Comprised of nerves, tissues, and blood vessels, the pulp of a tooth is not visible to the naked eye. Yet, there are several ways it may become diseased or damaged. With tooth decay and trauma being the primary ways that the pulp is damaged in children, pediatric dentists may perform Pulp therapy as a means to save affected teeth.
In short, pulp therapy serves the same purpose as a root canal. There are two common pulp therapy procedures. Depending on the extent of decay or trauma, dentists may perform a Pulpotomy or a Pulpectomy.
What is a Pulpotomy?
When decay or injury only affects the tip of the pulp, dentists may opt to leave the healthy portion of the pulp alone. The Pulpotomy involves removing only the affected pulp and surrounding tooth decay. To protect the remaining healthy pulp, therapeutic materials fill the gap, providing protection against further decay. Following the Pulpotomy, a crown is often placed on the tooth to strengthen and protect the tooth’s surface.
While the Pulpotomy can be performed alone, it can also be used as a “first step” in a full root canal.
What is a Pulpectomy?
When tooth decay and infection affects the entire pulp and root, it must be fully removed. A Pulpectomy is a procedure used to remove the pulp and cleanse the affected area before filling the space with biocompatible materials. This procedure can be performed on baby teeth as well as permanent teeth. As with a Pulpotomy, a crown is often placed on the tooth following treatment to give support.
Is Tooth Extraction A Better Alternative To Pulp Therapy?
When it comes to your child’s damaged tooth, it may seem easier to simply have the tooth removed, especially if it is a baby tooth. While every situation is unique, pediatric dentists want you to know—there are consequences involved in removing teeth, at any stage. Some include a shortened arch length, premolars that are impacted, insufficient space for permanent teeth, and a tongue that may posture incorrectly.
At Vital Smiles, we believe that your child’s oral health is vital, and that’s why our practice is built around providing quality dental care to children of all ages and backgrounds. Do you have concerns about your child’s teeth? Call Vital Smiles today, and give your child the best chance for a happy smile.
Posted on behalf of Vital Smiles