When you think of root canals, you likely envision torturous images of being strapped to a dental chair at the mercy of a sadistic dentist. While that is a vast exaggeration perpetuated through popular media, most still understand that a root canal is often performed in an effort to save the tooth. Thus, like most, you probably only associate such treatment with adults. That may be why you were so shocked when your child’s pediatric dentist recommended that he or she have a root canal.
Why Perform a Root Canal on a Baby Tooth?
Most assume that problems with baby teeth are best left untreated due to the fact that they will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth. Yet typically, your child’s full set of adult teeth will not descend until the time that he or she is around 12 years old. If he or she experiences a problem that leads to a tooth infection at the age of five or six, that means that he or she could go as many as seven years with a diseased or dead tooth. That may lead to issues such as speech impediments, eating problems and severe toothaches.
How to Tell If Your Child Needs a Root Canal
Having a root canal done on a baby tooth ensures that it continues to fulfill its purpose until it is replaced by a permanent tooth. Yet how are you to know if your child has a severely infected or damaged tooth (short of witnessing any trauma that may have caused it)? Here are some common signs your child needs a root canal:
Your child’s earliest years are the period where he or she develops many of the habits (both good and bad) that they’ll follow throughout their life. That is why it is important to stress routine dental care at this young age, including treatments such as root canals. Not to worry; Dr. Lesinski has years of experience in performing this procedure on pediatric patients, and he knows how to help both you and your child get through it unscathed. To discuss whether having a root canal truly is the best option for your child, call and schedule an appointment today.