Root canal treatment is a popular solution for adults who experience severe tooth decay. When the infection reaches the pulp of the tooth, which is the chamber that houses the nerves and blood vessels, removing the infected tissues is the most effective way of stopping it from growing worse. However, conventional root canal treatment can often be more than a younger, smaller tooth can take. At our Dallas, TX, children’s dental office, we offer a pediatric version of traditional root canal treatment, known as pulpotomy, to address invasive tooth decay in children’s teeth and preserve their healthy smiles.
The difference compared to adult root canals
Until they reach their pre-teens, children often still retain some of their primary teeth. This means a tooth that is decayed may be destined to fall out anyway, and restoring it might seem frivolous. However, treating tooth decay is about more than saving a tooth; it’s also about stopping the decay from spreading further. In the case of a primary tooth, it’s also about ensuring the tooth remains until its permanent replacement is ready to erupt properly.
Why it’s called a pulpotomy
Often referred to as pediatric root canal treatment, pulpotomy involves removing just a portion of a primary tooth’s pulp – the infected part – and filling the chamber with a medicated filling to eliminate the infection. Compared to traditional root canal treatment, which generally involves removing all of the tissues from the pulp and root canal, pulpotomy is a more conservative approach designed specifically for children’s teeth. If the tooth still has a while before it’s ready to fall out, or if the pulpotomy removed a significant portion of the pulp, then we might also suggest placing a custom-made dental crown over the tooth for additional protection.
Determining if it’s a good idea for your child
While pulpotomy is a good idea for many of our young patients, we’ll only recommend it after a thorough and comprehensive dental examination. If the decay hasn’t reached the pulp, then a more conservative tooth filling might be a more appropriate treatment option. If the underlying permanent tooth is ready to erupt properly, then removing the infected baby tooth might be preferable.
Learn more about pediatric root canal treatment
If your child’s tooth is severely decayed, then pediatric root canal treatment (or pulpotomy) may be the best way to treat it and preserve your child’s long-term oral health. For more information, schedule an appointment by calling Pediatric Dental Care at Casa Linda in Dallas, TX today at 214-321-4880. We proudly serve patients living in Casa Linda and all surrounding Dallas communities, including Lakewood, Lake Highlands, Forest Hills, and more.