Pediatric Endodontics - New York, NY

Treating Children’s Teeth Protects Lifelong Smiles

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Tooth-Saving Endodontics for Children

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of treated and untreated cavities in children has increased over the last four decades. Decay in primary teeth (baby teeth) or immature permanent teeth tends to progress rapidly, often impacting the pulp—the nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue in the center of the tooth. Trauma that impacts pulp is another common problem associated with immature teeth, with research showing almost a third of children experience a dental injury by age 14. In addition, a prolonged toothache can lead to infection in the pulp. Although most people associate endodontic treatment with adults, pulp procedures are used to restore the health of teeth in children. At Advanced Endodontics of New York, we combine advanced technology and a compassionate touch to deliver gentle pediatric endodontics in New York, NY. Our goal is to restore your child’s oral health, save the impacted tooth and protect their permanent smile.

Treatments to Restore Pulp and Protect Teeth

When the outer layers of a tooth are damaged due to cavities or trauma, this can lead to a painful toothache caused by inflammation of the pulp (pulpitis). Pulpitis is typically reversible in early stages, but may become irreversible when left untreated. The health and extent of pulp tissue damage determines whether pulp capping, pulpotomy or pulpectomy is the best approach. Therapies for primary teeth with normal pulp or reversible pulpitis include pulp capping and pulpotomy. A pulpectomy is recommended for nonvital pulp treatment in primary teeth with irreversible pulpitis or infected pulp that also impacts the root canal. At Advanced Endodontics of New York, we ensure your child feels comfortable and safe during treatment. We offer nitrous oxide, which is the gentlest form of sedation and safe for patients of all ages.

When a deep cavity extends very close to the pulp, the risk of exposing the pulp is high. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends leaving a bit of decay near vital pulp, then covering the area with a dentin bonding agent (e.g. calcium hydroxide or glass ionomer) in a procedure called indirect capping. Direct pulp capping is reserved for permanent teeth when decay exposes the pulp. While root canal is the best option for asymptomatic and infected pulp, capping vital pulp with calcium hydroxide then filling it with a sealant can prevent further or worsening issues.
Pulp degeneration stops root formation, leaving immature teeth with an open apex (tooth root end). It’s crucial to preserve the health of pulp because incomplete root formation in immature teeth can result in fragility. A pulpotomy is sometimes referred to as a baby root canal. It’s the procedure of choice when decay or trauma is confined to the crown of the tooth. This procedure is recommended by the AAPD for the management of pulp exposure in immature permanent teeth to achieve continued root formation and closure of the apex. It’s also performed in primary teeth, especially baby molars. During this procedure, infected or contaminated coronal pulp tissue (pulp above the gumline) is removed to reach healthy vital pulp. After pulp tissue removal, a dressing agent is applied to the pulp surface, thereby enabling the pulp to heal and the root to form. A stainless steel crown is used to restore primary teeth, since the tooth isn’t permanent and this is more affordable than a zirconia or porcelain crown.

Pulpectomies are used when both the pulp chamber and root canal of the tooth are impacted. This procedure is effective for primary teeth with dead pulp or permanent teeth with infected pulp or abscesses. Diseased pulp is completely removed from the tooth, then the canals are cleansed, disinfected and packed with a reabsorbable material. If the tooth is permanent, a non-reabsorbable material is used. The final step is to place a crown over the tooth to provide strength and restore function. The only difference between a pulpectomy and root canal is that the latter also involves sealing the empty space with a rubber-like material called gutta percha.

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Preventing Oral Health Problems in Children

Tooth decay is the most common preventable chronic childhood disease, impacting four times more children than asthma. An estimated 20% of children aged 5–11 have untreated tooth decay. Primary teeth are necessary for chewing food, integral to speech development and hold the space for proper eruption of permanent tooth. Fluoride treatment can prevent 33% of cavities in primary teeth. Applying dental sealants to the chewing surfaces of molars prevents 80% of cavities. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends children see a dentist by their first birthday. The ADA also recommends that anyone participating in sports associated with a significant risk of mouth injury wear a mouth guard. Teaching children preventive measures early in life is critical to their oral health and can also prevent the need for pediatric endodontics in New York, NY. To help maximize the health of your child’s teeth throughout childhood and adulthood, follow these additional tips:

pediatric endodontics patient playing outside with friends

Advanced Endodontics of New York has the specialized knowledge, technology, and compassionate touch to restore your child’s teeth gently and effectively.

The Benefits of Pediatric Endodontics

Endodontists have at least two additional years of training in root canals and related procedures compared to general dentists and pediatric dentists. At Advanced Endodontics of New York, we perform dozens of painless root canals and other endodontic treatments each week. We have the specialized knowledge, technology, training and compassionate touch to restore your child’s teeth gently and effectively.

If your child is experiencing tooth pain, our team at Advanced Endodontics of New York will treat the root problem!

Schedule a visit for caring pediatric endodontics in New York, NY to save your child’s smile.

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