Shirley, NY dentist offers pulpotomies when necessary

In recent blogs, we have discussed ways to prevent cavities – such as with fluoride and sealants – and treating them with fillings when needed. However, if the decay becomes more severe, other solutions may be necessary. In some cases, a pulpotomy may be used to restore the tooth before the pulp is permanently damaged. Today, your Shirley Orthodontics & Pediatrics is here to explain the difference between a root canal and pulpotomy.

How A Pulpotomy Helps

The best way to prevent restorations and other invasive treatments is with proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Taking care at home and coming in biannually for checkups can prevent cavities and catch them early. However, if decay is noticed, we can treat it.

Typically, cavities can be treated with a filling. This is the process of removing the decayed part of the tooth and adding composite resin to the area to protect it from further damage. However, if the cavity reaches below the enamel and dentin, a more invasive procedure will need to be performed. This treatment can save a severely decayed tooth and keep the natural tooth intact.

What To Expect From A Pulpotomy

Before a pulpotomy, the dentist will first need to do a thorough examination of your child’s smile. We must determine if the nerves within the pulp are still functioning. If not, a root canal will be necessary. If they are, we can move forward with the treatment.

First, the area will be numbed for your child’s comfort. We know that a more invasive treatment can be worrisome, and we are here to make your little one feel at ease. Then, the pulp will be removed, and the tooth will be restored either with composite resin or a crown, depending on which tooth is performed.

In the case that the pulp is no longer treatable, the tooth may need to be extracted. If signs of infection are shown, such as pain, swelling, bleeding, or discoloration, it may be a sign that the pulp is not salvageable.

How Is This Different From A Root Canal

If you have had a root canal done, you may notice that this treatment is fairly similar. However, there are a few differences. First, pulpotomies are typically done on children. While they can be used for adults, they are most often used to treat primary teeth. Another difference is that with a root canal, all of the pulp is removed and then filled. With a pulpotomy, only the top layer of the pulp is removed, therefore it is slightly less invasive than root canal therapy.

Call Shirley Pediatrics Today

If your child has a deep cavity, it is important to have this examined as soon as possible. To schedule a checkup or other service, call Shirley Orthodontics & Pediatrics in Shirley, NY, today at 631-399-1600.