When adults think about root canals, chances are children are the last thing on their minds. After all, children's primary teeth naturally fall out once they reach a certain age, so it might come as a surprise to know that a root canal may be necessary if a child develops a severe cavity. Read on to learn why children can benefit from root canals even more than some adults.
Why Pulling Baby Teeth Isn't A Good Idea
It may seem like common sense that if primary teeth are naturally designed to fall out, there's no real harm in pulling the tooth if a severe cavity develops. However, a child's primary teeth play a major role in the development of permanent, adult teeth.
Baby teeth aren't there just to give children a way to chew during childhood. The permanent teeth that grow beneath the baby teeth develop directly under the path the baby tooth has paved before it. When a baby tooth is removed before the permanent tooth is ready to emerge, the permanent tooth may become misaligned, and come in crookedly. As a result, other teeth may be pushed out of position, and the child may need braces in the future.
Why Dental Implants Aren't An Option For Kids
Dental implants help to preserve the bone density of the jaw and the spacing of surrounding teeth in adults, but they're not useful for children. The reason for this is that a child's jaw grows rapidly, like the rest of their body, but the dental implant doesn't. This means that a dental implant may be too small as the opening for the tooth increases, making it loose, or easily broken out of the mouth. Therefore, they are not an effective spacing option.
Root Canals Benefit Children's Permanent Teeth
Having a root canal performed can potentially save the baby tooth until the permanent tooth is ready to move in. Doing this means that the permanent tooth will move up into the spot the baby tooth is in properly, and surrounding teeth won't become pushed out of position.
It's important for adults to help children to maintain their dental hygiene, as cavities can wreak serious damage, even to baby teeth. However, if a cavity develops and a root canal is deemed necessary, don't be afraid of the procedure. Root canals can potentially protect a child's smile from becoming crooked or overcrowded, allowing the body to use the baby teeth as guides for the permanent teeth. For more information, contact a company like Dodson Endodontics.