Although parents are likely familiar with the term “root canal,” a pediatric pulpotomy procedure may be less well known. Unlike root canals, pediatric pulpotomies, otherwise called “therapeutic pulpotomies,” are specialized treatments for younger dental patients. If a permanent tooth has been affected by tooth decay, a pediatric pulpotomy is one of the most effective methods of saving the tooth from being pulled.
Everything Parents Need to Know About a Pediatric Pulpotomy Procedure
When a permanent tooth has been damaged as a result of tooth decay, dentists will perform a root canal in an attempt to save the tooth. For younger dental patients that require a more delicate process, pediatric pulpotomies can help maintain the integrity and health of a child’s primary tooth. Symptoms that may indicate the need for a pediatric pulpotomy procedure include:
- When a cavity has become so enlarged it has infected the nerve of the tooth
- When removal of a baby tooth affects the development of other teeth
- When a child experiences excessive pain, discomfort and sensitivity to heat and cold
It’s important to note that pulpotomies are completely safe and can often prevent tooth-pulling. A root canal, however, is a more invasive process that should not be performed on young children or on baby teeth.
Although it’s normal for children to experience minimal pain following a pulpotomy, as well as a sensation of fogginess, no extensive recovery time is necessary. Plenty of rest and TLC is the best post-procedure medicine.
Are There Any Alternatives to a Pulpotomy Procedure?
If excessive damage has affected the nerve chamber of your child’s tooth, then a pulpotomy procedure is the best way to treat infection. Dr. Mona Beylin is accustomed to routinely treating children with pulpotomies. Once she has completed the procedure, Dr. Mona will fill your child’s tooth with a crown.
Although a pediatric pulpotomy procedure is the most common and successful way to treat tooth decay, another great method of avoiding infection is to encourage healthy oral hygiene habits, some of which include:
- Helping young children brush their teeth twice daily
- Ensuring they floss at least once daily
- Making sure a minimal amount of fluoride toothpaste is used
- Providing your child with a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Encouraging a healthy balanced diet with minimal sugar
It’s imperative, too, that parents follow the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines and visit the dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months.