Inside every tooth is a space called the pulp chamber that houses the nerves, the blood supply, and the soft tissue that keep the tooth alive. When the pulp tissue becomes infected or inflamed due to deep cavities or a traumatic injury, a child can experience immense pain. Dr. Lin may recommend pediatric pulp therapy (also called a “baby root canal”) to repair and preserve the affected tooth and to relieve your child from any discomfort.
Why Preserve a Damaged Baby Tooth?
Losing a baby tooth prematurely can interfere with chewing and speech development, and can affect the alignment of the permanent teeth developing behind the scenes. Moreover, the gap left by a missing tooth could allow the adjacent teeth to shift and tilt, potentially resulting in crooked teeth, a crowded mouth, or bite problems. As a result, it is often desirable to try to save a baby tooth with damaged pulp rather than to simply remove the tooth. Often, pediatric pulp therapy can be used to save such a tooth.
What Are the Types of Pediatric Pulp Therapy?
There are two types of pediatric pulp therapy: pulpotomies and pulpectomies.
Pulpotomy: A pulpotomy can be performed on baby teeth and growing permanent teeth and is used when pulp needs to be removed only from the tooth’s crown (the top part of the tooth). The procedure involves the removal of the infected or damaged portion of the pulp, which provides relief to the remaining healthy pulp tissue. After cleaning the area then filling it with a special medicated filling, Dr. Lin will use a restorative crown to strengthen the tooth and protect it from future fractures.
Pulpectomy: In teeth with severe decay, trauma, or pulp infection, the entire pulp tissue (meaning pulp in both the tooth’s crown and its root) may need to be removed.
In both pulpotomies and pulpectomies, the infected or damaged pulp tissue is removed, the tooth is disinfected, a therapeutic filling material is applied, and a restorative “crown” (a cap that goes over the tooth) is used to strengthen the tooth and protect it from further damage.
How Can You Prevent Pulp Damage?
The best way to prevent pulp damage is to keep your teeth healthy and protected against injury. That involves meticulous oral hygiene practices, regular dental exams and cleanings, and protecting your child’s teeth from trauma using protective custom mouthguards during athletic activities.
Pediatric Pulp Therapy Near Me
Contact Hurst Pediatric Dentistry in Hurst, TX, to learn more about preserving your child’s teeth with the help of pulp therapy. We always strive to deliver exceptional, gentle care at our kid-friendly facility to help our patients maintain healthy, happy smiles.