The pulp is the innermost part of a tooth. It holds essential blood vessels and the nerve endings that signal pain. When your child complains of a toothache it could mean that the infection from a tooth decay has reached the pulp. At this stage the need for a pulpotomy may be indicated in order to avoid an abscess.
A pulpotomy is a procedure performed to remove the infected part of the pulp of a primary tooth to keep it from having to be extracted. It is important that the primary teeth are kept in place until the permanent teeth are established. If a permanent tooth is compromised by infection before it’s root system is fully secured a pulpotomy can serve as an alternative to a root canal therapy which is only appropriate for adult teeth.
Your pediatric dentist may suggest introducing nitrous oxide to relax your child before beginning a pulpotomy procedure. Children have been known to become fidgety without it. Before he is ready to proceed your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to make sure the procedure is pain free for your child.
A “rubber dam” is placed around the tooth to separate it from the others and reduce the flow of saliva to the infected tooth so that it will stay dry enough for the filling to set. Isolating the tooth in this way will ensure that no debris from the drill will affect the surrounding teeth or gum tissue.
When the decay is entirely removed the dentist will apply a medication to check the bleeding before he fills the cavity. Then he will prepare the restored tooth for the crown that will protect it. When the primary tooth is ready it will go ahead and fall out naturally.
When you’re getting your child ready for his first visit to Dentist 4 Kidz let him read the “kids zone” page on the website. If he’s too young to read it himself you can go over the step by step explanation that is written in words that he will understand.