Conservative and Endodontic Treatments
Dental health is important from an early age. Dental decay that occurs as a combination of unhealthy eating habits and inadequate oral hygiene can cause discomfort for your child, even disrupting their daily comfort during early childhood.
Initially, toothaches may occur during meals, but if neglected, it can lead to spontaneous and long-lasting pain throughout the day. At this point, intervention on the tooth becomes a necessity. In cases where tooth decay and tooth loss are more common in children, fillings (conservative treatment) or root canal treatment (endodontic treatment) can be performed.
Fillings (Conservative Treatment)
After removing the decay, filling material is applied to the primary tooth, which has lost its functionality due to decay. The aim is to stop the progression of decay, alleviate sensitivity, and restore chewing function, thereby prolonging the lifespan of the primary tooth. It can be performed under local anesthesia, according to the dentist’s recommendation.
In Which Cases Is Filling Done on Primary Teeth?
It is important to observe whether your child has any dental issues. Your child may have difficulty expressing a toothache. You need to pay attention:
- Smell your child’s breath from time to time.
- If there is a change in tooth color, consult a doctor.
- Observe if he constantly touches his cheeks and complains of pain.
- If he/she smiles or speaks abnormally, it may be related to a tooth problem.
- Observe if your child chews their food properly during meals.
- Oral odor can also be a sign of dental problems. Especially if there are decayed teeth. In such cases, it is beneficial to consult a dentist.
What Happens If Decayed Primary Teeth Are Not Filled?
Primary teeth should not be underestimated just because they are temporary. Otherwise:
- They can damage permanent teeth.
- They can cause infection and abscess pain.
- They can hinder the healthy eruption of permanent teeth.
- More problems may arise in later years.
- They can contribute to the development of serious diseases such as rheumatism and heart conditions.
- Decay can progress and reach the nerve endings of the tooth. Which can cause severe pain.
Root Canal (Endodontic Treatment)
Root canal treatment in children is a sensitive issue that requires expertise. The progression of decay in primary teeth, which are rooted like permanent teeth, can cause problems such as nighttime pain, sensitivity to cold, and swelling. In such cases, root canal treatment is recommended for primary teeth.
Tooth decay, which is determined by factors such as nutrition, oral structure, and dental care, is more common in children compared to adults. Root canal treatment, which prevents early tooth loss, is a treatment applied not only to primary teeth but also to permanent teeth. The main situations where root canal treatment can be preferred to prevent tooth loss are as follows:
- Presence of tooth abscess
- Infected teeth
- Teeth damaged due to accidents or trauma
- Tooth loss that may lead to functional loss in the jaw and tongue
- Tooth loss that may cause speech problems or eating disorders
In the majority of the population, it is believed that the lost tooth will be replaced by a new tooth; however, if primary teeth are lost early due to reasons such as infection, decay, or severe trauma, it can lead to various developmental problems in children. These problems include:
- Disturbances in speech
- Chewing and grinding deficiencies
- Misalignment of permanent teeth, resulting in crooked or overlapping teeth
What Are the Stages of Root Canal Treatment in Children?
Pulp Treatment in Children
This approach is preferred when the damage to the pulp is mild. It can be beneficial if the infection is in its early stages and has not yet caused extensive damage to the tooth. In such cases, the pediatric dentist will repair the damaged tooth without directly interfering with the pulp, apply antibiotics, and cover the tooth. The direct application of antibiotics to the pulp can prevent the progression of infection.
Pulpotomy in Children
Pulpotomy, also known as partial root canal treatment, is one of the most popular approaches to root canal treatment in children. If the X-ray shows that the infection is localized in the upper part of the tooth, a pulpotomy is a good choice.
It is important to only remove the infected pulp without interfering with the healthy pulp in order to preserve and stabilize the tooth. Antibiotic treatment and tooth sealing methods are also applied in pulpotomy.
Pulpectomy in Children
Pulpectomy is a comprehensive procedure in which root canal treatment is fully implemented. This procedure requires sensitivity and expertise. The tooth is first disinfected, and then the canals are shaped and advanced. In the final stage, the tooth is sealed.
Local anesthesia is a common protocol for all treatment approaches. Local anesthesia relaxes the child mentally and physically and ensures that the procedure is painless.