and enhance patient comfort when faced with severe toothache or abscess. A pediatric dentist specializes in the care of children’s teeth, using a gentle touch and compassion to ease nerves and anxiety. For the child patient, a root canal procedure with local anesthetic should be no more traumatic than a typical filling for a cavity. 

Following the children’s root canal therapy, the state of the tooth determines the type of restoration used.

Following the children’s root canal therapy, the state of the tooth determines the type of restoration used. If the necessary hole drilled for the root canal is relatively small, a typical filling can sometimes be used but in most cases a crown is placed over the tooth. During the root canal, the living tissue is removed from inside the tooth to include the tooth’s blood supply.

Without that blood supply, the tooth usually becomes vulnerable over time. Although the tooth remains intact, it is more susceptible to damage. The natural tooth is usually shaped with special filing tools to form a perfect fit for a custom-made crown that will be placed permanently over the tooth to protect it. This will eliminate sensitivity and provide a stronger feel for regular use.

Avoiding extreme hot or cold foods and beverages during the first few days will help ensure the bonding agent forms a secure hold to the porcelain crown. Regular brushing and flossing will help protect the adjacent teeth and also reduce risk of gum inflammation around the crown, which can cause damage or loosen the bond. For information regarding children’s root canal therapy, treatment options, and other dentistry processes, contact our caring pediatric dentistry team at 817-569-6633  today!

How Successful is Root Canal Treatment?

childrens root canal fort worthLocated inside the tooth, the root canal is an interior, hollow structure that houses nerves and vital cellular material. When extensive decay or dental traumas reach this interior structure, the tooth cannot self-heal and in turn becomes infected and inflamed. An infected root canal normally produces moderate to severe discomfort and leads to the death of a tooth. Because decay is very common among our younger patients, our pediatric dentist may administer children’s root canal therapy to save the affected tooth from extraction. Children’s root canal treatment is a highly successful procedure that alleviates the discomfort associated with infection and protects teeth from further internal damage.

When a children’s root canal is infected, our pediatric dentist will take all measures necessary to ensure patient comfort and relaxation. A root canal involves using precise dental tools to enter the inside of a tooth. Our dentist will then remove the infected material such as pulp and the nerve and clean away all signs of the infection. The inside of the tooth will be sealed with a special rubber-like material that provides support to internal structures and prevents further infection.

After a root canal, restorative dental work such as a filling or crown may be necessary to stop the spread of decay or to hold a damaged tooth together. Restorations after a root canal help ensure that your child maintains optimal tooth function without discomfort and the threat of further damage. Fillings and crowns restore a damaged tooth’s size and shape so that children can chew foods comfortably.

When administering children’s root canal treatment and restorative dental work, our pediatric dentists take special care to promote a worry-free and comfortable experience. Children will be administered the proper level of anesthetic medicine necessary to ward off discomfort and mild sedation may be administered in the form of nitrous oxide gas to keep young ones at ease during their procedures.

To schedule an appointment with our compassionate, kid-friendly team, contact Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry today.

Can a Root Canal Save My Child’s Tooth?

Your child may have had an accident while riding his or her bike or practicing the balance beam during gymnastics class. Perhaps candy bars are your child’s weakness, and now she has a cavity because of them. If your child is experiencing discomfort in his or her tooth, a root canal indeed could save your child’s tooth.

A children’s root canal, also known as pulp therapy, is recommended when a child has experienced tooth decay or a traumatic injury that affects the nerve of the tooth. In this situation, your child may need a root canal in order to maintain the life of the tooth so that it is not lost early. This is critical because when the back teeth are lost prematurely, this can lead to future issues with the eruption of your child’s permanent teeth. In addition, a baby tooth that is not treated can cause problems with chewing and proper speech. 

A children’s root canal, also known as pulp therapy, is recommended when a child has experienced tooth decay or a traumatic injury that affects the nerve of the tooth.

During a children’s root canal procedure, the child’s pediatric dentist essentially removes the infected pulp from the tooth—the area that contains living tissue and blood vessels. Then, the dentist applies a substance to the area to soothe the nerve and to stop bacteria from growing. Finally, a crown—or a tooth-like cap—is placed on the tooth.

This procedure is called a pulpotomy if the roots of the tooth—the parts of the tooth embedded in the jawbone—are not affected; only the crown of the tooth, or the part of the tooth that is visible in the mouth, is affected. However, sometimes, trauma or decay may be so severe that the roots are affected, too. In this case, the entire pulp may have to be removed and the root canals have to be cleaned out—a process known as a puplectomy.

Signs that your child may need a children’s root canal include:

  • A tooth is mobile or loose for no apparent reason.
  • A tooth is sensitive to heat or cold.
  • The area around a tooth is red or swollen.
  • Your child is experiencing seemingly random pain.

Get in touch with us today to find out whether your child may be experiencing the type of discomfort that warrants a children’s root canal. Solving this problem early on will help your child to feel comfortable as soon as possible as well as maintain a healthy smile as the years go by.