A pulpectomy is an endodontic treatment that is most often used on primary (baby) front teeth. A pulpotomy is an endodontic treatment that is most often used on primary (baby) back teeth, i.e. baby molars. When decay or injury reaches the dental pulp, otherwise known as the nerve, which is the innermost part of the tooth, patients often experience tooth pain and sensitivity. If not treated, the tooth will likely abscess and eventually require extraction. In order to prevent this, our pediatric dentist may recommend a pulpectomy or a pulpotomy.

During a pulpectomy, all of the nerve (pulp) of the tooth is removed from the baby front tooth, much like a normal root canal treatment on an adult tooth. For a pulpotomy, we remove the decay and the pulp in the chamber of the crown of the tooth. The area is sterilized, but unlike a regular root canal treatment, the root nerves are not removed. In some cases, not all of the dental pulp is removed, thus maintaining the vitality of the remaining healthy pulp. For these situations, we often use a therapeutic dressing to maintain the healthy pulp. After the decayed pulp is removed and the tooth is cleaned, a dental crown is often required. We most often recommend stainless steel crowns for children’s molar teeth.

While pulpotomy is rarely recommended for permanent (adult) teeth, this treatment may be suggested if decay has reached the pulp but much of the pulp is still healthy. If the roots of the tooth have not finished forming, a pulpotomy or a partial pulpotomy can give the tooth roots a chance to finish forming.

For more information about pulpectomy, therapeutic pulpotomy and the other high-quality services we provide, please feel free to contact our office today.