If you suspect your child has a tooth infection then schedule an appointment for them with Dr. Marina Krepkh or one of another pediatric dentist at the Kids Dentistry Center. If their tooth is infected or badly decayed then it could be very painful or uncomfortable and we will want to see them as soon as we can to relive this discomfort and to try and repair the tooth. Saving a tooth is important and even if it is a primary tooth that will soon fall out, we will do everything we can to avoid a premature tooth extraction.
Getting a Diagnosis
The first thing we will want to do is to carefully examine your child’s mouth and you will find Dr. Krepkh is extremely gentle and will be able to help your kid feel more at ease and relaxed. This examination will not hurt them. We may need to take dental x-rays to determine the extent of any infection and decay and to see areas of their mouth that are not visible to the naked eye. After completing this examination, we can discuss our findings with you, including our recommended treatment options.
The treatment provided will depend on the extent of the tooth infection. If it is only a case of filling a tooth, then treatment will be extremely straightforward. We will remove the damaged tooth structure in preparation for the filling, before repairing the tooth so your child will be able to eat and talk without any pain or discomfort. If the infection is more severe and has reached the pulp of the tooth, then they may need a pediatric root canal treatment. A root canal treatment for a baby tooth is a bit different to a root canal treatment for an adult tooth.
How can a Tooth Pulp Become Infected?
The pulp of a tooth is protected by the outer layers of dentin and tooth enamel but if these become damaged through being chipped or decayed, then bacteria can soon get into the tooth and will infect the pulp. Sometimes it might be possible for us to save the pulp if it is merely inflamed and not quite infected.
Otherwise it will be removed. With a child’s baby tooth, we may only remove the pulp tissue in the crown of the tooth which is the part exposed in the mouth. This is a little different from an adult root canal treatment where the pulp would be removed as well as the tissues in the root canals. These root canals extend into the tooth roots and in the case of adult root canal therapy must be thoroughly cleaned out and disinfected.
Is Root Canal Treatment for Children Painful?
Your child should feel minimal discomfort both during and after the procedure. If they are very anxious, then we always provide additional sedation to keep them comfortable. Once the infected pulp is removed, then they shouldn’t feel any more pain in that tooth but it is common to experience a little sensitivity until the tooth settles down again. A baby root canal should preserve the tooth until it is ready to come out on its own.