Pulpotomy For Kids Explained – Everything You Should Know About The Procedure

Pulpotomy For Kids Explained – Everything You Should Know About The Procedure

Infected baby teeth are not too common and can be prevented with proper oral hygiene and routine checkups at Shirlington Pediatric Dentistry. Still, tooth infections can happen at any age, and if your child has an infected baby tooth, Dr. Shwetha Rai may recommend a pulpotomy, also sometimes called a “baby root canal.” So, what is this procedure, and why does your child need it? Find out now. 

What Is A Pulpotomy, And Why Would My Child Need One?

A pulpotomy is a procedure that’s done to remove infected and irritated pulp from the inside of your child’s tooth. The pulp is the innermost part of the tooth, and it’s filled with blood vessels and nerves that keep your child’s tooth alive. If the outside of your child’s tooth is broken or damaged, bacteria can enter the tooth, infect the pulp, and start destroying the tooth.

This usually causes a toothache, and the infection will eventually spread through the whole tooth. This will typically result in premature tooth loss, or the need for a tooth extraction to pull the damaged tooth. In the procedure, Dr. Rai will numb your child’s mouth, then open up the tooth. She will remove infected pulp from the top (crown) of their tooth, exposing fresh and uninfected pulp.

Then, she will apply a special medication to the inside of the tooth, seal it, and cover it with a dental crown. This removes the source of the infection. Over time, your child’s tooth will heal, allowing them to keep their baby tooth until it falls out naturally as their adult teeth emerge.

Why Are Pulpotomies Called “Baby Root Canals?”

A pulpotomy is sometimes called a “baby root canal” because the procedure is similar to root canals that are done to adult teeth, and pulpotomies are usually only done on primary (baby) teeth. In contrast to pulpotomies, though, root canals on adult teeth involve what’s called a “pulpectomy.”

Unlike a pulpotomy, which preserves most of the natural pulp inside a tooth, a pulpectomy involves removing all of the pulp material, then replacing it with an inert material that preserves the tooth.

Recognizing The Signs Of Infected Baby Teeth In Kids

Wondering if your child has an infected baby tooth, and may need a pulpotomy? Here are a few signs that you may want to bring your child into Shirlington Pediatric Dentistry for a checkup with Dr. Shwetha Rai.

  • Tooth sensitivity – Deep cavities and infected teeth will compromise the outer structure of the tooth, making your child’s tooth much more sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure. If they have a sensitive tooth, this may be a sign of a tooth infection.

  • Toothache – Since the infection is attacking the nerves inside the tooth, a tooth infection can also cause serious pain. If your child has a toothache that won’t go away and gets worse after a day or two, they likely have an infected tooth.

  • Tooth discoloration – Infected teeth may turn brown, gray, or dark over time. If you notice any kind of tooth discoloration in your child’s mouth, you should see Dr. Rai for a checkup in Arlington right away.

  • Gum swelling – The presence of bacteria around an infected tooth can also cause swelling and color changes in the gums near the affected area. If you notice swollen or discolored gums, get in touch with us for a consultation.

Contact Shirlington Pediatric Dentistry For A Pulpotomy In Arlington, VA 

A pulpotomy is the best way to save, protect, and preserve an infected baby tooth. If you think that your little one may have an infected tooth, we’re here to help. The child-friendly team at Shirlington Pediatric Dentistry will provide the expert treatment your child needs in a comfortable, caring environment. Contact us online or give us a call at (703) 646-1805 to schedule a consultation now.


Ready to Get Started?

Let’s Spark a Lifetime of Smiles

Book now