Purposed to treat, restore and ultimately save an affected tooth, pediatric pulp therapy may be referred to as a root canal or nerve treatment. While some wonder why pulp therapy is suggested for primary teeth that will eventually fall out, pediatric dentists emphasize the importance of primary teeth in speech development, healthy chewing habits and for alignment and spacing of permanent teeth. Thus, if you’ve been told that your child needs pulp therapy, here’s what you should know.
To begin, it’s important to understand that while you cannot visibly see the pulp of a tooth, pain from an infected pulp can be severe. Your child may complain of the following:
- Pain in their tooth at night
- Intermittent or unexplained pain during the day
- Tooth sensitivity to different foods or beverages
After inspecting the tooth, you may notice redness or swelling in the gum tissues around the tooth, or you may notice that the tooth has pulled away from gum tissues and is becoming loose.
It’s important to seek treatment and guidance from a respected pediatric dentist if you suspect that your child has an infection in their tooth. While every circumstance is unique, and it may seem ok to simply have the tooth extracted or removed, this is not always the best course of treatment. Remember—primary teeth serve a critical role for the healthy development and positioning of permanent teeth!
For the most part, there are two common approaches to pulp therapy—pulpotomy and pulpectomy. It all comes down to the amount of infection and damage to the tooth. For instance, a pulpotomy can be safely performed when the decay affects only the tip of the tooth’s pulp. In this case, the dentist will remove the affected pulp and allow the healthy portion of the pulp to remain. Soothing material is used to fill in the gap where the decay was present. A pulpectomy, on the other hand, involves removing the entire root of the tooth. In other words, a pulpectomy is a full root canal, and is usually performed in cases of severe tooth decay or when a child’s tooth has suffered trauma.
At Vital Smiles, we believe that kids from all communities and backgrounds deserve quality dental care that will enhance their oral and overall health for years to come. Has it been some time since your child has seen a dentist? Is your child complaining of tooth pain? Your call is welcome at Vital Smiles today!
Posted on behalf of Vital Smiles