What is a Pulpotomy?
A pediatric root canal procedure is referred to as a “pulpotomy”. A pulpotomy is slightly different from a standard root canal in that the entire pulp, or nerve, of the tooth isn’t removed. A pulpotomy is necessary when a small portion of the pulp has become infected or exposed through a crack or break in the tooth. Pulpotomies are used to maintain the vitality of the affected tooth so that the tooth will not be lost early, as early loss of posterior (back) primary teeth may cause future problems with the eruption of permanent teeth.
Why is a Pulpotomy needed?
A pulpotomy is often needed when decay spreads to the inner tooth, causing your child pain or severe sensitivity. Children are often more susceptible to this type of decay because of poor brushing and eating habits. A pulpotomy works to remove only the infected or damaged portion of the pulp. This preserves the tooth, and prevents the tooth from being extracted.
Who is a candidate for a Pulpotomy?
Pulpotomies are often performed on pediatric patients as a way to save their damaged or decayed baby teeth. We can examine your child’s teeth to determine if they may need a pulpotomy. X-rays can give us a clear view when it comes to how far down the decay or damage has gone.
What happens during a Pulpotomy?
The first part of the procedure is to numb the area using a local anesthetic. This makes the procedure more comfortable for your child. We then work to remove any decay from the tooth that is present. A small portion of the inner pulp, or nerve, of the tooth is removed. The rest of the pulp remains intact so the tooth can remain vital for as long as possible. We then pack the tooth with a medicated filling material and close it with a tooth-colored filling.
If you think your child would benefit from a pulpotomy, call us today to schedule a consultation.