The”pulp”is the center core of the tooth. This area contains primarily nerves and blood vessels. When there has been a severe cavity or trauma to the teeth, there is damage to the pulp area and risk of losing the tooth. In pediatric dentistry we use pulp therapy to maintain the “life” of the affected tooth (in the effort to not lose the tooth entirely). It is often referred to as “nerve treatment,” “children’s root canal,” “pulpectomy,” or “pulpotomy”. The two common forms of pulp therapy in children’s teeth are the pulpotomy and pulpectomy.
Pulpotomy is a process that removes the diseased pulp tissue within the crown portion of the tooth. After the diseased portion is removed, medications and sedative fillings are placed to prevent bacterial growth and calm the remaining nerve tissue. This is followed by a final restoration, usually a stainless steel crown.
Pulpectomy is required when the entire pulp is involved within the crown and root portion of the tooth. This treatment differs in that the diseased pulp tissue is completely removed from both the crown and the root. The canals are cleaned and filled and a final restoration is placed, usually a stainless steel crown.
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