pin pin pin

Pediatric dentists can help save a child’s baby teeth with procedures like baby tooth root canals.

Questions & answers

Baby tooth root canals

What are the types of baby tooth root canals?

The two major forms of baby tooth root canals are pulpectomies and pulpotomies. Pulpotomies are used when the infection has not reached the tooth roots, and in these cases, our dentists will only need to clean, disinfect and seal the pulp chamber. If the pulp chamber and tooth roots are infected, a pulpectomy is recommended. This procedure involves cleaning the roots and pulp chamber of the tooth before sealing it. .

When might a pediatric dentist recommend a root canal?

Our dentists may recommend a baby tooth root canal if your child’s teeth become infected or damaged to the point where the pulp chamber (or inner nerves of the tooth) is affected. Baby teeth perform vital functions in the mouth, including preserving space for the permanent teeth to erupt, making a root canal the preferred treatment whenever possible.

How is the procedure performed?

Our dentists will begin by numbing the treatment area to help keep your child comfortable. A small hole will be drilled in the tooth, into which we will place files. These files are used to remove the dental pulp. We will then place medication into the opening of the tooth to sterilize the pulp chamber and seal the tooth to keep harmful bacteria out. The tooth is then sealed with a composite resin or a crown to complete your child’s treatment.

How long does the procedure take?

Baby tooth root canals usually take about an hour to complete. If your child cannot sit still for that long, our dentists may segment the treatment to make sure they can take breaks. Sedation options are also available to help keep your child calm and relaxed during their treatment.

Are baby tooth root canals painful?

The infections that make root canals necessary are usually uncomfortable and unpleasant, as they inflame densely packed tissue with nerves. This makes the tooth extremely sensitive. When your child receives this treatment, our dentists will provide local anesthetics and other sedation options to ensure their comfort. During their procedure, they should only feel slight pressure. Discomfort following their treatment should be minimal and should subside quickly as they recover. Please speak with our dentists and team if you have any questions.

Baby tooth root canals


Pulpotomy is an endodontic treatment that is most often used on primary (baby) teeth. When decay or injury reaches the dental pulp, which is the innermost layer of the tooth, patients often experience tooth pain and sensitivity. If not treated, the tooth will likely abscess and eventually require extraction. In order to prevent this, our dentists may recommend pulpotomy.


During pulpotomy, we remove the decay inside the pulp chamber. The area is sterilized, but unlike a regular root canal treatment, the tooth nerves are not removed or treated. In some cases, not all of the dental pulp is removed, thus maintaining the vitality of the remaining healthy pulp. For these situations, we often use a therapeutic dressing to maintain the healthy pulp. After the decayed pulp is removed and the tooth is cleaned, a dental crown is often required. We most often recommend stainless steel crowns for children.

While pulpotomy is rarely recommended for permanent (adult) teeth, this treatment may be suggested if decay has reached the pulp but much of the pulp is still healthy. If the roots of the tooth have not finished forming, a partial pulpotomy can give the tooth a chance to finish forming.

For more information about therapeutic pulpotomy and the other high-quality services we provide, please feel free to contact our office today.

Contact us

At Dentistry and Braces group, we believe that everyone deserves exceptional dental care, no matter their age or circumstance. For personalized, comprehensive dental care, contact our experienced dentists and make your appointment today.