Pulpotomy. Does your child need one?
As parents, we can’t help but worry about every little thing when it comes to our children. When they’re experiencing pain from their teeth, it can sometimes be quite daunting if you don’t know how to help. This is where Happy Kids Dental comes in. Our staff are trained to specifically anticipate the needs and behaviours of children to ensure they have the most comfortable experience possible.
If your child has been experiencing tooth pain and you’ve been advised by a dentist that they need a pulpotomy, you may have a number of questions. Before we understand why they may need this procedure, let’s look at what a pulpotomy is exactly:
What is a pulpotomy?
Sometimes referred to as a baby root canal or a partial root canal, a pulpotomy aims to save a tooth that is infected on the inside – the part known as the dental pulp. It is normally performed on children to try and salvage what is left of a decayed primary or deciduous tooth (typically a molar) – but unlike a regular root canal, a pulpotomy only removes infected pulp from the exposed part of the tooth, not the root. Once the infection has been cleared, a dental crown is usually recommended to restore a baby tooth to full function.
Is a pulpotomy really necessary?
It might seem like a lot of effort to carry out a pulpotomy on baby teeth, which are going to fall out anyway – but baby teeth are important for maintaining the structure of your child’s jaw and ensuring the adult teeth emerge in the right place. In addition, a pulpotomy will ensure any infection does not spread to neighbouring teeth or surrounding gums.
What does a pulpotomy procedure involve?
Once your little one is ready, their tooth will be numbed (see below) and isolated by use of a dental dam. The infected part of the pulp will then be removed from within the tooth and a therapeutic dressing applied to prevent the tooth nerve from dying. A putty is then applied to what is left of the tooth. Lastly, a children’s crown is bonded to the tooth, restoring its function and sealing against future infection.
Is a pulpotomy painful?
Not at Happy Kids Dental! We’ll make sure a pulpotomy procedure is completely pain-free and will take all the time you need during the treatment planning stage to discuss how best we can make your child comfortable. We offer a number of innovative pain-relief methods that will ensure your child has a positive experience of their pulpotomy treatment:
The Wand computerised anaesthetic is a pain-free alternative to the traditional dental injection that kids infamously fear. Looking more like a pen than a syringe, most children don’t even realise they are being injected as the needle is as fine as a hair, and the pressure of the anaesthetic (which is what typically causes the pain) is automated to ensure it doesn’t move too fast into the gums.
Happy Kids Dental’s plumbed-in sedation suite means we can use inhalation sedation (or laughing gas, or happy air) to make your child feel completely relaxed in our care. It’s often recommended to help calm a child prior to receiving a local anaesthetic or IV sedation.
IV sedation is a relatively recent technology in Central London dental practices that provides superb pain relief and is especially effective for very anxious children. IV sedation combines anaesthetic, analgesic and sedative to make patients feel as though they are sleeping, without being unconscious. In cases where none of these in-house methods is suitable, we will recommend a general anaesthetic, which is carried out at a nearby private hospital.
To learn more about our gentle approach to advanced paediatric dental care in London, get in touch today.