My son has an infected back tooth. I wanted the dentist to just take it out, but they’re suggesting a pulpotomy instead because in their words, “It’s important to save the tooth.” Why? It’s a baby tooth? What will the pulpotomy do?
I understand your thought process. It is a baby tooth, they’re supposed to fall out, right? So, what’s the big deal about just taking it out and saving on a procedure? While that does sound logical, the back teeth are different. They need to remain in place until your son is around twelve years old. If they come out sooner than that, the other teeth will begin to shift into the empty place. Then, when his twelve-year-old molars do erupt, there won’t be enough room for them. That leads to crowding and the need for orthodontics. Braces are something most parents are hoping NOT to pay for. Having a pulpotomy could prevent that.
What is a Pulpotomy?
Your pediatric dentist recommended what is essentially a child’s version of a root canal treatment. Here’s how it works:
- The infected pulp will be removed from his teeth.
- The tissue inside the roots it daubed with a disinfectant.
- The tooth is then sealed and covered with a stainless steel crown.
It’s worth it to both you and your son to have this procedure done. Generally, with anything more involved than a simple filling for a child, I’ll recommend some form of dental sedation, even if it is just nitrous oxide. This will relax him and he’ll likely sleep through the entire procedure.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.