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What is a pulpotomy, and what does it address?

Our pediatric dentists, Drs. John De Lorme, and Sam Wu of Mission Viejo, California, describe pulpotomy as a procedure that can be done to relieve a child of pain and discomfort caused by an infected tooth. The pulpotomy treatment is best designed to address the problem while preserving the tooth, keeping it healthy and functioning until it naturally falls out and is replaced by an adult tooth.

What happens during a pediatric pulpotomy?

The procedure is done primarily on a baby, or primary teeth, in children. Sometimes, a tooth with decay may become infected. When this occurs, it can reach the soft pulp inside of the tooth, which is filled with nerves. This causes the pain often associated with a toothache. Oral trauma, such as a blow to a tooth, can also cause an infection.

Bacteria in the tooth can become problematic. It needs to be addressed immediately upon discovery for the best outcome. Drs. De Lorme and Wu will often recommend the pediatric pulpotomy procedure, during which an access point is made in the natural tooth enamel, allowing our dentist to reach the dental pulp inside. The infected portion is removed, and a special medication is applied to the inner canals of the tooth. The tooth is sealed, and the procedure is complete. In the event, the tooth needs an extra layer of protection, a dental crown or a large filling may be placed as well to maintain the tooth in place until it is ready to come out on its own.

Is a pulpotomy a root canal?

In a way, yes, but it is specifically performed on a child’s tooth. Unlike a root canal, the dental pulp is preserved as much as possible, allowing the tooth to stay “alive.”

How do I learn more about the pulpotomy procedure?

If you suspect your child has an infected baby tooth, it might be time to talk to our team about the pulpotomy procedure in a child. Call the South OC Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics team at (949) 581 5800 to request a consultation visit with our team, conveniently located in Mission Viejo, CA, at 26302 La Paz Road, Suite #114.

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