Baby Root Canals and Pediatric Crowns 101 - Hardy Pediatric dentistry & Orthodontics

Baby Root Canals and Pediatric Crowns 101

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Tooth decay doesn’t discriminate and can impact people of all ages–even the very small!  Baby root canals are necessary when a cavity in a baby tooth is deep enough to have damaged the nerve, or a nerve is damaged severely through injury to the tooth.  A baby root canal removes the damaged nerve and the decay to keep the health of the tooth intact and to prevent infection from spreading to the developing adult teeth or surrounding gum tissues and bone. Following a baby root canal procedure, a pediatric crown is placed over the treated tooth to help protect it and keep it strong. Why not just remove the tooth? Losing baby teeth prematurely can impact chewing, speech development and the alignment of newly developing permanent teeth. Those baby teeth serve an important role!  


Injured or Infected Baby Tooth? Why Don’t We Just Pull It?

Baby teeth serve an important role in helping your child chew his/her food thoroughly so food can be processed effectively (and safely). You can learn more about the vital role of baby teeth by reading what the American Dental Association has to say about it. Baby teeth also impact your child’s self-esteem. How she feels about her smile impacts so much about how they feel about themselves. Making efforts to help our children have healthy teeth and gums can help them feel confident in their smiles and want to share them. Baby teeth also serve as protection for gum tissue. Exposed gum tissue can be harmed when chewing food. Exposed gum tissue from teeth that have fallen out too soon makes the gums more prone to infection and problems and also puts the permanent teeth, below the gums, at more risk for development problems.  Another very important role the primary teeth play is to help the permanent teeth erupt in their normal positions. Baby teeth act as spacers until the permanent teeth are ready.


Why Is a Baby Root Canal Necessary?

Contrary to what you might think, baby root canals are one of the most commonly needed nerve treatments for a baby tooth.  Baby root canals are needed when a deep cavity invades a baby tooth and affects the tooth’s nerve. During treatment, the affected part of the nerve is removed to preserve the integrity of the rest of the tooth. This allows the baby tooth, supporting gum tissue and bone to continue to serve their purpose while safeguarding the developing adult teeth, and mouth, from infection.


What Is a Pediatric Crown?

The last step of a baby root canal is to place a pediatric crown over the treated tooth to offer more support and strength to the structure. Pediatric crowns are used to not only improve the shape of your child’s tooth, but to allow the child to continue to use the tooth normally for chewing and speaking without risking further damage to the baby tooth.  A crown is small “cap” that is adhered to the existing tooth, covering the part of the tooth that is above the gum line. The crown becomes the new outer surface for the baby tooth. Dr. Nam matches the pediatric crown color to the color of neighboring teeth so that they blend in with your child’s smile.


How Laser Dentistry Improves Your Child’s Experience

Dr. Nam is Colorado’s first dentist to offer your child treatment for removal of tooth decay and crown prep with THE BEST dental laser on the market–the Lightwalker® Laser.  No other pediatric dentist in Colorado can offer you this kind of laser dentistry expertise. The Lightwalker laser allows your child to receive gentle and comfortable treatment that doesn’t require the traditional drilling.  99 percent of our patients will not need shots when we use the Lightwalker laser–that’s how comfortable it is. The Lightwalker laser allows Dr. Nam to remove the decayed/damaged tissue before the pediatric crown is placed with precision and comfort. Other benefits your child can expect with this amazing technology include:


  • Faster healing
  • Little or no post surgical discomfort
  • Safe, fast and comfortable treatment for both soft and hard oral tissues
  • No noise (or smell) of traditional drilling
  • Sterilized treatment area
  • Little or no numbing required
  • Gentle, comfortable experience


Call to Schedule Your Baby Root Canal Procedure

Baby teeth serve an important role in your child’s mouth. The best way to understand all that Lightwalker laser dentistry can do for you with the Baby Root Canal and Pediatric Crown placement is to make an appointment with Dr. Nam so that a thorough examination/discussion can take place.  With our Lightwalker® laser technology, Dr. Nam can treat and care for your child in a way that decreases anxiety and improves the overall experience of baby root canal treatment.  If you have more questions about pediatric laser dentistry at our Erie office, or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today at 720-887-6003 to make an appointment.  (For more information on Lightwalker®, please visit