Do Pediatric Dentists Perform Root Canals?

Young child holding her cheek because of tooth pain.

Root canals are a dreaded dental procedure, but with modern technology, they’re much easier and less stressful! The thought of a root canal can still be scary, especially for kids. Is this a procedure that pediatric dentists perform? What are they like?

What are baby root canals?

As pediatric dentists, we perform "baby root canals," or pulpotomies. These can also be done on permanent teeth, but they’re more common on baby teeth. Unlike full root canals that also treat the root, baby root canals focus on the pulp within the tooth chamber. We first numb the area and remove the tooth decay. We then open up the pulp chamber with special tools, insert a medicated filling, and then seal the tooth.

Why don’t we just remove affected baby teeth?

Since your child’s baby teeth fall out, it may seem strange to go to the trouble of saving a tooth. We prefer pulpotomies over extractions because they keep any remaining pulp alive and healthy. Even though baby teeth will one day fall out, we don’t like to pull them before their time. Losing baby teeth too early can disrupt the development and spacing of a child’s permanent teeth.

Does my child need a baby root canal?

Baby root canals are necessary when your child has a large cavity that’s spread to the pulp in a tooth’s crown. They will most likely complain about increased sensitivity and pain, especially when something hot, cold, or sweet touches their tooth. Please make an appointment as soon as these symptoms appear. We’ll examine the tooth and determine if a baby root canal is needed.

Baby root canals at Helotes Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in San Antonio, TX

Because baby teeth aren’t as strong as permanent teeth, they’re more vulnerable to decay. If a cavity has just started to affect the pulp of a tooth, a baby root canal can save the tooth! Our dentists have years of experience performing this procedure. Please contact us if you have questions about pediatric root canals or want to schedule an appointment. No need to wait until there's a problem, either! Regular preventive visits help us identify trouble spots before they progress to the pulp! You can call our office or click the contact link to schedule.
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