Root Canals on Permanent Teeth

At the Children’s Dental FunZone endodontic procedures, or root canals, are used to save a child’s tooth from extraction.

How do you know that your tooth needs a root canal?

Once the decay has reached the nerves of the tooth, the child may experience pain when biting and/or sensitivity to hot or cold. Sometimes, when infection is present there can be no symptoms for a period of time and then the pain could suddenly occur over night. The pain is sharp shooting and can be so severe that it can prevent the child from sleeping at night. Once the dentist does the examination and x-rays, he or she can often determine whether the decay has spread to the nerves of the tooth and requires immediate treatment. At this point, in order to prevent the infection from spreading it is important to remove the affected nerve tissue through a root canal. This will prevent the need to have to pull the tooth in the future.

Why do a root canal?

Endodontic procedures, such as a root canal, can help save the child’s tooth from premature extraction. The early loss of a tooth can cause problems not only in the function of the jaw, the ability to chew, and the overall speech of the child, but it could also result in orthodontic problems in the future. Other permanent teeth may shift to fill the remaining space and adjust the bite altogether. Moreover, replacing the lost tooth in the future can be costly because it will require a bridge or an implant. Thus, the best option possible is to save the tooth by doing a root canal and placing a crown on it.

How does a dentist do a root canal?

The root canal experts at Children’s Dental FunZone always assess the tooth first to see if it can be saved through an endodontic procedure. Once this is determined, the tooth is made numb, so that the child is completely comfortable. The decay is then removed along with the affected nerve tissue in the canals. After a thorough cleaning and devitalizing process, the dentist will fill the hollowed chamber with a special biocompatible material that will essentially plug the root canal to prevent further damage or infection. The affected tooth will then be covered using filling material that will mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, restoring strength and functionality to the tooth and diminishing discomfort for the child. Finally, the child will have a crown placed on the tooth to protect it from breaking.

Why does a tooth that has a root canal need a crown?

Once the infection has spread to the nerves of a tooth and the tooth is devitalized through a root canal, a crown is necessary. This is because the tooth is weak and can no longer take the pressure of chewing and biting without cracking. If the child is young and the tooth has not fully erupted, a simple stainless steel crown will be place on the tooth. Once the child is older however, the stainless steel crown can be replaced with a white porcelain crown.


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