shirley pulpotomyWhen a child’s tooth has a cavity, then we can bring relief with a dental filling. But what if a tooth develops an infection too severe to be addressed with a dental filling? In these situations, your Shirley, NY, pediatric dentist can offer a root canal alternative known as a pulpotomy.

The Causes and Warning Signs of an Infected Tooth

How do you know if your child has a dental infection that needs attention? If you are able to bring your little one in for a checkup and cleaning visit twice a year, then we will likely catch the issue in the earliest stages of tooth decay, sometimes before toothaches even occur. Otherwise, you may not be aware of trouble until your child complains about aching teeth when they eat or drink. The discomfort can increase with time and eventually, the risk of tooth loss increases, which could lead to a higher chance of tooth loss. An infection occurs when harmful bacteria reach the nerve center of your child’s tooth, the collection of tissues at the center of it. This could be due to an untreated cavity or serious injury to the tooth. But we can offer treatment with a root canal alternative known as a pulpotomy.

Starting Your Child’s Root Canal

To begin, we will take detailed digital x-rays of the tooth, so we can see the infection in detail and plan treatment. This imaging system uses 90% less radiation, and images are available instantly chairside, offering a more accurate diagnosis than traditional imaging systems. To ensure your little one remains comfortable, we will administer a local anesthesia to the area being treated. We can also offer dental sedation to help kids reach a calm and relaxed state, with little to no memory of the procedure. Even children with dental anxiety or special needs can have a positive experience during their treatment.

The Pulpotomy Procedure

Once your little one is comfortable, we will open the tooth and then remove the infected portions of the interior tissues. We then add a special medicated filling to the interior of the tooth. We cure the material and for some, this completes the procedure. But we could also use a crown to cap the tooth if the infection is more severe. The crown could be made from stainless steel for the side and tartar teeth, or NuSmile zirconia for a more lifelike appearance. If you have any questions about how we treat infected teeth to remove little smiles, then contact our team today.

Does Your Child Have an Aching Tooth?

If you have any questions about treating advanced decay or infection in little smiles, or would like to schedule an appointment with our team, call Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatrics in Shirley, NY, at 631.399.1600.