Pulpotomies are performed to remove the diseased pulp tissue within the crown portion of a tooth. The pulp tissue is located in the central core of the tooth and contains nerves, blood vessels, connective tissue, and reparative cells. A pulpotomy is most commonly performed to maintain the life and vitality of the affected tooth to prevent loss of the tooth. Dental cavities and traumatic injury are the main reasons for a child’s tooth to require pulp therapy.
Pediatric pulpotomies are often referred to as a “nerve treatment”, “children’s root canal”, “pulpectomy”, or “pulp therapy”. During the procedure the diseased pulp is removed and then a preventative agent is placed to stop bacterial growth and to calm the remaining nerve tissue. This is followed by a final restoration which is usually a stainless steel crown. The two common forms of pulp therapy in children’s teeth are the Pulpotomy and Pulpectomy.
A Pulpectomy is required when the entire pulp is involved and goes into the root canal(s) of the tooth. During this treatment, the diseased pulp tissue is completely removed from both the crown and root. The canals are cleansed, disinfected and, in the case of primary teeth, filled with a resorbable material. If this is performed with a permanent tooth, it would be filled with a non-resorbing material. The procedure is finished with a final restoration, again usually a crown.
Here at Kids Rock Pediatric Dentistry, we offer different sedation methods (Nitrous, Oral Sedation and General Anesthesia) for pediatric pulpotomies and pulpectomies to help calm your child’s anxiety. You can also expect your child expect to receive a local anesthetic as well to prevent the child from feeling any pain at all.
After the procedure, the child can expect to feel numbness on their cheek or lip. This feeling should subside after an hour. It is encouraged to limit any physical activity and hard foods for the remainder of the day. The patient may resume oral hygiene and rinse with warm salt water 24 hours after the procedure every 3-4 hours. This will help to prevent infection.
If your child feels any pain, sensitivity, or discomfort 24 hours after the procedure, please call our office at (719) 424-4668. Give us a call if you have any additional questions regarding pediatric pulpotomies and pulpectomies.