shirley kids root canal

When an adult has an infected tooth, a root canal is used to offer treatment and protect the smile. For children with infected teeth, we may recommend a conservative root canal alternative known as a pulpotomy. In today’s blog, your Round Rock, TX, pediatric dentist talks about how we stop infection with a pulpotomy.

The Causes of an Infected Tooth

First, let’s talk about dental infection. An infected tooth means that harmful oral bacteria has reached the inner pulp, the tooth’s nerve center. Without treatment, this could cause the pulp to die and effectively kill the tooth. The tooth then becomes lost or requires extraction to prevent infection from reaching other parts of your smile. Factors behind the onset of infection include untreated tooth decay, or an injury to the teeth, which exposes the smile to tooth decay and other complications. Warning signs include toothache and tooth sensitivity, as well as pain when you eat or speak. The pain could also reach your head and jaw too, and you could experience swelling near the tooth.

Premature Tooth Loss

When this destroys the pulp, the infection could move into the jaw or into other teeth in your smile, as we touched on above. We then need to remove the teeth, or it could fall out on its own. Missing teeth could cause misalignment, upset bite balance, and lead to serious issues with your ability to eat or speak.

The Pulpotomy

If we discover one in your child’s smile, we will administer a local anesthetic and possibly sedation for children who are especially nervous or have special needs. Once your child enters a calm and relaxed state, we will begin the pulpotomy by opening the tooth to gently removing the infected portions of the pulp. We then add a special medicated filling to the interior of the tooth. The last step involves capping the tooth with a dental crown. The crown will be created from material that blends with the smile, like zirconia, or may be made from stainless steel to ensure they absorb daily bite forces with ease. The process only takes one visit, and helps bring an end to an infection and prevents the loss of the tooth.

Preventing Future Trouble

To avoid the onset of an infected tooth, we will discuss proper brushing and flossing habits, which helps lower the rates of tooth decay and other complications with little smiles. We can also discuss healthy snack habits, and schedule regular checkups and cleanings. Special preventive treatments can be provided as well, such as fluoride and dental sealants.

See Your Shirley, NY, Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist Today

We would like to help your child enjoy a comfortable and healthy smile for years to come. To learn more about treating painful issues and offer relief for little smiles, then contact Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600.