If your child has a visible abscess or severe toothache, your dentist will likely recommend treating the tooth with a pulpotomy. Pulpotomies are the pediatric equivalent to root canal therapy – but more straightforward and simpler to perform. By treating the tooth, it can be saved and kept in place until it’s closer for the tooth to exfoliate (fall out) naturally.
During a pulpotomy, the area of decay is removed, as well as the infected nerve tissue inside the inner chamber of the tooth. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and medicated, and sealed off to prevent debris from entering back into it. The roots of the tooth are left alone to allow for natural absorption as the child ages. Once completed, a temporary crown is placed over the tooth to protect it for several more years.
Losing a tooth prematurely can cause a variety of complications that involve the teeth surrounding it. Typically, other teeth will drift into the space and fail to leave room for developing adult teeth to erupt properly. The end result is an impacted adult tooth and the need for orthodontic treatment to correct the tooth spacing and patterns. Saving the tooth for several more years can delay the need for orthodontic treatment.
Don’t put your child’s pulpotomy treatment off. Failing to remove the area of infection can allow it to spread to other areas of the mouth and face. In rare circumstances it can even lead to hospitalization. Treating the tooth as early as possible is the best way to keep the cost of care down, and ensure the safety and health of your child.
Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman
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