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How is a root canal performed on a 6 year old?
My grand daughter, age 6, with all her baby teeth was told (her parents were told) she needs 3 root canals, and three crowns. How is a root canal, a long and tedious procedure, performed on a child?

She is getting ready to lose those baby teeth soon anyways. I would wait. As long as she isn't hurting or swollen then don't do it. That seems like a lot of money to be putting out on teeth that you are gonna lose within a year or two's time. I just recently had a root canal and crown down and it is far from cheap. This just sounds absolutely ridiculous to me. Yes it is true that a lot of root canals don't have to be done and that some dentists do try to get money. Her parents do need to make sure that she gets into a good brushing and flossing habit expecially when she gets her adult teeth. It is important to try to keep your adult teeth as long as you can for health reasons. Get her brushing well and laying off all the sugars and juices would be wise. Some of these juices contain so much sugar that is just lays there on the teeth and overtime produces cavities and if cavities are left untreated can get into the root. Not a good thing. Even if they have to brush her teeth for her it needs to be done in the morning and right before bed. No sweets before bedtime or hiuces or milk since milk contains a lot of sugar. I bet if they do that they can set her up to have healthier adult teeth.

Blunt Honesty
The same way it is done on an adult. Unfortuately, there are no short cuts to the process. I do find it odd that a 6 year old is getting root canals, though. I would think that the baby teeth can be pulled. If they are the permanent teeth already, it may be needed, but I think I would get a second opinion first.

I'm not a dentist, but I don't think a 6 year old needs a root canal! I don't know where you live, but here in Chicago we recently had a five year old girl die from too much anesthetic while getting fillings and crowns - on baby teeth. This is ridiculous and may be a ploy by the dentist to get more money. If I were you, or the child's parents, I would refuse the treatment.

Mark Twain O
Three root canals and crowns? On baby teeth? I cannot imagine any dentist proposing such a thing. Get a second opinion and be prepared to report/sue the first dentist.

Penguin Gal
that sounds like a scam to me

I have never heard of a 6 year old with crowns or root canals. They are all baby teeth that fall out. Dentists is trying to get the big BMW.

Alisha S
Get a second opnion and quick... sounds like they have taken her to a quack the first time. Way to young....

It does sound like a scam like the other person posted. There is no reason I can think of to perform a root canal on a tooth that will with certainty fally out.

I did have a root canal at age 8, but not on a baby tooth. The root canal was performed just as it is on an adult and wasn't any more fun then than it is now.

I would see another dentist for a second opinion.

On a child that young the dentist usually just uses an axe.

Get a new dentist,

Those are baby teeth. It is unnecessary expenses.

It is not Root Canal,but it is Pulpatomy.The procedure is similar to the root canal,but not entirely.It basically is removing the top portion of the nerve and placing a special medical fill called IRM,it has unpleasant smell and taste.The child has to comeback for a second time in a couple of weeks,just to be sure that the pain is gone.On the second apt. part of the IRM filling is removed,but still a little portion of it is left to calm the remaining part of the nerve.Over the IRM filling then is placed regular composite fill and the kid is good to go.This procedure is very common and if the tooth is left untreated it is going to get infected.The baby teeth might not be ready to fall out yet and they shouldn't be taken out,unless the permanent teeth are very close underneath them!
About the crowns,it is a little unusual,but definitely not uncommon and I have seen it even on smaller kids!
Still if you feel uncomfortable with what the dentist told you,just get a second opinion and compare!But don't wait for the kid to get abscess!!!

I'd be looking for another dentist and quick!

Why would you want to perform a root canal on a child with baby teeth? My sister was about that age when the dentist insisted she have a root canal. Years later a NEW dentist said you should NEVER perform a root canal on baby teeth.

Talk to a dentist

killer boot
that sounds wierd.
i'd get a 2nd opinion.

Actually is not call a root canal for children are call Pulpotomy I think that is a different procedure then a root canal they do kill the nerve out But the best thing to do before he has it done ask the dentist what is it that he is going to do and what is it call because I know is not a root canal.....

Are her teeth that bad?

First, I would get a second opinion.

the child might have to be knocked out

It is performed under general anesthesia. IT is not to be taken lightly. Be sure to get a second opinion as to the necessity of going through this.


Terry B
While their under anestesia, Its like an operation.....
Some dentist are money takers. Root Canals should only be performed on permanant teeth, unless there is something really wrong. Get a second opinion for sure.

OMG! Run from that dentist as fast as you can. No, no, no. He's trying to get all your money. You do NOT do root canals or crowns on baby teeth. There was a story a couple of months ago about a 6 year old who died in the dentists chair from an anesthesia overdose from having root canals. He's been charged with reckless endangerment and manslaughter. It was unnecessary and he killed her.

Holy cow. I couldn't believe this when I read it!

My response to this is WHY? A child's baby teeth should fall out naturally and not require any intervention unless 1) there has been an infection of some sort, or 2) the child hasn't been taking of her teeth and they're so decayed they must be removed. Baby teeth have little in the way of a root; root canals are normally done on adult teeth. I would get a second opinion on this.

There are only two people who have a clue what they are talking about in this series of grossly uninformed answers.

A pulpotomy is a very simple procedure for a baby tooth. The idea is to keep the tooth in the arch until it is due to be lost. This will hold the space for the permanent tooth that will replace the baby tooth. The reason for doing this is that it is much cheaper to save a baby tooth for a few years than it is to correct the arch length deficiency with braces if you take out the tooth. MUCH cheaper.

Here's a general information piece I wrote a while back:

The procedure is called a pulpotomy, which is a child's version of root canal. It is a much quicker technique. The dentist removes the tissue from the root canal of the baby tooth (Yes, they DO have roots until they are ready to be shed when the roots have disolved.) and fills it in with a special cement made for this purpose. The tooth is then restored with either a simple filling or, if there has been a lot of breakdown, a pre-formed (inexpensive) stainless steel crown.

I'd say, the younger the child, the greater the indication for doing a pulpotomy. The purpose of this is to save a tooth rather than have it removed. Baby teeth DO serve a purpose, you know. The child uses them to eat with. On top of that, they will maintain the space that is needed for the permanent tooth to fit into the arch.

If you don't have the pulpotomy performed, the tooth will eventually hurt like heck, as the pulp (nerve and blood vessels inside the tooth) are already inflamed and probably infected. An abscess can pop up very quickly in a child. An infection (the abscess) can cause discoloration or even deformity of the permanent tooth.

If you decide to have the tooth taken out, especially at a very young age, it is very likely that the arch space will close up and there will not be room for the permanent tooth to come in. It is rather common to see a lower premolar growing in with the crown pointed half-way towards the tongue after one of the baby molars was removed at an early age without being replaced with a space maintainer.

If there is already an abscess showing in the mouth and if the x-ray shows that the bone between the roots has already been destroyed, a pulpotomy has a lower chance of success. Since this can happen in a matter of days in a child, do not delay treatment once it has been recommended.

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