Pediatric Root Canals in NYC

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At Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in NYC, we take a preventive approach to dental care, through which we strive to prevent the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental problems that might require pediatric root canals. While our dentists will always make an effort to treat your child’s condition and avoid a root canal, this is not always possible.

When a pediatric root canal is unavoidable, our practice offers various sedation dentistry options in order to make the procedure as stress-free and painless as possible. This is especially helpful for children who are unable to cope with the delivery of dental care, who have a high level of dental anxiety or who have special needs.

As the premier pediatric dental practice in New York City’s Upper East Side, we’ve built our solid reputation not only on our skills but also our dedication to offering dental care with a little extra care for over 25 years. Learn more about pediatric / baby root canal treatment below, or request an appointment with our root canal specialists today.

What is a baby root canal for children?

A baby root canal, also known as pulpotomy or pulpectomy, is a pediatric root canal treatment that involves treating problems within the soft core of the tooth, which is called the dental pulp. The dental pulp is the soft tissue found inside the tooth from the top all the way down to the end of the root. It contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that provide nutrients to the tooth as it grows.

Pediatric root canals can be a frightening experience for parents and children, but taking swift action is ultimately the best decision. Although they may not yet have their permanent teeth, your child should always receive the appropriate dental care to prevent oral infection and disease. 

 A pediatric root canal is often a vital treatment to protect your child’s oral health. We want to not only eliminate their current symptoms but also mitigate future risks.

When is a pediatric root canal for kids performed?

Pediatric root canals are necessary when the dental pulp in a baby tooth is damaged and needs to be repaired. If the pulp is damaged, it will gradually decay if left within the tooth.

This is most commonly caused by an untreated cavity that allows bacteria to eat through the enamel of the tooth and eventually infect the pulp within it. The pulp can also be damaged by any trauma to the tooth that cuts off the blood supply and causes the pulp tissue to die.

If left untreated, pus may build up within the root tip and form an abscess that can damage the bone around the tooth, causing pain and the potential for permanent damage.

Baby teeth may not remain in the mouth forever, but they are essential. Baby root canal procedures are important for:

  • Maintaining proper speaking and chewing function
  • Retaining space for permanent teeth
  • Preserving the shape of the face
  • Preventing significant pain and potential bone damage

Causes of Childhood Cavities

For a cavity to progress to the point where decay has infected the pulp, a child would need to go for several months to over a year without an exam.

There are some medical conditions, prescription medications, and genetic factors that make some children more likely to develop cavities. If their teeth are more sensitive, or their mouth microbiome has a higher balance of bad bacteria to good, they are more likely to develop tooth decay. 

Potential contributing factors of pediatric root canals include:

  • Excessive intake of sugars and starches
  • Untreated dry mouth
  • Family history of cavities 
  • Lack of fluoride 
  • Poor dental hygiene 
  • Lack of professional cleanings 
  • Enamel hypoplasia – a genetic condition that causes inadequate enamel 

What does a root canal for kids involve?

Once our dentists have determined that the pulp tissue in a baby tooth has been damaged and a pediatric root canal is necessary, we will perform a digital X-ray examination in order to further evaluate the tooth.

Before the baby root canal procedure, a child will receive local anesthesia in order to numb the affected tooth and the surrounding area. We offer single-tooth anesthesia technology, which improves the comfort of pediatric patients and eliminates the need for sedation or general anesthesia. However, sedation dentistry options may also be administered, depending on a patient’s needs.

Once your child is completely numb, our pediatric dentists will begin the pediatric root canal procedure, which involves removing the affected part of the nerve. After a primary tooth has a baby root canal, a crown is often placed over the treated tooth to restore and protect it.

Tips to Avoid Pediatric Root Canals

No parent wants to see their child in pain, and finding out they need a root canal can feel crushing. The best way to prevent childhood tooth decay and root canal therapy is to encourage good dental hygiene habits. Children often need help maintaining their smiles, so ensure they are adequately brushing at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. They may need your help reaching their back teeth and flossing. 

Additional suggestions include: 

  • Limit high-sugar and starchy foods. Both starches and sugars can lead to an increased risk of cavities. We will always gladly recommend healthy, kid-approved alternatives to popular snacks that your child may miss once you swap them out of their diet.
  • Schedule regular pediatric dental exams.  Ensure that your child visits a pediatric dentist at least twice per year for an exam and cleaning. These appointments can identify warning signs of decay, treat cavities early, and stop any damage to your child’s teeth from progressing to the point they need a root canal. 
  • Promote good dental hygiene. Fostering a positive attitude toward dental hygiene can help children protect themselves against cavities. Children’s books, songs, and educational videos for kids can all make a positive impact. Seeing you model proper technique and brushing and flossing together can be a good way to instill healthy habits that protect their smile. 

If you need to schedule a visit for your child or want to learn more about pediatric root canals, call our office at 212.879.6518 or request an appointment with the root canal specialists at Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in NYC by filling out the form on this page.

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