When one of your children’s primary teeth has suffered extensive decay or has been damaged in a traumatic injury, it’s likely that your dentist will propose a course of action to prevent infection from spreading to other teeth and to help restore the damaged tooth’s integrity.
After taking a selection of X-rays, your child’s dentist can then assess the extent of the damage and infection. Follow their analysis, the dentist will typically suggest either a pulpotomy or a pulpectomy.
If the trauma or decay is only present in the crown of the tooth, then a pulpotomy is the likely path forward. When a cavity gets down closer to the pulp of the tooth, then severe inflammation and irritation will result. With a pulpotomy, the dentist will remove all the infected tissue in the crown while leaving the root of the tooth live and intact. Your child’s tooth will then be restored using dental cement and a dental crown.
However, if the infection involves both the crown and the tooth root, a pulpectomy will likely be the suggestion your dentist makes. With this procedure, all the pulp material will be removed from the crown and roots. The pulp chamber and root canals will then be disinfected and cleaned out. The tooth and roots will be filled with dental cement and finished with a dental crown.
If you are attempting to decide which procedure your child may need, you’ll have to consult with their dentist so that their damage can be assessed. The dentist will be able to answer any questions you may have about the best course of treatment and what it will mean for your child’s long-term dental health.
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