Pulpotomies are performed when the pulp, or inside of your childs baby teeth have developed an infection or cavity.
Inside our teeth is a space, which is called the pulp of the tooth. In this space are nerves and blood vessels that feed the tooth and connective tissue that holds everything together inside. When the tooth has a cavity, bacteria can develop inside the tooth, causing further decay, nerve damage, and pain. If the nerves are exposed to air this can also cause pain.
When a cavity occurs or infection has developed in the pulp of your fully developed adult tooth, your dentist will likely perform a root canal, clearing out the space and filling it in. A root canal on an adult tooth is intended not only to save the tooth but to help keep that tooth functioning for as many years as possible. Pulpotomies may also be performed on adult teeth when root canal surgery is not possible but this is often a temporary solution and followed up by a root canal at a later time.
While baby teeth that are close to falling out are not likely candidates for Pulpotomies, if your childs baby tooth is not yet ready to be replaced by an adult tooth and the infection or cavity is causing your child pain and discomfort, Pulpotomies are often a viable solution. Pulpotomies may also be performed on new adult teeth that have not yet fully developed.
How are Pulpotomies Performed?
Pulpotomies are performed by your dentist, who will clear out the infection or decayed material inside the tooths pulp. The inside space is then sterilized and filled with a dental material that hardens dry. Sometimes it is necessary to top the filling with a stainless steel crown.
Your childs dentist will use a local anesthesia and sedation may also be an option during the procedure. It is also reasonable that your child may have a measure of worry or concern before the surgery, which should also be addressed with your childs dentist so that available options can be discussed.
After Care for Pulpotomies
Pulpotomies require some after surgery care as well. If your child experiences pain or discomfort after the procedure, over the counter pain relievers are often sufficient for pain management. However, if swelling occurs or if pain becomes worse you should contact your childs dentist right away.
While proper oral hygiene is always the best solution for cavities and dental decay, sometimes cavities occur despite all our best efforts. If left untreated, those damaged tissues can lead to more serious dental health issues later in life so it is important that the infected tissues are removed as early as possible.
Talk to your childs dentist about the best treatments available for your childs best dental health. Together, we can provide your child with the best dental care possible for a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.