Has your kid’s dentist recommended root canal lately? Root canal or endodontic treatment is an effective way to save a tooth with bacterial infection or inflammation. The procedure entails the removal of pulp in the center of the tooth. Anyone can get surprised with such dental advice, especially given that baby teeth or primary teeth will eventually fall out on their own. Then what’s the point of trying to save such teeth? However, according to Simply Smiles Sarasota, a family dentistry clinic, baby teeth are highly important to a child’s development and should be protected.
Why You Should Save Baby Teeth?
Children’s dentists believe that saving baby teeth is as important as saving those of a fully developed adult. The problem is that if there is untimely loss of baby teeth, it can interfere with the child’s basic development, including chewing and speech. Most important of all, the alignment of the newly developing permanent teeth would be significantly affected.
In case a gap is formed due to untimely or prematurely baby tooth loss, the remaining teeth will shift position to fill this gap. What you will ultimately see is that the permanent teeth are misaligned.
All teeth have an exterior coating of enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body. Then there’s pulp, located in a central space within the tooth, called the “pulp chamber”. It branches through passage ways, commonly called canals, extending into the roots of the teeth.
Any deep decay, due to dental cavities or trauma, can damage the interior pulp. The child will experience unbearable pain in such a situation, along with visible inflammation.
Root Canal Treatment
The pulp chamber of the tooth is filled with nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. This is really important to the growth of all teeth. However, when a tooth develops fully, it doesn’t need the pulp anymore. But the nerves remain sensitive, which is the reason why pulp damage typically triggers pain.
Root canal is a dental treatment meant to eliminate infection, removing all the pulp from the inside of the tooth. The empty space is replaced with sterile filling and sealing materials.
What is the Procedure?
Root canal treatment is an in-office procedure. It starts with local anesthesia to completely numb the affected tooth. Before treatment, the dentist places a rubber “dam” around the tooth. This is an attempt to isolate the affected tooth from the rest of the mouth to prevent contamination.
Then the dentist uses a miniature drill to create a tiny opening in the tooth in order to access the pulp. The next step is to remove all the diseased pulp tissue from the entire length of the root canal(s) and pulp chamber. The passage is then disinfected with antiseptic and antibacterial solutions.
Now, the dentist is left with a clean empty space, which is then typically filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Such filling materials are “biocompatible,” being easily absorbed by the body, making way for the successor teeth. Lastly, the hole drilled to do all this is sealed.
However, children’s dentists say that the optimal approach to prevent pulp damage is by helping children keep their teeth healthy and protected, maintaining good dental hygiene and ensuring regular visits to the dentist.