Generally, root canal therapy is most often performed on middle aged or elderly patients. That being said, any tooth may require endodontic treatment at any age. If cavities progress into the pulp/nerve of the tooth, bacteria can begin growing. A bacterial infection in a tooth usually progresses from mild symptoms, to sharp pain at night to a dull ache as the bacteria kill the nerve of the tooth and eventually cause the bone and tissue around the tooth to feel painful. Sometimes, children will have deep fillings placed at a young age and as a teenager another cavity can occur around the old filling and wind up in the nerve of the tooth. A root canal is a dentist cleaning out the nerve and pulp inside a tooth to remove every trace of infection. If you have doubts about the necessity of a root canal, the best option would be to have her visit an endodontist. This a specialist in performing root canals. He or she can obtain X-rays and perform testing to verify exactly what is occurring inside the teeth and can let you know if the root canals are necessary.
Marc D. Thomas, DDS