Spinnaker Pediatric Dentistry on Pulpotomies

Has your little one been complaining of a toothache? Did your pediatric dentist recommend a pulpotomy? You’re probably wondering what this procedure is, whether your child will feel any pain, and why the dentist didn’t want to just yank out the affected tooth and relieve your little one’s pain and discomfort. This post will provide answers to these questions and much more.

What is a pulpotomy?

In the dental world, a pulpotomy is the removal of the inflamed part of the pulp (nerves of the tooth) that exist in the visible part of the tooth (the crown). When a tooth becomes infected the bacteria in your child’s mouth will start attacking the pulp inside the tooth, killing nerves and blood vessels. In the past, there would be nothing we could do to save such a tooth, but today Spinnaker Pediatric dentists can perform a pulpotomy (commonly referred to as a baby root canal) to remove the infection, saving the decayed baby tooth and relieving your little one’s pain and discomfort.

Who needs a pulpotomy?

Each child is different and every situation is unique. In most cases, a pulp chamber can develop inflammation when a cavity destroys the outer layer of the tooth and starts attacking the softer inner pulp. Because the pulp is full of nerves, this causes a lot of pain and discomfort. Even though the source of the pain may not be visible to the naked eye, other symptoms like swelling or redness around the affected tooth and an increased sensitivity to hot and cold food temperatures will quickly make it obvious that your child needs to see a pediatric dentist.

Oral trauma can also cause infections in the tooth. If your child slips and falls, cracking or breaking a tooth, bacteria can enter into the pulp region of the tooth and lead to an infection. That’s why it’s very important that your child receives immediate care after an oral injury.

Does a pulpotomy hurt?

Not at Spinnaker Pediatric Dentistry! Our team can provide your child with a fun and relaxed experience that will keep them coming back to see us without tears. Even though a baby root canal may sound like an aggressive treatment, it’s actually quite painless for your child.

Our pediatric dentists use state-of-the-art dental lasers to remove the inflamed pulp tissue in the inside of your child’s tooth. Because we use lasers, there will be less swelling, shorter recovery times, and a more precise procedure that targets only the infected tissues. This also means there’ll be less noise since there’s no need for a drill — putting even the most anxious of patients at ease. Once the pulpotomy is complete, our team will add a beautiful crown to restore the tooth’s attractive appearance and prevent further damage or decay. A pulpotomy not only relieves your child’s pain and discomfort, it also treats the infection that’s causing inflammation in the pulp, allowing the baby tooth to continue normal development until a permanent one grows to replace it.

Why a baby root canal instead of just pulling the tooth?

Now you may be wondering why pediatric dentists make every effort to save a baby tooth — which is going to fall out anyway, and only opt for extraction as a last resort. Here’s the truth in, under, and behind every primary tooth in your child’s mouth: baby teeth don’t only help your child speak and chew properly, they also act as space maintainers for the adult teeth that will come in after them. If your child loses a milk tooth too early, there’s a big chance the remaining teeth will shift, push, pull, and stray out of their positions to fill the gap, destroying the alignment of future permanent teeth. It’s also important to address infection in baby teeth because they can cause lasting damage that spreads to the permanent teeth even before they come in. And unlike a tooth extraction, a pulpotomy will ensure an infection doesn’t spread to neighboring teeth or surrounding gums.

Save your child’s baby teeth with proper dental care.

A pulpotomy is a safe, painless procedure that can save a decayed or damaged baby tooth, preventing it from getting extracted and allowing your child to keep the tooth until it’s good and ready to fall out on its own. If your child has been complaining about a painful tooth, schedule an appointment with us to learn more about pulpotomy procedures at our practice. We will only recommend such a procedure for your child after we have thoroughly evaluated their oral health and determined that a pulpotomy is the best way to save the tooth and protect their future smile. So don’t wait. Call us on (503) 647-6106 to book an appointment right away.