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What is a Pulpotomy?

A pulpotomy is a procedure used to try to save a badly decayed tooth with an infected pulp. It is sometimes called a “baby root canal,” for it is more commonly performed on baby teeth, especially molars.

What Does the Procedure Involve?

The dentist will start by making the patient comfortable through the use of an anesthetic. We offer a number of sedation options for your little one, and they will all be discussed with you in detail prior to the procedure.

During the actual procedure, the dentist isolates the target tooth with a rubber sheet or dam. They then use a special tool to remove the decayed parts of the tooth. The dentist uses a spoon excavator to remove the infected part of the pulp in the tooth’s crown. They sterilize the remaining pulp and tooth with medication. The dentist applies a putty to seal the remaining tooth. They select a crown of the right size and bond it to the tooth. In most cases, the crown will be made of stainless steel.

Six months later, the dentist will examine the patient to see how well the tooth is healing. Some patients develop infections. In some cases, the crown may fall out, especially if the patient ate sticky food.

What is the Difference Between a Pulpotomy and a Pulpectomy?

Both procedures are used to try to save decayed teeth with infected pulps. In a pulpotomy, the dentist only removes the pulp in the tooth’s crown while leaving the pulp in the roots. In a pulpectomy, the dentist removes all of the pulp and replaces the pulp in the roots with cement.

Who is a Good Candidate?

A pulpotomy is performed only when the inflamed pulp is confined to the crown. The tooth also has to be restorable. If it’s too damaged or weak, the dentist will have to extract it.

The best candidate for a pulpotomy will be a child in good overall health. Children with chronic health conditions that increase their susceptibility to bacterial infections are not good candidates. Examples include children with leukemia or tumors.

Save Your Child’s Tooth

If one of your child’s teeth is showing signs of decay, schedule an appointment at Ashburn Children’s Dentistry in Ashburn to learn more about a pulpotomy procedure. Our team of dental experts will be happy to address any questions or concerns you may have. Contact us today to book your child’s appointment.