Gallatin Valley Pediatric Dentistry

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Child having his teeth drilled

What Are Pulpotomies?

Since your child’s teeth are vital to their normal development of speech patterns, our pediatric dental professionals make every effort to save their natural teeth. If your child has experienced decay or an infected tooth, chances are you have probably heard the phrase “pulpotomy”. However, you may still be wondering what exactly this procedure is and why your child needs it.

Simply put, a pulpotomy is a dental procedure performed on children in one of two instances. The first is when decay has resulted in the pulp becoming infected. The second scenario requiring a pulpotomy arises when a deep cavity has exposed the pulp of your child’s tooth, which can increase the risk of infection.

During a pulpotomy, all decayed material is removed, and the infected pulp is scraped out of the crown of your child’s tooth. The crown refers specifically to the portion of the tooth that is visible above the gumline. The hole in your child’s tooth is then packed with filling material. Since the pulp contains blood vessels and nerves, leaving it untreated can result in discomfort and the spread of infection.

Is A Pulpotomy Different Than A Root Canal?

While very similar, a pulpotomy differs from a root canal in a few key ways. For starters, pulpotomies are only performed on children and involve the removal of less pulp than a root canal. This is done because a child’s tooth is still developing and needs some pulp to remain healthy. Adult teeth can survive a root canal better because the gum line offers the needed nutrients to allow the roots to remain intact.

While a root canal can be performed on a child, there is a risk of the roots of the tooth dying if it has not finished developing. However, every patient is unique, and our team always chooses the best treatment options to meet the needs of our patients. If you would like more information on the benefits of pulpotomies, you can call our office today.