Pulpotomy—A Baby Root Canal for Children

When a child’s tooth has become infected, a pulpotomy is often required to keep the tooth alive. The infection is caused when decay reaches the pulp tissue inside the tooth.

Pulpotomies are also referred to as:

  • nerve treatments
  • children’s root canals
  • pulp therapy

The Process

During the procedure, Dr. Kotkin removes the diseased pulp and then applies a preventative agent which stops bacterial growth and soothes the remaining nerve tissue. Once that process has been completed, Dr. Kotkin places a final restoration, typically a crown.

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What is a Pulpotomy Procedure?

A therapeutic pulpotomy, or mini/baby root canal, is a procedure that involves the removal of decayed tissue from the pulp chamber of the tooth that lies above the gum line and then filling that space with a medicated material that stops further decay. Dr. Kotkin will place a crown on top to keep the tooth happy and healthy and to allow for normal tooth function.

Why Does My Child Need A Baby Root Canal?

If your child’s tooth has become infected and is in jeopardy of failing, a pulpotomy will save the tooth as Dr. Kotkin removes the damaged pulp tissue and leaves the lower roots in tact. Dental cavities and traumatic injury are the main causes of the damage or decay that leads to an infection requiring a pulpotomy. This treatment are very effective thanks to the excellent blood supply to primary teeth and the fact that baby teeth only needs to last a few years until the permanent teeth come in.

Pulpotomy or Pulpectomy: What’s The Difference?

There is very little difference. A pulpotomy is used on children as it removes the tissue from the upper chamber, while a pulpectomy—adult root canal treatment—extracts pulp from all parts of the tooth, including the root canals.

How Long Does Pulpotomy Take?

The entire process usually takes a half hour.

Does Pulp Therapy Hurt?

No. We administer anesthesia to keep the area numb and to keep your child comfortable during and after we work on the tooth. We will give you instructions for at-home medication if needed, but most children recover well without any further medication and bounce back almost immediately.

Will My Child Be Awake For The Treatment?

Much like a filling, it is quite common for children to remain awake and alert for the simple procedure.

At Howard C. Kotkin, D.D.S., P.C., we specialize in helping children get through dental work with ease. If your child needs a pulpotomy, you’ve come to the right place. Our entire team is committed to ensuring your child’s safety and comfort at all times.

Please call us at our Chatham Office Chatham Office Phone Number 973-635-6444 with any questions!