“Pulpotomies” are the pediatric version of adult root canal treatment. Although both a pulpotomy and root canal are used to treat abscessed teeth, they work slightly differently. Baby tooth root canals in OKC are performed by our Children’s dentist, Dr. Phil.
Does My Child Need Root Canal Treatment?
Any type of pulpotomy or a baby root canal is used for treating:
Since each of these conditions involves the nerve inside of the tooth, treatment needs beyond that of a traditional dental filling or crown is essential.
The Difference Between a Pulpotomy and Root Canal
The nerve tissues inside of a tooth are typically referred to as the “pulp”. When we’re treating a permanent (adult) tooth, the pulp is removed, and the nerve chamber is completely sealed off to prevent reinfection. But doing that on a baby tooth would prevent the tooth from naturally resorbing (shrinking away) as the adult tooth starts to push it out of place. So instead, we use pulpotomies.
Pulpotomies involve removing the infected nerve tissue, thus eliminating the source of pain and infection. The empty canal is then cleaned out and medicated. However, it is not filled like a permanent tooth. The hollow canal is left behind and then a crown (“cap”) is placed over the tooth to allow it to continue functioning normally.
What if Treatment is Delayed?
Although uncommon, untreated abscessed teeth in children can lead to severe facial infections and swelling, requiring hospitalization. In rare scenarios, abscessed upper back teeth may also contribute to infections in the brain. It’s vital to treat abscessed baby teeth as soon as possible, rather than base it on your child’s level of discomfort. Especially since dying teeth may not always cause discomfort.
Baby Root Canal vs. Tooth Extraction
OKC pediatric dentists will always recommend preserving baby teeth if possible, reserving extractions for non-restorable or severely infected teeth. By maintaining your child’s natural tooth, we’re preserving the guide and placeholder for the adult tooth that will one day replace it.
What to Expect
Pediatric root canals and crowns go hand in hand. Although not every child getting a crown will need a baby root canal, those receiving pulpotomies will require a children’s dental crown.
The typical procedure is typically planned alongside pediatric dental sedation, ensuring your child’s comfort. When your child is relaxed, they’re less likely to wiggle and the procedure can be completed more efficiently. But most importantly, we want your child to have a positive experience with our OKC kid’s dentist. That way they don’t link dental care with tooth pain.
Need a Children’s Dentist in OKC?
Most family dental practices will refer young children out to a specialist if they require a crown or pulp treatment. Here at Pragma Dental OKC, Dr. Phil specifically focuses on caring for young children. Your entire family is welcome at our dental office!
If you need a second opinion or think your child’s tooth is abscessed, contact our children’s dentist today to reserve an appointment.