What is a Pulpotomy?
A pulpotomy treatment is necessary when the pulp chamber in the center of a baby tooth becomes infected. This can occur if the tooth has untreated tooth decay and where the decay gets close to the pulp chamber or even penetrates it. When this occurs, the tissue in the pulp chamber will become irritated and inflamed and it’s likely your child will have toothache. Without treatment, the inflammation and infection will continue to spread, eventually resulting in an abscess. A pulpotomy treatment is used to try to save and restore the tooth. This procedure is very common and is usually quite successful. You might also hear a pulpotomy being called a baby tooth root canal, although the exact procedure is a little different and in some cases may be carried out on a child’s permanent adult teeth.
Dental x-rays will be taken to see the extent of the infection in the tooth and to determine if the root is infected. This treatment is normally performed using local anesthetic but extra sedation can be helpful in calming very young or anxious children.
First, NJ pediatric dentist will remove the decay to access the pulp chamber in the crown of the tooth. This is then removed and the area is sterilized. Next, the empty pulp chamber is sealed up with special putty -like material. The final step in the procedure is to restore the tooth usually with a crown. Unlike an adult root canal treatment, a pulpotomy treatment does not remove tissue in the root canals of the tooth.
How Successful Is This Treatment?
A pulpotomy treatment is usually quite a successful and teeth treated in this way will have a reasonably good prognosis. However there are certain limitations and a pulpotomy cannot save a tooth that has already developed an abscess. Even a small area of decay can be sufficient to reach the pulp chamber in a baby tooth. Often tooth decay in kids will spread quite rapidly and the pulp chamber is quite large in comparison to the size of the crown of the tooth. Occasionally complications can arise and the tooth extraction procedure will have to be done. We always do our best to try to save baby teeth and consider this treatment to be worthwhile and a reliable way to restore badly decayed teeth.
In case of child toothache you should contact us immediately to schedule an appointment for a limited oral examination so we may determine the cause of their pain. There is a much greater chance our doctor can save an infected tooth with a pulpotomy if the treatment is conducted in a timely manner.
D3220 – Therapeutic pulpotomy (excluding final restoration) – removal of pulp coronal to the dentinocemental junction and application of medicament
D3221 – Pulpal debridement, primary and permanent teeth