Baby Tooth Root Canals FAQs

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Is it Necessary? Will it Hurt? What are the signs?


Perhaps your pediatric dentist has determined that your child needs a root canal for a baby tooth and you find yourself asking, “Are root canals necessary for primary teeth since they are going to fall out anyways?”. It’s a legitimate question and one that we get often.

The answer is yes!

Before we continue, we must communicate that baby teeth do not receive root canals. Root canals are only performed on adult (permanent) teeth. The reason for the phrasing during this blog is because many people mistakenly refer to therapeutic pulpotomies as  baby tooth root canals. A therapeutic pulpotomy enables the primary tooth to be saved in the event that it is not yet close to coming out. If the primary tooth is lost prematurely, the child can experience difficulty with chewing and proper speech development. Most importantly, the premature absence of a baby tooth leaves a space that must be filled. Baby teeth are meant to hold the space for the soon erupting permanent teeth, but if they are missing, surrounding teeth will shift to fill in the space. This causes many alignment issues later in the child’s life.

If you and your child are facing the need for a root canal procedure on primary teeth, we know you will have many questions. We seek to answer them for you here:

Baby Tooth Root Canals: Your Questions Answered

What causes the need for baby tooth root canals?

Baby tooth root canals, correctly known as therapeutic pulpotomies, are necessary when the tooth has developed decay that has reached down into the lower and/or inner region of the tooth. When the pulp of the tooth has become too damaged to be saved, a root canal/pulpotomy is needed in order to save the tooth.

How do I know if my child needs a baby tooth root canal?

Consistent dental check-ups should provide proper assessment for any developing decay, however, if your child expresses any of the following issues, schedule an appointment with your dentist in order to determine the cause:

  • Tooth sensitivity to extreme temperature changes (hot or cold beverages or food) or certain substances (acidic gum, beverages or food)
  • Tooth pain for no apparent reason
  • A broken tooth with exposed pulp

I’ve heard root canals are painful; will my child experience a lot of pain?

While there have been many exaggerated pain stories concerning root canals, these are all a faulty perspective of the procedure.The treatments themselves actually do not cause any pain. They relieve it!

If you feel your child may be in need of any baby tooth root canals, call Kangaroo Smiles today at 978-425-1496. Dr. Simon Beylin, Dr. Mona Beylin and the Kanga Krew will provide quality assessment, state of the art digital x-rays, a calming and friendly environment and expert care. Don’t delay!