WHEN WOULD A CHILD NEED TO SEE AN ENDODONIST?
Most people think of endodontics – including root canal treatment – as a specialty for adults. However, there are cases where a board-certified endodontist is needed to address issues related to severe tooth decay and trauma in pediatric patients. At Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC, we provide comprehensive pediatric endodontics for children of all ages.
What are signs that my child may need endodontic treatment?
As with adults, the pulp of a child’s tooth – which contains the tooth’s nerve — can become injured or infected, requiring endodontic treatment to try and save the tooth. Your child’s dentist may recommend endodontic treatment if he or she:
- Experiences pain in a tooth at any time, for no apparent reason.
- Has a tooth that’s very sensitive to temperature changes, both hot and cold.
- Has broken or cracked teeth with exposed pulp.
Endodontic treatment for children isn’t limited to permanent teeth. Baby teeth, which are important for chewing and speaking, also hold spaces for the permanent teeth that replace them. If your child loses a baby tooth too soon, it can result in neighboring teeth moving into the empty space, subsequently blocking the permanent tooth from coming in – or growing in crooked.
What kind of endodontic treatments are offered for pediatric patients?
Children’s teeth typically have underdeveloped roots and thin canal walls, which may require special care in order to repair and restore teeth to a natural and healthy state. At Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC, we offer several proven procedures to help improve the chances of saving an immature tooth from extraction. Among them:
- A common type of root canal treatment where a small portion of the apex (tip) of the tooth’s root is removed, along with any surrounding hard or soft tissue that may be infected.
- Vital pulp therapy, including apexogenesis and apexification. A restorative treatment to preserve and maintain pulp tissue that has been compromised but not destroyed by tooth decay or traumatic injury to a tooth.
- Pulp regeneration. A biologically-based procedure to replace damaged tooth structures.
Can I take my child to our family dentist for endodontic treatment?
While there is some overlap between endodontists and dentists, endodontists specialize in the dental pulp and nerves of the teeth. In addition to earning a dental degree that family dentists also have, endodontists complete at least two additional years of specialized, post-doctoral training to perform endodontic procedures.
Along with their advanced training in endodontic procedures, endodontists are also trained to utilize specialized equipment that make a patient’s care more efficient, safe and comfortable. These state-of-the-art instruments include the dental operating surgical microscope, digital x-rays, and 3D imaging CBCT (cone beam computed tomography).
What if my child has dental phobia or special needs?
If your child has anxiety about going to the dentist, or has special needs, our skilled team has years of experience managing pediatric patients. Sedation dentistry is a proven, effective, and safe procedure we offer to help ensure your child receives the endodontic treatment he or she needs to provide excellent oral health for years to come.
For your added peace-of-mind, we have a board-certified anesthesiologist on staff who will discuss with you the safest and most effective sedation options for your child, including:
- Nitrous Oxide: More commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a safe agent that is mixed with oxygen and breathed in and out through a mask that rests on the nose. Nitrous oxide is useful in reducing anxiety and helping patients relax while their treatment is being completed. Your child will remain awake and aware during this procedure.
- IV sedation: This method of sedation will also ensure your child receives his or her endodontic care in a safe and stress-free environment. While under IV sedation, he or she will be unaware of the length of treatment time, helping to prevent the development of concerns and anxiety surrounding future dental and endodontic care.
- General Anesthesia: General Anesthesia is sometimes necessary for children that are unable, either by age or maturity level, to cooperate during dental treatment. With General Anesthesia, your child will be given medicine to put him or her into a deep sleep – an unconscious state. There are always inherent risks where general anesthesia is used, and although they represent a small percentage of patients, all cases at Upper East Side Endodontists are carefully screened to ensure the best outcome for your child. A thorough medical examination is performde to screen for potential issues. Our pediatric anesthesiologist will usually administer the medications through an IV line, although inhaled anesthetics may also be used. A breathing tube may be inserted during the procedure to safeguard your child’s airway throughout the procedure.
Contact Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC
There are few endodontic practices that focus on children. At Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC, our team is specially trained to provide exceptional pediatric endodontic care tailored to meet the needs of children. Our many years of experience give us unique insight into the physical and emotional needs of our pediatric patients.
For the best-of-the-best in endodontic care for all ages, contact Upper East Side Endodontists in NYC, where the root of our practice is unsurpassed care, compassion and comfort!