10 answers

9 Year Old Needs a Root Canal! Anyone Been Through This?

My 9 year old broke his permanent front tooth back in Feb (8 mo ago) and has been in severe pain the past few days. Took him back to the dentist today and they told me he has to have a root canal! I am 32 and have never had more than a minor cavity filing. Has anyone else had a young one need a root canal. He's so scared of the pain factor. Any advice?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi, My kids haven't needed a root canal, but I had to have TWO this spring (no idea why my teeth suddenly were so bad) and I was very nervous because "root canal" sounds so terrible. It wasn't really a big deal in the end. Basically like getting a filling, except it took a bit longer. The dr. sent home Tylenol for the pain, but I didn't have enough pain to even bother taking one.

Hope that helps!

More Answers

My 6 yo grandson had a root canal as well as other major work done. The first pediatric dentist said that they would have to give him general anesthesia because he is very active and has difficulty sitting still. We took him to another dentist who specializes in being as pain free as possible. He did the work in 4 sessions without general anesthesia. He uses a drug that sounds like it might also have an anti-anxiety component. My grandson got bored but never complained of pain.

I've had several root canals. They weren't any more painful for me than having a filling. They did take more time.

The dentist my grandson goes to spends the first visit gaining the child's confidence. They cleaned his teeth and would've taken x-rays if they other office hadn't sent the ones over that they took. This dentist has written a booklet on pain free dentistry for children.

I recommend that you find a pediatric dentist who is concerned about the comfort of his patient. Make an appointment to for an exam and have the dr. discuss what will be happening with both of you. If you can reassure him that the pain will not be so bad, tho there will be some that will help. You can tell him that once this is done the pain will stop.

I noticed, during this experience in which I took my grandson to 3 different dentists (the first one doesn't do major work) that it makes a big difference in the dentist's philosophy and ability to get along with children. The second dentist specializes in pediatrics and major work. My grandson squirmed, wouldn't stay in the chair, was in general very difficult. He'd been compliant and easy with the first dentist. He was back to being co-operative with the third one who did the work. He does have behavior issues which the first and the last dentist managed very well. The dentist's skills with children is as important as their skills with dentistry.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi S. - My oldest son had to be knocked out to get some dental work done when he was younger and later was able to have some dental work (teeth pulled & fillings) when he was awake - we also have a wonderful pediatric dentist). The BIGGEST thing (Marda already touched on this) is to go looking for a proper dentist who will not only help make your son feel more comfortable but help explain the procedure in simple enough terms to your son to help put his mind at ease. They (dentist) many times can share with you & your son books/videos that will help take the "fear" out of it. When talking to your son, yes he is in pain but through a little rough patch of getting it fixed he will be way better off for it! If you are also able to be as realistically calm too he will take clues from you & will start to relax. So the advice goes right back to looking for a dentist who will work not only with you but make your son comfortable (many pediatric dentists can do that, but check their added specialties). Plus many times (again with the right dentist) you will be able to stay in the room with him as the procedure is done. Good luck & God Bless!

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, I had a root canal--and you can tell him that it will be SUCH A RELIEF once he goes! Nothing compared to the pain I was feeling prior to the root canal. The ache afterwards was bliss next to the excruciating mess I was in prior. And the root canal itself--the process--was not bad. If he's very frightened, make sure the dentist knows.

Oh, and often kids inherit their teeth from others. My daughter was unfortunate to inherit mine (darn it!), but my son was lucky.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I had a root canal when I was 21 and it was a relief. The pain before was much worse than the proceedure. I also went to a dentist that specialized in this. My regular dentist refered me to him.

Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

my two and a half year old just had nine root canals done. we thought going in he would only need four. doc found five more once he was knocked out. I would find a good pediodentist. if your son is scared they can sedate him. my son is too little it would have been impossible to keep him awake. I dont have much more adivce then just to hang in there. make sure his mouth stays clean until he can get in and have the root canal done. hang in there mom!! i know its way easier said then done.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi There,

I had a root canal when I was 21 and it sucked at that age! I just wish now I had the darn tooth taken out. It would have been a lot less painful and recovery time a lot faster. Is it a tooth he REALLY needs? or is it a tooth in the back? if its in the back I would just have them take it out. I wouldnt want my child to go thru that. Its really uncomfortable and even with drugs you still feel it when they put in those long wires into the root to find the nerve endings and take them out. I think their is 4 nerves they pull out. It really hurt. Then afterwards your mouth is swollen and sore. I was on vicodin for a few days. Its really not something i would suggest for such a little guy! Have them take it out if its a tooth he doesnt need!! Best of luck to you. :)


I fell down cement stairs at 10 and broke my 2 front teeth. I had my first root canal at 10 and they ended up putting bondings on. Are they doing bonding or a crown or can they save his tooth?
I had a great dentist who was used to working with kids. Get someone who is willing to take time talking to him before he starts. What ever you do don't lie to him. It will hurt for a a couple of days but it gets better.
I still remember my mom took me shopping for books and let me eat and watch whatever I wanted to for 3 days after. She also took the time off work to be with me and I was able to be a big baby for that time.
Good luck and let him it only hurts for a little while! Stay strong.

My oldest had one when he was 4; it happened days after his very first dentist appt., too! What kind of rapport do you/your son have with your dentist? I think the way the staff deals with you and your son is a huge factor. You might also call ahead to speak with the dentist/staff to voice your/your son's concerns. They should be more than willing to do this for you either over the phone or in person.

One thing that surprised me (and that I begrudgingly followed) was that they suggested I NOT be chairside during the procedure. He was 4!! I stayed out, though, and it went much better than had I been there and he felt like he could "run" to me for help. Remember that they know what they're doing and try to follow their cues for both of you. Good luck to you!!

Hi, My kids haven't needed a root canal, but I had to have TWO this spring (no idea why my teeth suddenly were so bad) and I was very nervous because "root canal" sounds so terrible. It wasn't really a big deal in the end. Basically like getting a filling, except it took a bit longer. The dr. sent home Tylenol for the pain, but I didn't have enough pain to even bother taking one.

Hope that helps!

Such a hard choice.

Root canals are very toxic to the body due to the materials used. Also, when the actual tooth is treated by root canal, the root is then dead leaving the tooth to rot in the jaw.

Here are a few websites to consider.


Best of luck.


Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.