shirley root canal

When adults have an infected tooth, this means they need a root canal. But what about kids? For children, we have an alternative known as a pulpotomy. In today’s blog, your Shirley, NY, pediatric dentist and orthodontist talks about how we treat infected teeth in children’s smiles.

When Kids Have Infected Teeth

An infected tooth means that harmful oral bacteria has reached the inner dentin, the nerve center of every tooth. Made from soft tissues, this keeps the tooth alive and functional. Without treatment, the infection could cause a tooth to essentially die and require extraction to prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the smile. This could be brought on by an injured tooth, or an untreated cavity that grows severe with time. Warning signs vary, but kids often report tooth sensitivity when they eat and drink, toothaches, pain when chewing, swelling near a tooth, jaw pain, or a poor tasting discharge from the tooth in question. If your child reports symptoms like these, don’t hesitate to give us a call and arrange for a visit!

Treatment with Endodontic Dentistry

We will begin by carefully examining the tooth with digital x-rays to assess the position and severity of the infection. We then numb the tooth to keep your child comfortable, and we could also use sedation to ensure they’re calm and cozy during the pulpotomy procedure. We will open the tooth to remove the infected portions of tissue, and then we will add a medicated filling material. This could be enough to finish the procedure, unless the infection is in a molar, at which point we may need to create and place a dental crown. This brings instant relief to the smile, and protects kids from major discomfort and the risk of missing teeth.

Protecting Little Smiles

A few simple steps could help limit the risk of tooth decay and infection. First, make sure your kids brush twice a day for two minutes, and that they floss every evening. Try to make sure they enjoy sugary snacks and treats in moderation, and encourage them to drink plenty of water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Bring them in for checkups and cleanings every six months too! In addition to cleaning the teeth, we can discuss options like fluoride treatments and dental sealants to help prevent cavities. If you have any questions, then give us a call today.

Make an Appointment with Your Shirley, NY, Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist

Our team wants to help protect little smiles and prevent the onset of tooth loss due to untreated infection. To learn more about providing treatment for serious oral health issues, then contact Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600.