Can Children be Treated For a Root Canal?

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Root canal treatment is a common dental procedure, not only for adults but may also be required for decayed, damaged or infected baby and permanent teeth of young children.

Severe baby bottle tooth decay is seen in very young children, where a tooth or multiple baby teeth are grossly decayed.  These teeth may become an epicenter for bacterial growth, causing a bacterial infection that will inflict a lot of pain and damage.  A Specialist Pediatric Dentist can safely and painlessly perform a root canal procedure to save the baby tooth and restore function.

The need for a root canal

Our tooth is made up of an outer hard enamel layer, middle soft dentin layer and an internal space called a pulp chamber that contains nerves and blood vessels. A child with severe tooth pain due to decay, usually is suggestive of the decay having reached the nerves of the tooth which are responsible for the sensation of hot and cold, making it difficult for a child to chew or even sleep properly.

Damage to the pulp chamber will ultimately allow bacterial growth to build up and slowly become infected.  If this infection is not treated and is allowed to persist, it can cause tooth abscess which can damage the underlying permanent tooth.  Children can experience a sudden swelling in the face, neck, and head and have seepage of bacterial fluid from the tooth to the gum and surrounding skin.

All of these problems can be avoided if parents bring their children for early routine dental checkups, however if an issue arises, a Specialist Pediatric Dentist will be able to resolve it.  In most cases, a Pediatric Dentist will not extract the baby teeth, but will opt for a root canal treatment to save the decaying or damaged tooth to ensure the integrity and functionality of the baby tooth can be maintained until the child’s second set of teeth erupt.

What is this procedure like for children?

Usually children as young as 2 years may have decayed or damaged teeth requiring root canal treatment.

The technique of root canal procedure is similar as that done for adults, however the main challenge for children lies in reducing fear and achieving cooperation to sit for a prolonged period of time.  A Pediatric Dentist is trained to efficiently perform a root canal treatment with the cooperation of the child using behaviour management techniques and aid it with some laughing gas.  If multiple teeth are involved or a child is young, it may be performed under general anesthesia.

After numbing the tooth if required, the infected contents inside the roots and pulp chamber are fully removed, the roots cleaned and filled with a biocompatible material. The Pediatric Dentist will then place a crown on the treated tooth to protect it and to regain strength and proper functionality.  In due course as the permanent tooth is ready to replace the baby tooth, the baby tooth is naturally shed along with the crown.

Should I choose a root canal or tooth extraction for my child?

This decision is best made by the Pediatric Dentist after a thorough examination of the child is complete. Usually a Pediatric Dentist will opt to save the baby tooth with root canal instead of a tooth extraction as it is the best choice for the child. With use of advanced techniques like laser assisted root canals, biocompatible materials, it is possible now to save severely damaged baby teeth.  However, if the tooth is determined to be too damaged or decayed then extraction may be the only option.

By letting the child keep their natural tooth, they are able to retain their functionality of the teeth and jaw, allowing them to eat properly and not endure any speech impediments that invariably come with tooth loss.

Baby teeth in children act as a guide for their incoming set of adult teeth, so by allowing a child to keep their baby teeth, you can ensure proper positioning of the adult teeth. Meaning, you can effectively avoid extensive orthodontic treatment in the future!

At Go Dental Clinic, we want your children to grow up healthy and happy.  Our Pediatric Dentists are here to teach parents and their children about keeping a healthy oral hygiene routine.  If you’re interested in starting your child’s journey to a better smile, please Contact Us on +971 4 397 9522 at any time to book a Free Consultation with one of our Pediatric Dentists or click here.

 

Back To School Dental Checklist

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The summer is almost officially over, meaning it’s important to make sure that your children and their smiles are prepared to get back to the books!

Here is our Back to School Dental Checklist we recommend putting your children on for September.

Schedule a Cleaning & Exam

At Go Dental, we recommend all our patients, including kids, visit the dentist twice a year. This is to ensure a healthy, clean mouth does not hold you back from any exciting activities or foods. Our office is open 7 days a week, so your little one never has to miss a class to see the Dentist.

Buy New Toothbrushes

A new toothbrush is mandatory for starting the new school year on the right track. Toothbrushes come in a wide range of sizes and textures, so make sure you discuss with your Dentist which one is best for your child. Always remember that the toothbrush head needs to be small enough to fit back into those small tight corners in the back of your child’s mouth.

Find Tooth-Healthy Snacks

Think of healthy, nutritious snacks that will give your children energy throughout the day. Here are some of our favorite tooth-healthy foods that will help your child and their teeth get the nutrients they need:

  • Nuts & Seeds
  • String Cheese
  • Apples with Nut Butter
  • Raw Carrots, Celery, Broccoli, Cauliflower & Jicama with Hummus
  • Low-Sugar Yogurt with Chopped Fresh Fruit & Low-Sugar Granola

 

Have Your Child Carry a Reusable Water Bottle

Getting a child to drink enough water can be a fight of its own. We find that kids are more likely to stay hydrated when they pick out a fun water bottle to carry around at school.
Water plays a key role in a child’s oral and overall health and having a refillable water bottle with them at all times means they don’t need to rush to the water fountain during a passing period or ask permission to leave during class. Little regular sips throughout the day will help remove acids, sugars, and bacteria that may be hiding inside their mouths.

Get a Custom Athletic Mouth Guard

Is your young athlete joining a sports team this year?
A custom-fitted mouthguard will provide optimal protection during physical activity that may involve contact with equipment, the ground, or other players. Sports are known to cause the highest amount of dental-related injuries, so contact our office for more information about getting a mouth guard for your child to reduce the likelihood of dental trauma.

At Go Dental Clinic, we want your children to grow up healthy and happy. Our Pediatric Dentist is here to help your children learn about keeping a healthy oral hygiene routine. If you’re interested in starting your child’s journey to a better smile, please Contact Us on +971 4 397 9522 at any time to book a consultation with one of our Pediatric Dentists.

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Top 5 Benefits of Flossing Your Teeth