Does Your Child Need a Pulpotomy? Part One

Ah, cavities! They are so common that nearly 90 percent of adults will experience them, and sadly, more than 40 percent of kids under twelve will also struggle with them. Prompt treatment can make recovery simple, though. Often all that is required to restore the smile, after a cavity, is a simple filling. Unfortunately, the longer a person delays treatment, the more likely extensive treatment will be required. In some cases, particularly with kids, this means a pulpotomy. Though the term may sound scary, understanding what it actually entails can help you discuss the treatment with your kids in a way that will make them feel comfortable, and confident as they receive this smile-saving restorative treatment.

Why Would a Child Need a Pulpotomy?

A pulpotomy is similar to a root canal, but it is actually more conservative and less invasive, which is why it’s favored by many pediatric dentists. And this treatment only becomes necessary if dental decay reaches down to the pulp of the tooth.

The pulp is the tissue that resides within a tooth, which contains both blood vessels and nerves. When the pulp becomes exposed, it can cause inflammation and infection. This requires restorative action to stop the infection and restore the overall oral health, as well as to save the tooth from extraction. It can also help eliminate pain and discomfort that frequently go along with a tooth infection.

So if your pediatric dentist informs you that your child’s tooth has become infected, understand that restorative treatment, like a pulpotomy, is often the best way to save the tooth. It is also likely the only way to prevent the need for more invasive treatment, like a root canal, or even worse, an extraction.

filed under: Dental Emergencies, Restorations for Kids