Dr. Cavan Brunsden playing around with a funny sign

A pulpotomy or pediatric root canal is more commonly referred to as a ‘baby root canal’.

It is a routine procedure involving the nerve treatment for a baby tooth. Healthy teeth have spaces inside called the “pulp space” which is filled with soft tissues – nerves, blood vessels and pink connective tissue. If a tooth gets a large cavity, the bacteria in the decay can damage the pulp, which is often what causes toothache. Understandably, ‘baby teeth’ are smaller and shaped differently than an adult’s permanent teeth, therefore the nerves inside a baby tooth are affected more easily by decay. Which is why children are often both more sensitive and susceptible to decay and tooth discomfort. The important purpose behind treating the nerve is to maintain the vitality of the affected tooth so that the tooth will not be lost early. Early loss of the baby teeth, especially in the back (posterior) area in the mouth may cause space and orthodontic concerns as permanent teeth erupt.  

Radiographs will allow the dentist to see inside the tooth to help us evaluate our next steps and decide on an action plan to treat the tooth or teeth.

Nerve treatments help save and protect the baby teeth and preserve the positioning of the tooth for future growth. During a baby root canal, the affected part of the nerve is removed and a medicated filling is placed over the remaining surface.

Is Your Child A Candidate for a Nerve Treatment?

Tooth discomfort is the biggest indicator, however, can be linked to many different conditions. Sometimes when a child has a cavity, in a primary tooth that is left untreated, there may be continued discomfort due to nerve involvement. KidZdent will assess the tooth to understand and determine not only the level of discomfort, but the root of the problem- pun intended- potentially underlying nerve treatment. The pulpotomy root canal procedure removes the infected pulp tissue within the crown of the tooth. Dental caries (cavities) or injuries, deep enough to reach nerves, seem to be the most frequently recorded reasons for a tooth to require this type of pulp removal therapy.

Symptoms Your Child Might Need Endodontic Treatment

Damage from the infected area most likely exists in the pulp of the tooth if your child feels or describes the following:

What to Expect During the Nerve Treatment Procedure

The best way to avoid the loss of molars is by properly treating the nerves by removing the infected pulp tissue within the crown as mentioned above. As with other common dental procedures, children can sometimes become anxious. When the soft tissue in the pulp chamber is inflamed or infected, it may be our recommendation that the entire tooth be removed. In this particular case, Nitrous Oxide is a common conscious sedation option for pediatric patients to help the child to relax and to make the visit and procedure safer and easier on the child.  However, if the soft tissue in the canals is still healthy enough, a special medicated filling can be put into the chamber in an attempt to keep the remaining pulp inside the tooth alive. Medicated fillings help to calm the nerve and inner portion of the teeth and prevent bacterial growth from spreading. The pulpotomy is followed up with a final restoration of the tooth such as, a filling or stainless steel crown. Once the procedure is complete, your child will experience practically instant relief.  The pre-treatment discomfort should subside either immediately or within a few hours to a couple of days post treatment. Your child can take the time to enjoy some of the softer foods they love such as yogurt, soup or ice cream as a treat for being an excellent patient!

Once the procedure is complete, it is essential to maintain an effective oral home care routine for your child. In addition it is important to bring them to KidZdent for regular checkup and cleaning visits to monitor the status of the treated tooth, and prevent future decay and reduce the need for additional dental treatment. KidZdent will continue to monitor the health of your child’s teeth and further development.

Have questions or need any help from our team? Reach out to us below and one of our team members will get in touch with you as soon as we see your request.

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