Pediatric dentistry is an area of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of children. Starting good dental hygiene habits early in life is important. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, more than 50% of children under the age of nine have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth, and…
Emergency Pulpotomy Treatment for Children
A pulpotomy is the process of removing the pulp in the top of the crown while leaving the pulp in the root canal intact. The procedure is done to restore, treat and save a tooth that has been affected by decay. It is most commonly performed on children because they are at a higher risk of having tooth decay.
When does a child need emergency pulpotomy treatment?
The pulp of a tooth is found at the center of each tooth but cannot be seen with the naked eye. It is comprised of nerves, blood vessels and tissues, which work to channel vital nutrients and oxygen. Even though there are several ways that the pulp can get damaged, the damage is mostly caused by tooth decay for children.
What are the signs of a pulp injury?
Having an injured or inflamed pulp can be very painful for adults, which makes it much worse for children. Since the pulp cannot be seen with the naked eye, when a child complains about having pain in their teeth and the source of the pain cannot be detected, they should be taken to a dentist as soon as possible. Some of the other signs of a pulp injury include:
- Unexplained pain
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Nighttime pain
- Looseness of the affected tooth
- Swelling or redness around the tooth
When does a child need a pulpotomy?
Since every case is different, the dentist will consider the age of the child, the positioning of the tooth and the general health of the child before making a recommendation to either extract the tooth or to save it with a pulpotomy.
How is a pulpotomy performed?
The dentist will first perform an X-ray to evaluate the affected areas. The amount of pulp damage and the location dictates the nature of the treatment. Although there are several other treatments available, the pediatric pulpotomy is the most commonly used to treat the problem. If the pulp root is unaffected by injury or decay, it means that the problem is isolated in the pulp tip. The dentist may leave the healthy part alone and only remove the affected part of the pulp and surrounding tooth decay.
The gap caused by the pulpotomy is then filled with a biocompatible, therapeutic material, which prevents infection and soothes the pulp root. In most cases, the dentist will place a crown on the tooth after treatment to strengthen the tooth structure and minimizing the risk of future fractures and infection. Pulpotomy treatment is extremely versatile. It can be performed as treatment on baby teeth and growing permanent teeth, or as the first step in a full root canal treatment. After the procedure, the child will experience some pain, but the dentist will prescribe some medication to help alleviate the pain.
A pulpotomy is needed when a child has a decayed tooth that is causing a lot of pain due to an infection of the pulp. If your child is experiencing pain and you do not know what is causing it, schedule an appointment with their dentist to have them checked out.
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