Dental & Oral Health Data Verified

Baby Tooth Root Canal

Published on Dec 22, 2021   -  5 min read


Do kids really need a root canal for their decayed teeth? Get the answer to this question and learn in detail about root canal treatment in milk teeth.


What Is a Root Canal?

It is an Endodontic treatment. Root canals remove bacteria and dead or dying tissue from inside the tooth. The most vital part of a tooth is the pulp; it contains living tissue that involves blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. When the infection reaches the tooth's pulp, it is indicated for root canal treatment. In extreme cases, when the infection involves the furcation area of the root, then extraction may be needed.

What Happens During Root Canal Treatment?

During root canal treatment, your dentist uses tiny tools to clean the tooth's canal, and it is then filled with the artificial nerve (layman term), thread-like material. The prepared cavity is then filled with restorative material, and then a cap or crown is given to the tooth. In modern dentistry, the root canal procedure is not tiresome or complicated as it was before. Nowadays, it is a quick and comfortable procedure.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Also known as caries or cavities, tooth decay is caused by permanent damage to the outer layer of the tooth in the form of tiny holes or openings. Many factors are responsible for this, including bacteria, lack of good oral hygiene, refined carbohydrates, sugary food, drink, and frequent snacking. Tooth caries or cavities are a common problem for children and adults. Anyone can develop tooth decay, even infants. If left untreated, they continue to grow and enter the deeper layers of teeth. This leads to more severe infections and may even cause loss of tooth.

Are Root Canals Really Necessary in Kids?

Parents wonder when they hear that a root canal will be needed in their kid's baby tooth. Everyone thinks that the Root canal is just for adult teeth or permanent teeth. A root canal is necessary to avoid the extraction of a tooth and prevent the tooth from extraction. A root canal is carried out in following of the situations:

Is There Any Specific Age for Root Canal Procedure?

No, root canal procedure can be carried out at any age. In children's also baby teeth at times need root canal treatment, and in children's, it is carried out by a Pedodontist who is a kid's dental specialist.

What Are the Signs That Indicate Baby Tooth Needs Root Canal?

How Can We Protect Our Child’s Tooth to Prevent Root Canal Treatment?

As we all know, root canal treatment is carried out only when there is extensive tooth damage or more spread of infection. It is always better to prevent than get it treated. So let's see about various ways to avoid it.

1. Brushing twice a day- Brushing in the morning and at night helps to reduce the risk of caries and consequently the risk of a root canal.

2. Flossing is also equally essential to dislodge plaque and calculus. If your child is not flossing in between the teeth, they are given a chance to multiply the bacteria in the mouth, which will be the cause for multiple problems and bad breath.

3. Avoid eating hard foods such as Candy /nuts/ carrots etc., when you know your child's tooth is weak, it can get cracked on biting hard food substances. Similarly, chewing on ice can also break your teeth. Cracked teeth will harbor more bacteria, leading to more infection, so taking that precaution is very important.

4. For a tooth to go for root canal treatment, it is not necessary that there should always be an infection, any kind of trauma to the tooth can lead to it. So the habit of bruxism, that is night grinding, can cause trauma to the tooth, so it is critical to go for a mouth guard if your child has bruxism.

5. Mouthguards or protective appliances should be used during sports to avoid contact sports injury such as football/basketball/swimming/boxing/ or just for any sports etc.

6. Acidic food affects the outer layer of the tooth that is enamel, making the tooth weak, acidic substances found in juices or soda or sugary substances. So that needs to be avoided.

7. When we talk about breastfeeding or bottle feeding, in either of the cases, when the child sleeps with milk on teeth, it becomes more prone to caries or infection. So, make sure your child sips in water after feeding to prevent caries.

If there is pain, then there is something wrong that is happening in the tooth, so better to get it treated before it becomes more complicated.

What Is the Age to Get a Root Canal Treatment Done?

Root canals are performed on children ages 12 and older, but when infection and damage to the tooth are extensive, then at times, the dentist decides to perform it on baby teeth.

What Is a Root Canal of a Baby Tooth Called?

In adults, this procedure is called a root canal, whereas, in the case of deciduous teeth, it is called a pulpectomy or pulpotomy procedure. In a pulpectomy procedure, the dentist removes the nerves of the affected tooth and infected tissue. Then it is filled with a medicated material, and afterward, the tooth is covered with a cap or crown to prevent further decay and damage.

Why Do You Get Crown After Root Canal?

After the root canal tooth gets weak, when it is related to the posterior tooth, chewing forces can cause the tooth to fracture to prevent that and give a weak tooth strength. It is necessary to provide a crown on root canal-treated teeth.

Why Do Some Root Canals Take Two or More Visits?

In root canal procedure, there is the removal of the infection. When there is a severe infection, it may take one or more visits to clear the disease and make it clean, disinfected, and fill it. Also, sometimes it takes time to clear the infection and its healing. Afterward, canals can be filled.

Why Would a Dentist Do a Root Canal When Baby Teeth Are Still In?

Saving a baby tooth is equally essential as a permanent tooth. The root canal of baby teeth, also known as pulpectomy or pulpotomy, protects the tooth from extraction and gives the teeth enough time to fall out on their own.


Most of the root canals last for a lifetime. When a baby tooth is lost early, there will be many issues such as chewing problems, speech impairment, and alignment of developing permanent teeth. Alignment problems occur because adjacent teeth get drifted in missing tooth space, which will create space problems in the future. Therefore, instead of extraction, getting a root canal treatment is advisable to prevent complications if it can be done.

Last reviewed at:
22 Dec 2021  -  5 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

Can root canal treatment be done on a small kid?

Query: Hello doctor, My 2-1/2-year-old son has a problem with four teeth (front, above) and doctors are suggesting RCT (root canal treatment). Here are my questions. Can RCT be done for such a small child? Will it affect his next teeth at around 7 years of age? Is there any alternate for RCT ...  Read Full »

Which is the best treatment for badly decayed front teeth in a child?

Query: Hello doctor, My 3.5 years old daughter's upper front four teeth have decayed very badly and our dentist has advised on either root canal treatment or taking them out. Which treatment is best suited overall for my daughter?  Read Full »

I have two milk teeth covered by adult teeth. How long will it take to remove the baby teeth?

Query: Hello doctor,I have two milk teeth in my mouth in the upper part. There are two adult teeth on top of that as visible from the x-ray. I wanted to know if I start the procedure now, how long it takes to pull the two adult teeth down and remove the baby teeth?  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Root Canal Treatment or Milk Teeth?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.