Getting a root canal make sense as an adult when you are trying to save an adult tooth, but what happens when a root canal is needed for a baby tooth? If you believe a root canal isn't necessary for a baby tooth, then you may not know everything about the procedure. Here is what you need to know about root canals and baby teeth.
Why a Root Canal Is Needed
A misconception about baby teeth in general is that dental procedures are not necessary on them. Baby teeth eventually fall out, which is why people believe everything will be fine once that happens.
One thing to remember is that it could take many years for that adult tooth to eventually grow in. It is not until a kid turns 13 that they should have all of their 28 adult teeth. Molars are the first teeth to come in, but can appear any time between the ages of 6 and 13. The incisors come in as early as 7 years old, followed by the bicuspids at age 11.
If your kid needs a root canal well before the tooth is supposed to fall out, then there will be complications. Your kid could experience pain due to exposed pulp in the baby tooth.
Why Extraction Is a Bad Idea
Another reason for not getting a root canal on a baby tooth is because extraction is believed to be a viable alternative. Pulling the tooth will leave behind a small gap between your kid's teeth that could last for multiple years, in addition to several complications caused by pulling the tooth.
For starters, the surgical site of the tooth extraction could be damaged due to exposure. Having a tooth pulled without the adult tooth following closely behind it could cause issues with teeth drifting towards the gap. If the surrounding teeth are already adult teeth, then this could cause a complication that requires braces later in life.
Missing teeth also cause problems with brushing and flossing, as well as create insecurities. Kids lose teeth all the time, but a prolonged period with a missing tooth could be embarrassing for them.
Why Get a Root Canal
Having a root canal can prevent the baby tooth from becoming cracked, being chipped, or having an abscess that forms along the bottom of the tooth. These problems will only cause more pain later on and require immediate attention to alleviate the pain.