If your child’s dentist recommends a root canal treatment, you may be asking why and what for. Since your child’s baby teeth will someday come out on their own, you may be wondering what the point of trying to save the tooth if it will fall off anyway is. The term root canal can make anyone feel fear. However, most people do not have an idea of what it is.
In Upland and other parts of California, a root canal is recommended to children to save their tooth because the premature loss of a baby tooth can cause difficulties in chewing, interfere with the alignment of permanent teeth, and can delay speech development. A root canal is a procedure that extracts an infected pulp from the tooth. This procedure will be recommended if your child’s tooth is infected, damaged, has abscess or cavities. The root canal will be able to save the tooth and give it time to fall out once it is fully ready.
Symptoms that your child needs a root canal
Various symptoms will indicate that your child will need a root canal. One of the most common symptoms is a toothache. To know if it is a root canal pain, your child will feel a sharp and intense pain or can be a dull ache. Also, take notice if your child experiences sensitivity to hot and cold food or when the pain is throbbing but stops when your child moves, these may be signs that your child needs a root canal. However, keep in mind that tooth pain does not necessarily mean that your child needs to undergo a root canal right away. Tooth pain may also be a sign of other dental issues.
Other symptoms that may indicate that your child needs a root canal are gum tenderness or swelling, uneasiness, swollen lymph nodes, and fever.
Preparation for root canal
Your child’s dentist will instruct you on how to prepare your child for the procedure. Your child may feel scared before the procedure; this is why it is important to explain to them and help them understand what the procedure is for. Your child may also be given local anesthesia to prevent feeling any pain during the procedure, and you might have to prepare them for this as well. However, remind them also that they will be prescribed with antibiotics to prevent getting any infection caused by bacteria after the procedure.
During the procedure
Tools will be inserted into the root canals, which will remove the infected pulp from the tooth by using cleaning fluids. Then, an x-ray may be required to check if there are any pulp left in the tooth that will also need extraction. The remaining pulp will be cleaned and removed from the root canal, and once it has all been extracted, the root canal will be cleaned with a germ-killing liquid and will be dried and covered with a temporary or permanent crown.
After the procedure
Your child may still feel pain after the procedure, so it is best to explain to them that this is just normal, and the pain will go away after a couple of hours. You will be prescribed with pain medicine for your child to feel better. Also, ask your child’s dentist when is the best time for your child to eat and drink again or if there are special instructions for caring for your child’s tooth.