If your family dentist recently told you that your child needs a root canal in a baby tooth, it's understandable that you might feel some doubt and confusion. After all, root canals are usually associated only with adults who have serious decay in a permanent tooth. Plus, you might be wondering whether it's really all that important to save a baby tooth rather than proceeding with an early extraction and waiting for the adult tooth to grow in. Keep reading to learn the truth about whether root canals in baby teeth are ever really necessary.
Does Your Child Really Need a Root Canal?
Your family dentist may recommend a type of root canal called either a pulpotomy or a pulpectomy. In a pulpotomy, the dentist removes the inflamed pulp, which is the chamber in the middle of your child's tooth. In a pulpectomy, the dentist removes not only the pulp but also the tissue inside the tooth roots. Both procedures end with a custom crown to protect the tooth. After a root canal procedure, your child's tooth pain and sensitivity are gone and they have a fully functional baby tooth again.
But, you still may wonder whether that's better than extraction. The answer is yes. Although it might sound extensive for a baby tooth, a root canal is actually necessary if you want to preserve your child's dental health now and in the future. Next, you'll learn three reasons why the root canal is so important.
Why Protecting Baby Teeth Through Root Canal is so Important
A root canal procedure allows your child to keep their own tooth. While the restored tooth has a crown on it, that doesn't prevent normal tooth loss when it's time for the adult tooth to grow in. Basically, a root canal preserves the status quo to keep your child's dental health on track.
There are three main reasons that a root canal in a baby tooth is so important.
- Spacing: Your child's baby tooth maintains the spot for the adult tooth to erupt when it's time. Without that place-holder, their other teeth can gravitate into the tooth socket to cause serious misalignment and prevent normal adult tooth eruptions.
- Chewing: Losing a baby tooth too early can prevent normal chewing and eating habits as your child grows.
- Speech: Premature baby tooth loss can slow down your child's speech development or create new speech issues.
The financial factor is also worth noting. By taking care of your child's tooth with a root canal procedure now, you can often prevent a great deal of expensive dental work, and possibly other types of specialized care like speech therapy, in the future.
A root canal gives your child immediate comfort while giving you the peace of mind about their oral health. Talk to your family dentist to learn more about root canal for your child now.