A pulpotomy is also known as a baby root canal. As that name suggests, it is a root canal procedure done on a baby tooth. A pulpotomy is done to save a baby tooth that has been damaged by severe decay and has developed an infection within the pulp. It differs from both real root canals and pulpectomies in that the dentist only works on the pulp within the crown while leaving the pulp in the roots.
What Does a Pulpotomy Involve?
Our root canal treatment for children is unique in that we can administer anesthetic and provide sedation that ensure that your child is as comfortable as possible. Our dentist, Dr. Dean-Duru will then place a sheet of rubber, called a rubber dam, over the tooth to isolate it from the other teeth and reduce the amount of saliva it will be exposed to.
The dentist then uses a laser to make a hole in the tooth and remove all the infected and decayed material. They then apply a special medication to treat the nerve and seal the tooth. The dentist will fill the tooth with a special material to strengthen it.
In many cases, the tooth will need a crown. The dentist will choose a crown, usually made of stainless steel, that will fit the tooth. They will bond the crown to the tooth.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
The ideal candidate will be a child in good overall health. Children with chronic conditions, like leukemia, that make them more vulnerable to infections are not good candidates. The tooth also has to be restorable, and the infection can’t have gone beyond the crown. If the tooth is too weak to be restored, the dentist will have to extract it. Ideally, however, the tooth will be preserved at all costs to help with the development and placement of the other teeth in your child’s mouth.
How Can You Tell a Child Needs a Pulpotomy?
Signs that a child has a badly decayed tooth and might need a pulpotomy can include the following:
- Severe toothache, especially when eating
- Swelling of a jaw or cheek
- Discolored or darkened tooth
- Tenderness and swelling in the nearby gums
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold that persists even after the sources are no longer present
If your child has been experiencing tooth pain and you believe they may need a pulpotomy, please visit the professionals at Ashburn Children’s Dentistry in Ashburn, VA. We will do everything we can to ensure your child is pain-free and happy. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!