Posted on May 25, 2020
When the pulp of an adult tooth becomes infected, the treatment is root canal therapy. However, if a baby tooth is infected, a pulpectomy is the preferred choice for saving the tooth. During a pulpectomy, the infected part of the tooth is removed in order to relieve pain caused by the infection. This is done to avoid the premature extraction of the tooth.
Each tooth has a pulp, which is the living part of the tooth for both adult teeth and baby teeth. The pulp of the tooth contains the blood supply and nerve endings for the tooth, providing sensory function and producing dentin. Dentin is calcified tissue used to strengthen and support the tooth.
The most common reason a child needs to undergo a pulpectomy is that a dental cavity has gone untreated for too long. If a cavity is allowed to progress, it will move further and further inside the tooth until it reaches the pulp. It will then infect the pulp, leading to a tooth abscess.
Once your child’s mouth is numb, the infected pulp is removed with special dental instruments, and the inside of the tooth is thoroughly disinfected. The canals of the tooth are filled with medicated material to prevent further infections.
In the end, the best way to avoid a pulpectomy for your child is to make sure you’re helping him or her practice good at-home dental hygiene. This means brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the pediatric dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and a checkup.