Used in cases of severe decay or trauma to the tooth, a pulpectomy is a procedure to remove all the pulp from the crown and roots of a tooth. Pulp is the soft material inside the tooth which contains the nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry explains more about pulpectomies, including when they’re needed, how to avoid them, and after-care guidelines.
When is a pulpectomy necessary?
If a baby tooth, or primary tooth, has been severely infected by decay or has been broken from a trauma, a pediatric dentist will often recommend a pulpectomy. This procedure is designed to save the baby tooth until the permanent tooth comes in. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a child may experience issues with chewing, speech development, or misalignment and overcrowding of permanent teeth.
If the tooth or its roots are too damaged, a pulpectomy may not be possible. In this case, an extraction may be the better way to proceed for your child. If this is necessary, your child’s pediatric dentist may use a space maintainer to avoid issues until the permanent tooth comes in.
How is a pulpectomy done?
All of the pulp from the tooth’s upper chamber and the roots is removed. In the case of a tooth’s damage not being as severe, a partial pulpectomy might be done. This is when the dentist removes only the damaged portion of the pulp or all the pulp in the upper chamber of the tooth without touching the roots. After the pulp is removed, the tooth is then cleaned, disinfected, and filled.
Avoiding a pulpectomy
Because this procedure is most common in children with severe tooth decay, the best way to avoid it is with proper oral hygiene. Your children’s teeth should be brushed for two minutes, twice a day. Their teeth should also be flossed every day.
If you have more questions about a pulpectomy procedure or how to prevent it with the right dental hygiene habits, contact Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry.