What’s a Pulpotomy? Your Charlotte Children’s Dentist Explains

Pulpotomy. It’s a word you may not have heard before. But a pulpotomy is a common pediatric dental procedure. Charlotte children’s dentist Dr. Bevin Malley of Carolina Kids Dentistry may recommend a pulpotomy if your child suffers a deep cavity. Here, she provides information on what a pulpotomy is and why it’s performed.

What is a pulpotomy?

During a pulpotomy, inflamed, infected pulp is removed from a primary molar. The pulp, or nerve, of a tooth can sustain damage from a deep cavity. When cavity-causing bacteria invade the inner chamber of a tooth that contains the pulp, inflammation and toothache pain can occur. A pulpotomy soothes the damaged tooth to eliminate discomfort. After performing a pulpotomy, Dr. Malley restores the shape of the tooth, typically with a crown.

Why is a pulpotomy performed?

Left untreated, infected pulp can cause an abscess in a tooth. An abscessed tooth can’t be saved and must be extracted. A pulpotomy removes the infected material to preserve the tooth. Pulpotomies are performed on baby molars that are deeply decayed.

Why save a baby tooth?

Even though baby teeth eventually come out on their own, they serve important functions while they’re present. One of the primary responsibilities of a baby tooth is to maintain a position for the corresponding permanent tooth to erupt. In addition, a pulpotomy eliminates the discomfort caused by the infected tooth.

A pulpotomy sounds like a root canal. Is it?

The procedures are similar but not quite the same. A root canal is a more complex procedure performed on a permanent tooth.

Learn More

Charlotte pediatric dentist Dr. Malley loves educating kids and adults on the benefits of good oral health. Call Carolina Kids Dentistry in Mint Hill NC today to schedule an appointment or consultation.