Nothing is more exciting than seeing your child’s first teeth break through the surface of their gums, giving them the perfect smile. You never expect one of their baby teeth to be damaged, but it’s more common than you might realize. The biggest threat to their smile is tooth decay. At least 20% of children under the age of 11 have at least one untreated cavity. If it isn’t treated quickly, it can lead to an infection that might require a root canal in Fayetteville to treat. Since the baby teeth eventually fall out, is a root canal even necessary? Here’s what you need to know to ensure your child has the healthy smile they deserve.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is an endodontic procedure that extracts the inner most layer of a tooth, called the pulp. It’s needed when the health of a tooth has been compromised from bacteria that’s reached the pulp, often from an untreated cavity.
A root canal removes the pulp, stopping the infection and any pain. The tooth is sealed with a special material called gutta-percha to strengthen its integrity while also sealing out additional bacteria. Often, a dental crown is placed over the tooth to provide an added layer of protection while also restoring its function and appearance.
Why is a Root Canal Necessary for Baby Teeth?
Your child’s baby teeth are only in place for a few short years; however, they are essential to your child’s oral health and development while they are in place. If a primary tooth is lost too soon, it can have lasting consequences. Instead, it’s best to save your child’s tooth with a root canal to ensure:
- Alignment of Permanent Teeth: The baby teeth act as placeholders for the adult teeth. If one is lost too soon, it can lead to alignment issues that will require orthodontics to correct.
- Proper Oral Functions: Every baby tooth is essential for your child’s ability to chew a variety of foods to maintain a balanced diet. Their teeth also allow them to learn how to speak correctly.
- High Self-Esteem: Research shows the health and appearance of the teeth directly influences a person’s self-esteem. Even children can be embarrassed by a less than perfect smile; however, you can ensure they feel confident by having their damaged tooth treated with a root canal.
Does My Child Need a Root Canal?
Although root canals are common, they are only recommended as a last resort to save a tooth. Your child’s dentist will perform a thorough consultation to ensure the treatment is in your child’s best interest. If they need a root canal, don’t wait until it’s too late to save their tooth.
About Dr. Angela C. Ruff
Dr. Angela C. Ruff completed advanced training in many areas of specialty, including oral implantology. She has the training and experience necessary to perform complex treatments, like root canal therapy. If you or a child need to save an infected tooth, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.