Root Canals on Baby Teeth

Pediatric dentists frequently emphasize prevention over more extensive treatments, like root canals on baby teeth. Oftentimes, a primary tooth may be injured to the point where a root canal is required. This can be shocking to parents. After all, what's the sense in conserving baby teeth if they're going to fall out anyway? Here's everything you need to know about baby root canals or pulpotomy.

When is it Necessary?

Those tiny teeth are important for a variety of reasons, including chewing and speaking, as well as allowing the permanent teeth to erupt appropriately. That's why it's better to try to save it with a tiny root canal rather than an extraction.

Some reasons that can damage the child's primary teeth to the extent that a root canal becomes the last resort for saving the tooth include traumas, such as being hit in the face while playing sports, infections, and deep cavities. This can damage the pulp, causing inflammation and infection. If such injuries are left untreated, the infection can progress down the canals and out the ends of the tooth's root, potentially leading to an abscess and causing much more pain and damage.

Symptoms include pain, sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, discoloration or darkening of the tooth, pain while brushing or chewing, and a small bump on the gums near the tooth.

What to Expect?

A root canal for a child is very comparable to a root canal for an adult. The goal is to remove the affected components of the tooth and restore its function and appearance to its original state. A summary of the procedure is provided below, which parents may find useful to review.


A local anesthetic will be given to the child's damaged tooth by our pediatric dentist. This keeps the oral area numb during the procedure. A dental drill is used to make a hole in the pulp chamber, and different-sized files are used to remove the soft tissues. The affected region is medicated and then sealed off. A stainless steel crown may be placed on the tooth to protect it until it is ready to erupt. The entire procedure takes less than 60 minutes.


The recovery period after the procedure is minimal. Brushing twice a day and flossing every day are essential for maintaining a healthy smile after a root canal, and your child should continue to do so following their treatment.

Please reach out to our dental practice in West Jordan, UT, to have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Gardois. Please call us at (801) 871-5820 or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.

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