Root canals make most adults cringe. So imagine how parents feel when they hear that their child needs a root canal! But don’t fret!
child root canal pulpotomy

A “root canal” for a baby tooth, which is called a “pulpotomy”, is very different for your child.

When is a pulpotomy necessary?

Pulpotomies are generally recommended for

  • Extensive tooth decay, often caused by an untreated cavity
  • Multiple cavities or dental issues have occurred on the tooth
  • A tooth that is chipped or cracked rack
  • Tooth is injured by trip, fall, or impact during sports

What is a pulpotomy?

Teeth are composed of multiple layers of tissue. Underneath the hard white enamel coating is another hard layer called dentin. Then, underneath the dentin, is soft tissue called pulp. The pulp of a tooth contains all the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp nourishes a tooth as it is growing and helps your child’s baby tooth to stay healthy. The pulp also helps to make sure that your child’s baby tooth comes out on time and helps the adult tooth that replaces that baby tooth come in correctly.

How does a pulpotomy differ from other cavity fillings?

A pulpotomy is not the same as a filling. A filling for a cavity is used when the surface of a tooth (the enamel) has become weakened by decay. Cavities can be severe and require large fillings. A pulpotomy is used when decay has reached the interior of the tooth (the pulp). This means that the pulp has become infected and requires treatment before a filling can be put in the tooth.

Steps of a pulpotomy

If your child needs a pulpotomy, their dentist will follow a simple three step process.

  • Remove the inflamed or infected area of the pulp of the affected tooth
  • Carefully clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth
  • Fill and seal the tooth

It is important that you allow our staff to guide your child through their treatment. We will explain each step in terms that they can understand.

Benefits of a pulpotomy

Since a pulpotomy saves the natural tooth, it has many advantages over extracting a baby tooth.
Keeping your child’s baby teeth help to maintain efficient chewing and alignment by keeping the tooth in place, maintain your child’s normal bite and save your child the stress of having an extraction.

Do you think your child may need a pulpotomy? We’re happy to answer any questions about your child’s teeth.

Give us a call at 336-887-9277 to learn more about pulpotomies and to set up your next dental appointment.