Our pediatric dentist said my son needs a pulpotomy because his tooth is infected. What is it and why can’t we just take out the tooth if it is a baby tooth anyway?
Essentially, a pulpotomy is the child’s version of a root canal treatment. When your son gets his treatment, your pediatric dentist will remove most of the pulp in his tooth. This should be done down to the roots. Then, the tissue inside is daubed with a disinfectant, sealed, then protected with a dental crown. Most children get a stainless steel crown.
You asked an important question as to why you’d need to preserve a baby tooth. In most cases, you don’t. The big exception is when it is a molar. These need to stay in your son’s mouth until he is around twelve years of age. If they come out prematurely, the remaining teeth will shift which leads to crowding as the adult teeth come in. This will cost you a fortune in orthodontics.
There is an alternative if you don’t want to save the tooth. You could have it extracted, but then you would need to place a space maintainer to keep the spot reserved.
Whatever you decide, it will likely make things more comfortable for your son if your dentist uses something like nitrous oxide to put him at ease during the procedure.
What you don’t want to do is put this off and allow this to turn into a dental emergency. Even in the 21st century, people still die from tooth infections. It is much better to get this taken care of as soon as possible.
This blog is brought to you by Auburn, AL Dentist Dr. Raymond Bolt.