Root canals are a restorative procedure done right here in our dentist’s office to help your child’s smile stay happy and healthy. Hearing your child needs a root canal is never easy, but at Dentistry for Children Virginia, our expert pediatric dentists are here to make the procedure stress-free for you and your child. Root canals are needed when a tooth cannot be restored to optimal health with a dental filling alone. A root canal procedure removes the decay from the infected tooth bringing it back to its normal chewing function.
When is it Time for a Root Canal?
When the inner part of a tooth, called the pulp, becomes inflamed or infected, it may be time for a root canal. Your child may experience symptoms such as pain when chewing and eating, swelling of the gums, pimples on the gums, sensitivity to temperature, or a cracked or chipped tooth.
If you or your child notice any of these symptoms, a root canal may be necessary to restore the tooth. Your child’s dentist will examine the tooth, and possibly take x-rays, to evaluate the extent of damage or decay.
What Happens During a Root Canal Procedure?
A root canal procedure repairs and saves an infected or damaged tooth from further decay. First, your child’s dentist will get them comfortable, then apply a topical anesthetic and local anesthesia to keep the procedure pain-free.
Next, once your child’s tooth is numb, the dentist will remove the infected nerve and pulp from the tooth. They will carefully clean out the pulp, sterilize it, and then fill the tooth. This repairs the tooth and restores it back to optimal chewing function, leaving your child’s smile happy and healthy.
Is a Root Canal Painful?
With the help of local anesthesia, root canal procedures are not painful. Before your child’s dentist begins the procedure, they will first numb the area with a topical numbing cream before injecting local anesthesia. Depending on your child’s needs, they may also use laughing gas to ease any anxiety about the procedure. Our dentists will work to make your child as comfortable and relaxed for the duration of the procedure.
Post Root Canal Recovery
Once the numbing wears off, your child may feel some slight soreness or discomfort following the procedure. This can easily be treated with over-the-counter children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Have your child avoid eating or drinking until the numbing has worn off to avoid any injury. Immediately after the procedure, your child will be able to return to school and resume their normal routine.