“Baby Root Canal” – Pediatric Pulp Therapy
Damage to the tooth’s pulp is commonly caused by tooth decay or traumatic injury. Pulp damage in baby teeth can affect the development of your child’s permanent teeth later on. Rather than pulling the affected tooth, we opt for pulp therapy, a technique similar to a root canal in adults, that maintains the baby tooth’s vitality. Keep reading to find out more details about pediatric pulp therapy!
What is pediatric pulp therapy?
Pediatric pulp therapy is designed to save infected or damaged primary, or baby, teeth. It’s important to save the affected primary tooth until the permanent tooth grows in. There are two types of pulp therapy:
- Pulpotomy is a partial pulp removal. Damaged pulp from the tooth’s crown is removed, leaving healthy pulp in the root canals. Once the pulp is removed, the tooth is filled with a disinfecting agent to prevent further infection, and it is stabilized it with a crown.
- Pulpectomy is the total removal of damaged pulp, not just in the crown but the roots, too. Once pulp is removed, the tooth is filled with an absorbable cement for support, and then stabilized with a crown.
Although these techniques are associated with pediatric dentistry, they can also be performed as the initial steps of root canal therapy (RCT) in mature, or adult, teeth.
Why choose pulp therapy over tooth extraction?
Saving baby teeth with pulp damage is preferred to extraction because primary tooth extraction can cause a variety of consequences. If you have a baby tooth pulled, the surrounding teeth may develop at an angle, resulting in impacted premolars that leave little room for a permanent tooth to grow in its place. Keeping the baby tooth as a placeholder allows the permanent tooth to grow in trouble-free!
What are the symptoms of damaged pulp?
- Tooth pain
- Temperature sensitivity when eating
- Swelling and redness
- Unexpected loose tooth
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, give us a call to see if pulp therapy is an option. Saving those baby teeth is the best way to ensure healthy oral development!