It is an unfortunate fact that children in Carmichael regularly come to the Marconi Dental Group with severe tooth decay, long before their teeth are due to be replaced with permanent teeth. When a long time is going to pass before the diseased tooth is replaced naturally, it must be saved if at all possible. The “baby tooth” plays an important role in guiding the permanent tooth into its proper location. Without it, the adult tooth often comes in crooked or is improperly placed, requiring orthodontics in the future. The simplest solution to preserve the health of the jaw and the future state of the child’s bite is to perform a pulpotomy or a pulpectomy.
The Difference Between Pulpotomy and Pulpectomy
The pulp in young teeth is much more vital than in the teeth of adults. Infections of the pulp can sometimes be treated without having to remove any of this tissue found at the center of the tooth. It is also common, however, that this pulp is severely diseased and must be removed. If the roots remain untouched and only the pulp chamber is cleared of tissue, this is called a pulpotomy. Uncommon in adults, this treatment is often performed with primary teeth, due to the high likelihood that the roots will survive in children.
If our Carmichael dentist sees that the roots are also infected, then a pulpectomy must be performed. This is the traditional “root canal treatment.” Proceeding carefully ensures a good result and the tooth can continue to fulfill its important role in the child’s mouth until it is replaced by the permanent tooth, sometimes many years later.
Sedation and Anesthesia Options
There are many options for anesthesia and sedation for use with younger children. All of these are discussed thoroughly with parents in advance. The behavior of the child is also taken into consideration. Some children cannot sit still in a dental chair due to anxiety and require greater levels of sedation to proceed with treatment. Others are better behaved than some of our adult patients! Our dentists have significant experience with younger clients and will help the parents make the best decision regarding sedation and anesthesia methods.