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Are root canals necessary for your child’s baby teeth?


If you haven’t done a diligent job of maintaining a good hygiene for your child or if your child is eating too many sweets, their baby teeth would lead to tooth decay.

If it were a simple cavity (tooth decay) that had been treated in the early stages, a regular dental filling or maybe even a dental crown would be the recommended treatment.

But if your dentist has recommended root canal, you might be thinking why. Since your child’s baby teeth will eventually come out on their own to give way to their permanent teeth, you might wonder what the point is of trying to save one that is at risk of being lost prematurely.

Saving a baby tooth may be just as important as saving a permanent tooth. This treatment is necessary when the decay in a baby tooth is deep enough to have affected part of the nerve.

Root canal treatment is a way of saving a tooth with bacterial infection or inflammation or pain or additional decay by replacing the affected nerve by a medicament in order to prevent tooth decay from spreading further and help the tooth function normally. This medicament or filling material is “biocompatible” so it can be absorbed by the body.

They are routine procedures that can help save your child’s smile. Root canals don’t hurt but toothaches do. A root canal treatment is typically recommended unless the tooth is about to fall out on its own.

If the tooth does not get a root canal and eventually has to be removed, there may be problems with the new adult teeth coming in.

Dentists in Delhi and dentists in India are constantly explaining the need for maintaining the integrity and health of milk teeth to parents as premature loss of milk teeth can cause a number of undesirable consequences.

The loss of baby teeth can interfere with chewing, speech development, and most importantly, the alignment of newly developing permanent teeth.

The purpose of a baby root canal is to maintain the integrity and health of a baby tooth and the supporting gum tissue and bone.

Each baby tooth holds the space open for the permanent tooth that will emerge behind it.  If a gap will form prematurely due to the loss of a baby tooth, the remaining teeth will shift position to fill it. And that can affect the ultimate alignment of permanent teeth.

Dental Clinics in India are routinely doing this procedure and explaining to the parents the need of saving their child’s baby teeth. It is an important part of preventing infection and maintaining the health of the developing permanent teeth.

Apart from deep decay (cavities), trauma to the tooth, like accidentally getting hit in the mouth with a ball or through a fall or blow injury can also damage the nerve.

The nerve is located in a central space within the tooth filled with blood vessels and connective tissue.

The nerves remain sensitive and which is why nerve damage typically (though not always) triggers pain, the most obvious symptom that something is wrong. Tooth pain is often an indication that decay has moved into the nerve or roots.

If you think your child is too young to need root canal treatment, there is no age limit for this treatment.

Since this infection can permanently damage your child’s teeth if not properly treated, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible if your child is showing symptoms of an infected tooth like-

  • a sharp pain in teeth
  • sensitive to hot or cold food and beverages
  • Broken tooth


If the infection is advanced, the baby tooth may have to be removed. Root canal treatment for baby teeth is a better choice than tooth removal if at all possible. It helps a child retain full function of their teeth, jaws and tongue, preventing speech problems, and it helps guide the permanent teeth into their proper places.

So, if a children’s root canal is the recommended treatment, there is no need to worry. A root canal will actually relieve the pain by getting rid of the damaged portions of your child’s tooth. Keeping the baby teeth in place would act as a guide for the permanent teeth that are forming underneath them.

The only way to repair a damaged, decayed tooth or infected tooth is through dental treatment.

Your children’s teeth won’t repair themselves, in the case of any infection; root canal treatment is likely needed to rid the tooth and surrounding areas of infection.

Posted by- Dr Suprriya and Dr Shriya