Extractions and Pulpotomies
If there is significant decay in a tooth, our Weideman Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics specialist can offer treatment options. The treatment direction will be one that offers the best strategy that serves the most desirable outcome for your child.
A tooth extraction or pulpotomy might be the direction for treatment, based on factors unique to the situation of each patient.
The Pulpotomy Procedure
Inside of each tooth is a collection of nerves known as the pulp of the tooth. If the decay has reached the inside of a tooth, a pulpotomy can be performed. Any infected areas of the pulp will be removed, with medication applied to the rest of the pulp in attempt to salvage it.
This is a procedure most often practiced on baby teeth, because they tend to have large areas of pulp, which can ensure the effectiveness of the procedure. Permanent teeth are much more difficult to treat with the pulpotomy procedure. Typically, when the pulp has been damaged in these teeth, the course of treatment is root canal therapy.
There are some instances where a pulpotomy is still a viable option for a permanent tooth. Our dentist will discuss options, based upon the patient’s unique circumstances, and direct the treatment plan according to what is in the best interests of the patient.
The Tooth Extraction Procedure
If the decay or damage to a tooth is too severe for a filling or crown, or has begun to travel and infect the permanent tooth underneath, then our dentist may recommend an extraction of the tooth. In these procedures, the area surrounding the tooth will be completely numbed, using the type of anesthesia or sedation that is best for the child. Once the area is safely numb, our dentist will gently manipulate the tooth so that it comes out from the gum. Specialized dentistry tools will be used for the procedure.
There may be other reasons to consider a tooth extraction. As an example, wisdom teeth are often recommended for extraction if they erupt abnormally and start to cause concerns. In addition, our dentist may recommend removing one or more teeth in order to prepare the mouth for an orthodontic solution.
Any traumatic damage to one or more teeth could also warrant a dental extraction, particularly if the tooth cannot be effectively repaired with a filling or protected with a crown.
If the decay has advanced into the pulp and there is a high risk for a bacterial infection, the extraction of the decayed tooth might be the safest course of treatment.
The procedures may seem like they will be frightening. However, they are considered to be safe for patients of all ages. There is still a period of recovery to consider once a pulpotomy has been performed or a tooth has been extracted.
Some patient may experience tenderness in their jaw and gums once the anesthesia begins to wear off. Chewing may cause some discomfort. Patients should stick to soft foods and take over-the-counter pain relievers as they are needed. Ice packs applied to the outside of the cheek over the area that was treated can help to address any swelling.
Identifying concerns in their earliest stages can help to lessen the need for an extraction or pulpotomy. At Weideman Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics we recommend that our patients see us every six months, for a routine checkup and professional cleaning. This offers our dentist an opportunity to recognize potential issues early. Call or text us at (916) 962-0577 to schedule a checkup.