What is a Pulpotomy?
The pulp of a tooth is the inner, central core of the tooth. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, connective tissue and reparative cells. A pulpotomy is slightly different from a root canal in that the entire pulp, or nerve, of the tooth isn’t removed. Pulpotomies are often performed on pediatric patients to help preserve their baby teeth for as long as possible. A pulpotomy is necessary when a small portion of the pulp has become infected or exposed through a crack or break in the tooth. It involves removing only a small portion of the pulp to prevent pain and infection while keeping the remaining pulp intact.
What might my child need a Pulpotomy?
A pulpotomy is often needed when decay is able to reach down into the inner tooth. Children are often more susceptible to decay because of poor brushing and eating habits. When this decay is able to reach the pulp, it can be very painful and cause severe sensitivity. A pulpotomy works to remove only the infected or damaged portion of the pulp. This prevents the tooth from being extracted, which could cause orthodontic issues down the line.
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 you or 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 that it can keep the tooth vital for as long as possible. We then pack the tooth with a medicated filling material and place a prefabricated crown or cap over the tooth to seal it and prevent further damage.
If you think you or your child will benefit from a pulpotomy, call Dr. Scott today to schedule a consultation appointment at our pediatric dental office in Lincoln, NE.