Pediatric pulp therapy – also known as “nerve treatment” – is used to remove infected pulp from the inside of a tooth. By removing infected pulp tissues, a Santa Cruz dentist can preserve the child’s tooth instead of having to extract it. There are two types of pulp therapy: pulpotomy and pulpectomy. A pulpotomy is performed when only a portion of the pulp needs to be removed, whereas pulpectomies are used to remove all of the pulp tissues. Both procedures can be performed with your child under a local anesthetic and analgesia to aid in pain management and anxiety relief. Following a pulp therapy treatment, the tooth is restored with a stainless-steel restoration that will remain in place until a permanent adult tooth replaces it.
Did you know…
that the two most common reasons for pediatric pulp therapy are decay and traumatic injury? If your child has untreated cavities or has fractured his or her tooth, bacteria can accumulate inside the tooth and infect the pulp tissues. Without pulp therapy, bacteria can spread to infect the entire tooth, eventually causing pain and total tooth loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
My child’s infected tooth is a baby tooth that’s going to fall out anyway. Does it really require pulp therapy?
Yes. Primary teeth serve as important space savers for adult teeth, not to mention children need them for chewing and speaking articulately. Furthermore, an untreated tooth infection can become painful, spread to other areas of the body, and become severe over time.
What should I expect during my child’s pulp therapy treatment?
Your child may be sedated before being given a local anesthetic to numb the tooth, nerves, and gums surrounding the treatment site. Your child’s pediatric dentist will then open the top of the tooth to reveal the pulp chamber and its inner canals. Depending on whether your child is undergoing a pulpotomy or a pulpectomy, either the entire pulp tissue or just the part inside the crown will be removed and then filled with a biocompatible material. The tooth will be capped, and your child will be allowed to return home immediately following the procedure.
Will I need to follow any special post-operative instructions following my child’s procedure?
You will be given instructions for care before you leave your child’s Santa Cruz dentist office. Expect your child’s tooth to be sore for a couple of days following the procedure. During this time, you may want to prepare a diet of soft foods that require minimal chewing. If pain persists beyond a few days, contact your child’s dentist.
You are welcome to contact the office of Brent J Porter DDS at 831-459-9802 today for more information about pulp therapy in Santa Cruz, California. Our team is eager to answer your questions!