Root Canals An Overview
If your child has an infected or damaged primary (baby) tooth, a root canal may be recommended to avoid losing the tooth. Keeping all of the primary teeth in place and healthy until the permanent teeth have fully developed and begun to emerge is important for the long-term dental health of a growing smile. Dr. Miller offers pediatric root canals when considered necessary for a patient’s dental health needs. Root canals on baby teeth are much less invasive and time-consuming than those done on permanent teeth. This is a one appointment visit that takes roughly an additional 10 to 15 minutes longer than a dental filling to complete
The goal of root canal treatment in primary teeth is to help your child enjoy a healthy, stable smile that supports normal development of the permanent teeth. Loss of a baby tooth will only impact tooth development but can also affect speech, chewing ability and the placement of the permanent teeth.
Pulpotomy vs Pulpectomy
The type of procedure will depend on the extent of either infection or damage within your child’s tooth and tooth root. Dr. Miller may take a digital dental x-ray to fully evaluate the condition of the affected tooth and will recommend a root canal when it will support the best possible outcome for the patient.
- Pulpotomy: a pulpotomy involves the careful removal of a portion of the tooth pulp, used when decay has exposed pulp in the crown area of the tooth only. Dr. Miller will use special biocompatible materials to seal the unaffected pulp below the crown and replace the infected portion. Modern materials for pulpotomy have the added benefit of promoting healing within the tooth to further stabilize the patient’s dental health.
- Pulpectomy: when most or all of the primary tooth pulp has been impacted by infection, a pulpectomy is used to remove all of it and replace with special materials. In a primary tooth, it is important to use materials that can be resorbed by the body as the permanent tooth grows in behind the baby tooth.