Pediatric Pulpectomy, Pediatric Dentistry in Norwood MA
The pulp of a tooth is the inner, central core of the tooth. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, connective tissue and reparative cells. The purpose of pulp therapy in is to maintain the vitality of the affected tooth (so the tooth is not lost).
Dental caries (cavities) and traumatic injury are the main reasons for a tooth to require pulp therapy also known as "nerve treatment", "children's root canal", "pulpectomy" or "pulpotomy". The two common forms of pulp therapy in children's teeth are the pulpotomy and pulpectomy.
A pulpotomy removes the diseased pulp tissue within the crown portion of the tooth. Next, an agent is placed to prevent bacterial growth and to calm the remaining nerve tissue. This is followed by a final restoration (usually a stainless steel crown).
A pulpectomy is required when the entire pulp is involved (into the root canal(s) of the tooth). During this treatment, the diseased pulp tissue is completely removed from both the crown and root. The canals are cleaned, disinfected and, in the case of primary teeth, filled with a resorbable material. Then, a final restoration is placed. A permanent tooth would be filled with a non-resorbing material.
Some large cavities can result in tooth aches and pulp irritation or, in some cases, infection of the nerve. If a cavity has affected the nerve, we will clean out the infected part of the nerve(pulpotomy/pulpectomy), place an antibacterial agent on the remaining nerve structure, and place a protective filling over the nerve. Our office does not use formocresol which contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, for pulp treatment.