At Eastern Dental PLC, we are regularly asked, “My child’s tooth hurts, doe he need to have a root canal?” The answer varies on a case-by-case basis. Toothaches can be terribly inconvenient, making it difficult to eat, speak or even function. As a family dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, we realize that a common toothache is something most people can live with until it suddenly turns a corner and becomes unbearable. The key is to visit our dental office at that initial stage before your child reaches the point of severe discomfort. This will give your child the largest amount of options for how to treat the problem. To schedule an appointment with our family dental office, call (616) 988-3470.
If your child’s tooth hurts, you may be wondering if a root canal is the answer. The best answer to give without a proper inspection is – not necessarily. There are several reasons for why your child’s tooth is hurting, including :
- Food is stuck in between the teeth or in between the ridges on the chewing surfaces of the teeth
- Your child could have a cavity
- Your child’s tooth could have been chipped or cracked
- Your child may be suffering from enamel erosion
In these scenarios, we can treat the problem without needing to perform a root canal. For example, we can clean your child’s teeth and remove any food particles causing discomfort. If you child has a cavity, we can remove the decay and place a filling at our family dentist office. This is done quickly and is far less invasive than a root canal. Simultaneously, if your child’s tooth is chipped or cracked, we can restore it using dental bonding or dental crowns. If your child is dealing with erosion, dental crowns may be required to protect your child’s teeth. As a cosmetic dentist, we restore teeth on a daily basis and have several ways of doing so.
However, there are many times where a root canal is the right treatment option, so to answer the question, “My child’s tooth hurts, does he need to have a root canal?” we must also look at the surrounding circumstances.
How long has your child’s tooth been hurting?
Upon visiting our dental office in Grand Rapids, MI, we need to know how long your child has been dealing with this issue. We also need to know if the pain came on suddenly or if it has built up over time. This will help us in determining what the source of the discomfort is and what our treatment plan should be.
What level of pain is your child in?
At Eastern Dental PLC, we regularly ask patients about their pain and whether or not it is manageable. If it is only a slight discomfort, your child can simply visit our Grand Rapids dentist practice and have tooth decay removed. In many cases, a toothache is caused by a cavity that can be treated without the need for a root canal. However, as a Grand Rapids, MI dentist, we have found that intense pain is often due to an infection severe enough to warrant a root canal.
Check out what others are saying about our root canal support services on Yelp: Do I Need a Root Canal Grand Rapids.
When to Call Our Emergency Dentist Office
If your child has any of these symptoms, you should call our emergency dentist office at 616-988-3470 and schedule an appointment for your child to be seen right away.
- Your child’s face is swollen. In this scenario, your child could have a severe infection and require an immediate root canal. As a Grand Rapids dentist near you, we can quickly examine and treat your child.
- Your child is having difficulty swallowing. In this case, your child needs to be treated by our emergency dentist office immediately. Do not delay or take any chances with this particular symptom. It is possible to develop a dental abscess, an infection that can spread from your root canal to the floor of your mouth and even into your neck, requiring urgent care.
- Your child cannot bite down without pain. In this case, your child’s tooth could be infected and require a standard root canal. If so, we can perform the procedure quickly.
- Your child’s tooth is changing color. Another sign of an infection is if the tooth begins to change color. It may appear gray or dull, and performing a root canal could be necessary for restoring the health of your child’s tooth.
The Process of Performing a Root Canal
The second question parents typically ask us when calling about a root canal for their child is, “What is the process like?” At Eastern Dental PLC, we are happy to answer any questions you may have during your child’s examination and consultation. As a cosmetic dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, we can complete a root canal in a way that is as comfortable as possible. This is the first thing you should know – a root canal does not have to hurt. By using sedation, we can help your child feel calm and relaxed. Following the treatment, most of our patients feel better than they did before, from our sedation methods and gentle dentistry. This is because the root canal removes the infection, which is the cause of the initial discomfort. When looking for a “dentist near me” to perform a root canal, be sure to visit one who offers sedation.
When performing a root canal in our family dentist office, we do the following:
- Clean the tooth
- Numb the area
- Create a small hole in the tooth
- Remove the infected portion
- Clean the interior of the tooth
- Seal it with a rubbery substance
- Restore the tooth using a filling or crown
When completed by a skilled cosmetic dentistry office, a root canal can be finished quickly and easily.
As a cosmetic dentist in Grand Rapids Michigan, we can treat your child’s damaged or infected tooth, along with improving the appearance of his or her smile. We also offer additional solutions such as teeth whitening, bonding, dental crowns and bridges. To schedule an appointment to have your child’s teeth examined or to learn more about a root canal, call (616) 988-3470.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2015
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD). Home Page. 2015
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2015
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