A pediatric pulpectomy is a type of dental procedure involving the total removal of dental pulp from the tooth of a young child due to infection. When we talk about pulp, we're talking about the living tissue at the center of the tooth. The term "ectomy" refers to the removal of something, medically. The appendectomy is a good example of this type of medical terminology.
Inside each tooth is a soft tissue called the dental pulp. The outer part of your child's teeth is strong and tough, as well as being lifeless. In contrast, the dental pulp is living, soft tissue. It is very sensitive and contains many nerves. If the outer layers of your child's tooth become damaged, the dental pulp inside may become infected. For some children, the most appropriate treatment to save the tooth is the pulpectomy procedure.
Basically, the pulpectomy procedure involves the removal of diseased or infected dental pulp from the child's tooth. The treatment's goal is saving the tooth so it will not have to be extracted. The root canal procedure and pulpectomy procedure are somewhat similar. The pulpectomy is actually one step in the root canal treatment process. Once we have removed damage to the pulp from the tooth of your child, we will disinfect the area and seal it using an inert material.
In many cases, children will have a pulpectomy when they still have remaining baby teeth. Baby teeth's roots are a bit different from those of permanent teeth. They are typically shorter and will be reabsorbed eventually by the child's body. This root reabsorption means that the baby teeth can eventually fall out to make room for permanent teeth. Since those baby teeth roots will eventually be absorbed, the filling material must also be absorbable.
Some mistakenly believe that, since baby teeth will eventually fall out anyway, there is no reason to keep them. One of the functions of the teeth, beyond merely waiting for the eruption of permanent teeth, is to take up mouth space for the eventual arrival of the child's permanent teeth. If these teeth are extracted before the arrival of permanent teeth, problems may develop with the alignment of the teeth.
If you are like most parents, the idea of your child undergoing a significant medical procedure does not sit well with you. Like most dental problems, prevention is key. Encourage your child to develop healthy oral habits from a very young age to help prevent decay or infection.
Regular dental visits are hugely important. The more often your child visits their dentist, the sooner we can detect early signs of tooth decay and intervene before a serious situation arises. If your child has not visited us recently, please reach out to Dentalville Panorama City in Panorama City today to schedule an appointment for them as soon as possible.
“I was sure I just needed a filling, but when I saw that my filling had almost completely fallen away with the wand that showed my smile on the monitor, it was obvious I would need a crown or face losing the whole tooth. I was able to get a special price on the crown which made things easier for me personally. I am glad for the help and thank Dentalville for working with me and providing great service and care. Will be back”
- Clement Douglas