what is the minimum age for root canal treatment?

Minimum age for root canal treatment

A root canal treatment is done on permanent teeth with damaged pulp. It involves cleaning and filling dead or infected root canals. A tooth canal can be done after a certain age and depends on the root development of the teeth. In this article, I will discuss the minimum age for root canal treatment. 

whta is the minimum age for root canal treatment

The root canal treatment can’t be done at any age. It is done permanently after they have completed their root formation. On average, it takes 2-3 years for a newly erupted tooth to complete its roots. 

First molars (6th tooth from the centre) are the most important teeth in the mouth because their arrival at 6 years plays an crtical role bite development. Their position in the jaws are used to diagnose bite problems.

Moreover, they are most likely to get root canals because of their early eruption and complicated chewing surface. They have highest incidence of getting cavities between the age of 7-12 years.

A root canal is challenging in teeth with immature roots and thin root canal walls. In newly erupted teeth, the walls are pretty thin, increasing the chances of perforation in the walls. The root canals get thicker with age, with dentin deposition on the inside.

The age for root canal treatment depends on the root completion of teeth in the mouth. Each tooth has a different time of eruption and its root completion. 

Moreover, in the first molars root canal, the root completion occurs at 9-10 years, and hence the minimum age for a root canal in a child is 9-10 years. The decision to carry out a root canal is made after examining the stage of root completion on an X-ray. 

Click the link for full article on, An alternate to root canal treatment.

Why wait for root completion to get a root canal?

A tooth’s root retains the tooth in the bone, so it is essential to have a healthy and fully formed root.  For proper functioning of the teeth, the root length should be either equal or greater than the crown height. Moreover, the teeth encounter chewing stresses on day to day basis throughout life. These stresses are absorbed by the root and bone, allowing teeth to be held firm in their place. 

When a tooth erupts, its 1/3 to 2/3 root is formed. The root continues to grow for 1.5 -3.5 years until the tooth walls converge and terminates into a small opening from where blood and nerve supplying the tooth enter and exit the tooth. 

You must wait for your teeth to complete their root formation because the root canal is filled with complex and non-degradable material and doesn’t allow root growth. Therefore, the dentist opts for another procedure known as apexogenesis or pulp revascularization that helps your teeth to complete their root formation. 

The root canal is done after the root formation has been completed.

Click the link for full article on, How do you if you need a root canal?

tooth eruption and Root completion chart for permanent teeth

Minimum age for root canal treatment

Note: Central and lateral incisor are the 1st and 2nd teeth from the centre; canines are pointed the 3rd teeth from the centre; first and second premolars are the 4th, and 5th teeth from the centre; first, and second molars are the 6th and 7th large flat teeth from the centre and third molars are wisdom teeth.

Why is a root canal done in permanent teeth?

A root canal is done in permanent teeth because these teeth are for life. If they get damaged, they should be restored to their full potential. A root canal is a procedure to clean, wash, dry and fill the teeth’ root canals and reinforce its weakened tooth structure with a crown. The filling placed in the root treated teeth is permanent and is least likely to degrade over time. 

In baby teeth, the root canal filling is unsuitable as permanent teeth lying beneath the baby teeth make their path into the mouth by resorbing baby tooth roots. Therefore, we require a filling that resorbs the tooth and doesn’t interfere with the permanent tooth’s eruption. 

Click on the link for full article on, How long does a root canal take?


The minimum age for a root canal treatment depends upon the stage of the root development of the permanent teeth. The teeth with incomplete roots have weak root canal walls and are feeble to sustain a root canal. In such teeth, a filling is placed in the root canals that promotes root development and wall thickening. 

After tooth eruption, the tooth’s roots continue to grow and take 1.5-3.5 to complete. 

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