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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Child root canal

06/11/2009

Question:

my five your old daughter is in pain the dentist told her she needs a root canal and they will put her out she has a hard time letting the dentist look her in her mouth is this normal

Answer:

Yes, unfortunately, the problems and treatment that you describe are quite common. The pulp tissue (nerves and blood vessels) inside the tooth is often infected when children complain of toothaches. The appropriate treatment in order to save the tooth is to remove that pulp tissue ("baby root canal").

If your child is very fearful and resistant to care, the only safe and humane way to treat her is to have her sedated or treated under general anesthesia. It's no different from children the same age who need tubes in their ears or tonsillectomies.

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health (Children) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Dennis J McTigue, DDS Dennis J McTigue, DDS
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University