A pulpotomy is often called a “baby root canal” because it is a restorative pulp treatment used to treat tooth infections in baby teeth. A pulpotomy differs from a root canal because it only removes the crown portion of the dental pulp, leaving the roots intact.
A root canal can treat infections that spread to the root, but pulpotomies are specifically meant to treat a tooth infection that is isolated in the tooth’s crown. This infected pulp is removed at our Beaumont office, then a sedative medication is applied to encourage healing and reduce sensitivity.
If the pulp bleeds for too long or is completely dry, a root canal will be needed.
During your child’s consultation, our Beaumont team will need to examine and take x-rays of their tooth to identify the extent of the infected dental pulp and determine if it can be treated with a pulpotomy.
We will then administer a local anesthetic to numb your child’s mouth so they won’t feel any pain from the dental drill.
To reveal the tooth’s inside layer of the dental pulp, we will need to drill a hole to reach the pulp chamber.
The crown portion of the infected pulp is scraped out.
The tooth is filled with a medicated filling such as MTA which kills any remaining bacteria and strengthens the tooth structure. If the tooth is a molar, a crown will be placed over the tooth for protection.
Your child may need a pulpotomy if they start experiencing significant tooth pain, especially at times that interfere with their sleep. Feeling tooth sensitivity after consuming hot or cold foods and drinks is another sign, especially if this sensitivity lingers. Swelling and tenderness are signs of inflammation and suggest your child has a tooth infection that requires pulpotomy treatment.
A pulpotomy is a minimally invasive and painless treatment. It can save a tooth before a root canal is needed because the infection hasn’t yet reached the tooth’s roots. Once it gets to this point, there is a risk of irreversible pulpitis in which the tooth may need to be extracted.
Pulpotomies are highly successful treatments that prevent the need for more invasive treatments and can save a tooth. Even baby teeth are extremely important for your child’s oral health and permanent tooth development.
The pulpotomy procedure itself only takes about 30 to 45 minutes. During the procedure, we completely remove the infection and treat the bacteria with a medicated filling so your tooth is fully restored to health during the appointment.
You may experience some minor tooth sensitivity, tenderness, or swelling for a few days following the procedure. This should subside within a few days. You may also be prescribed antibiotics.
Other than this, you are free to return to your normal lifestyle immediately after your appointment. You will only need to wait for the anesthetic to wear off before you eat or consume hot liquids.
Pulpotomies are usually performed in primary teeth but can sometimes be used in adult teeth.