Pulpotomy treatment is most commonly used in paediatric dentistry. We now know that if a child loses their baby teeth too soon it can affect the development of their secondary set.
If your child complains of a toothache, it is likely that they have a deep cavity in one of their teeth. And your dentist may well recommend a pulpotomy to save the affected tooth.
What is a pulpotomy?
When a tooth suffers decay, that decay will eventually deepen until it reaches the nerve tissue or ‘pulp’ within the tooth. Causing a toothache.
A pulpotomy is a common paediatric dental procedure that sees the infected portion of the pulp removed from the tooth to prevent the nerves and root from deteriorating further.
It could be carried out on patients waiting for a root canal as a way of reducing the inflammation and abating pain during the wait. However, unlike a root canal, a pulpotomy doesn’t usually affect the roots of the tooth at all.
Generally, though, it is the recommended treatment for children with deep cavities in one or more of their baby teeth.
How does it work?
First, the dental surgeon will remove the decay.
Next, they will take out the top part of the pulp chamber and disinfect the area for a few minutes with medicine.
Once this is done, the exposed area will be filled in with temporary filling material and in the case of a child, a stainless steel crown will be fitted to the remainder of the natural tooth.
What to expect
When you arrive for your pulpotomy appointment, before anything else is done, your dental surgeon will ensure you are comfortable with the procedure and know what to expect.
A numbing gel will then be applied to the area, and then the local anaesthetic will be administered with a needle around the offending tooth.
Once the area is completely numb the dental surgeon will commence the pulp. You shouldn’t feel anything throughout the procedure, although extra anaesthetic can be given if you begin to.
If the pulpotomy is performed on a child’s primary tooth then a stainless steel crown will be fitted once the treatment is finished.
In the event of an adult patient undergoing a pulpotomy a temporary filling will be placed until the the root canal therapy is complete, then a crown placement is recommended.
After the pulpotomy
You will most probably still be numb from the local anaesthetic when you leave . However, when it begins to wear off there may be slight tenderness where anaesthetic was administered .
Usually, this pain will go away within a couple of hours.
In young patients, the stainless steel crown will remain until their baby tooth naturally falls out.