Root canals in Jacksonville are typically thought of as a way to save adult teeth from being extracted when they’re infected.  After all, baby teeth eventually fall out on their own, so many people believe that there’s no point in saving them. However, these primary teeth play an important role in your child’s overall health and development. Read on as your Jacksonville endodontist explains why root canal therapy is sometimes necessary for baby teeth, and how to tell if your child needs this tooth-saving treatment.

What is Root Canal Therapy?

The hard shell of enamel that coats your teeth protects the sensitive layers underneath from bacteria. However, leaving a cavity or cracked tooth untreated can allow damage and decay to reach these inner parts of the tooth. Your Jacksonville endodontist can use root canal therapy to remove all the damaged tissues and harmful bacteria from inside the tooth. Then, the hollow tooth is filled with a warm, rubbery material and covered with a dental crown to strengthen it and defend against further infection. This common procedure is used to avoid extraction and preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible.

Why Would Baby Teeth Need Root Canal Therapy?

Even though they’re not a permanent fixture in your child’s smile, baby teeth play a key role in your little one’s development and overall health. Losing one too early can cause an array of issues. If a baby tooth becomes infected, root canal therapy may be needed to:

  • Ease the pain: An infected tooth can be extremely painful, regardless if it’s an adult or baby tooth.
  • Safeguard future permanent teeth: Primary teeth serve as placeholders in the jaw for permanent ones. Pulling one too soon could cause the adult teeth to come in incorrectly.
  • Ensure proper eating and speaking: Losing baby teeth can hinder your child’s development and make it more difficult for them to eat and speak properly.
  • Protect your child’s self-esteem: A healthy, complete smile plays a key role in your child’s self-image and confidence.
  • Keep nearby teeth healthy: Waiting for an infected baby tooth to fall out on its own gives the dangerous bacteria more time to spread to nearby teeth.

Does My Child Need Root Canal Therapy?

Bringing your son or daughter in for their dental checkups twice a year is an excellent way to spot the earliest signs of a dental infection and put a stop to them. However, your child may need root canal therapy if they’re experiencing:

  • Severe toothache or painful dental sensitivity.
  • A tooth that is darker than the ones surrounding it.
  • Significant, visible tooth decay.
  • Inflammation and pus in the gum tissue around a tooth.
  • A small, pimple-like bump on the gums.

Although root canal therapy has a bad reputation, it’s more comfortable, efficient, and quick than ever thanks to modern dental technology. Adults and children alike can benefit from this smile-saving procedure!

About the Author

The Dental Center of Jacksonville is proud to showcase the talents of our in-house endodontist Dr. Andrew Calhoun. He has completed specialized training in treating damage and disease that affect the inner layers of teeth, most often through root canal therapy. His memberships in organizations like the American Association of Endodontists helps him stay current with the newest dental technology and ensure he can offer his patients the most comfortable and efficient treatments. If you or your child may need root canal therapy, feel free to contact him via his website or at (904) 262-9466.