Pulp Therapy and Root Canals
If your child’s primary tooth has extensive decay or has been damaged by trauma, action may be needed to restore the integrity of the tooth and to prevent and abscess. After a set of X-rays are taken, your dentist will be able to assess the extent of the infection and recommend treatment.
If the decay or trauma is confined to the crown of the tooth, a pulpotomy may be recommended. When a cavity gets really deep, close to the pulp of a tooth, or even into the pulp, the pulpal tissue becomes irritated and inflamed. A pulpotomy is when the inflamed pulp chamber, usually on a baby molar, is removed. The dentist will remove all the infected material in the pulp of the crown only, leaving the living tooth root intact. To complete a pulpotomy, the empty space will be filled with a pulpal medicament and a stainless steel crown will be placed to restore the tooth.
In the past, if your child had a permanent tooth with a diseased nerve, he or she would probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called “root canal therapy”, your child’s tooth can be saved. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your child’s jawbones, but it is also detrimental to his or her overall health.
Root canal treatment involves one to two visits. During treatment, we will remove the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental amalgam or composite. If the tooth has extensive decay, we may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breaking. As long as your child continues to care for his or her teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, the restored tooth can last a lifetime.
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