If you have very young children then you’re probably concerned about helping their teeth remain healthy and strong, at least we hope so! Childhood tooth decay is a real problem throughout the world and is something we strive to prevent. There are lots of reasons for looking after your kids teeth, as toothache can feel every bit as bad for children as for adults. Sometimes the tooth decay can even reach the center of the tooth, inflaming what’s called the pulpal tissue, causing that characteristic toothache. If this does occur then it’s important to get your child treatment as soon as you can, as without professional dental care it may develop into an abscess.

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A pulpotomy is a process used to clear out the inflamed pulp chamber in a baby tooth, after which the empty chamber is completely sterilized and permanently sealed. You might also hear this treatment being referred to as a baby tooth root canal. This is slightly misleading as it’s not really a root canal, but it is quite a common procedure for young children and generally tends to be carried out on their molars or back teeth. It’s quite an effective treatment and is used to help save the tooth from early extraction.

What’s the Procedure for a Pulpotomy?

We will make sure your child is comfortably anesthetized so they don’t have any discomfort during treatment. Once they are comfortable and relaxed then your pediatric dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth, before accessing the pulp chamber which contains the pulpal tissue. Treatment only involves the top part of the tooth and doesn’t extend into the root canals of the tooth as it would with adult root canal therapy. Once the pulp chamber is empty then it is specially treated to help sterilize the area before being permanently sealed up with putty like material. Afterwards it’s generally necessary to completely crown the affected tooth to restore it so it can be used normally.

As we mentioned earlier, a pulpotomy is reasonably successful at helping a baby or milk tooth to last longer. However if the tooth is already abscessed then we are unlikely to be able to save it. It doesn’t take much decay in a baby tooth for the pulpal tissue to be affected. This is because of the anatomy of a baby tooth, as the pulp chamber is larger than in an adult tooth. In addition, tooth decay prevention can proceed quite rapidly in baby teeth, and this is one of the reasons why it is so important to make sure your child attends their regular checkups with their pediatric dentist.

This will hopefully enable us to detect any signs of decay before it is necessary to carry out a pulpotomy. We can also work with you to try to identify the reason for the tooth decay, and can suggest preventative measures to help lower the risks in the future. This might be as simple as changing their daily dental care routine, or perhaps modifying their diet to include less sugary foods.

Visit Kids Best Dentist NYC for more information