A pulpotomy, also known as a baby root canal, is an endodontic treatment for tooth decay that has reached the tooth’s dental pulp. The dental pup is the soft inside layer of the tooth and it contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.
Dental pulp can become damaged or infected as a result of dental trauma or untreated tooth decay and usually results in significant tooth pain. A pulpotomy is a minimally-invasive procedure performed on primary teeth when the decay has not yet reached the tooth’s root.
It involves removing the infected/inflamed dental pulp from the crown but leaving the root intact. This is different from a root canal, which removes all of the dental pulp, down to the roots. In either case, a medicated dressing is then placed on the pulp at the root and the vulnerable tooth will be protected with a stainless steel crown.
If the tooth bleeds during a pulpotomy, that is a good sign and suggests the tooth is healthy.
Your child will come in for a consultation with Dr. Thompson to assess the condition of their tooth. She will take x-rays to get a closer look at the location of the infection/damage.
After administering local anesthesia to numb the mouth, a dental drill will be used to make an access hole, and the dental pulp in the crown will be scraped out.
The remaining pulp will be treated with sedative medication. This encourages healing and prevents tooth sensitivity.
After filling the inside of the tooth and sealing the access hole, we will place a stainless steel crown on top to protect the tooth until it’s ready to naturally fall out.
We know that dental emergencies rarely happen on your terms, or on a set schedule. That’s why we offer same-day care to help your child get the care they need right away. Immediate dental care from a qualified dentist will ensure that your child can get relief from their pain and discomfort, and also prevents further complications related to their oral health condition or dental injury. Call us now for a same-day appointment.
Many parents wonder what the point of a restorative treatment such as a pulpotomy is on a primary tooth when it will just fall out anyway. There are multiple reasons it is not a good idea to extract a tooth unnecessarily. For one, it makes chewing and speaking more difficult, and will leave a gap in your child’s smile.
However, the biggest reason is that your child’s baby teeth have a very important job to do - they hold space in the mouth, creating a path for the permanent tooth to follow as it erupts. When your child loses a tooth too soon, the surrounding teeth will shift and lean into this space, blocking the ability of the permanent tooth to erupt and leading to orthodontic issues.
Primary teeth with decay or damage to the dental pulp solely in the tooth’s crown are the best candidates for pulpotomies. Pulpotomies are not typically performed in adult teeth and cannot be performed in teeth when the root is infected.
During the procedure, if the pulp chamber is dry or filled with pus, the pulpotomy will need to be stopped as this suggests the tooth is no longer healthy enough and will need to be extracted.
A pulpotomy is different from a root canal because it only removes infected pulp from the crown of the tooth.
Knocked-out baby teeth are not usually replaced, even if they’re lost prematurely. If it’s a baby tooth, your child will need to come into our office to have their mouth examined and cleaned to prevent infection, and to get a “space maintainer.” This prosthetic will maintain the proper gap between their teeth, preventing the adjacent teeth from shifting toward the now-empty socket.
For an adult tooth, though, you need to get help immediately. Recover the tooth, rinse it, and put it in a container of cold milk to keep it moist. Then, come to our office immediately. Don't spend too much time treating pain or bleeding. Your child’s tooth must be re-attached within 1-2 hours for it to be saved, so time is of the essence. We can treat your child’s pain when they get to our office.
Collect the filling, crown, or other piece of dental work and place it in a plastic baggie. Then, call us for a same-day appointment, and make sure to bring your child’s dental work in with you. It may be possible to reattach a crown instead of completely replacing it.
A severe toothache could indicate that your child has a deep cavity or an infected tooth. You should schedule a consultation at our office right away, as these are both serious dental emergencies that will only get worse without proper treatment.
First, treat their discomfort and bleeding. Then, contact us for a same-day appointment. Even minor tooth damage can cause hairline fractures and these fractures could lead to infections and other complications. After consulting with your child’s dentist, they can determine the best treatment for restoring the damaged tooth, and ensure your child’s smile remains healthy and strong.
If a baby tooth has come loose and it’s not due to an oral injury, you don’t have to do anything. Baby teeth are meant to fall out eventually, so this is natural.
However, if one of their teeth becomes loose and is bleeding after an oral injury, it may not be ready to fall out yet. The best thing to do is to get a consultation with your child’s dentist to have their mouth examined, and determine whether the tooth can be saved or if it should be replaced with a space maintainer.
While you can take your child to the ER for tooth pain, this is not usually a good idea. There are a few reasons for this. First, most ERs are not meant to treat dental issues. The emergency room is set up to treat life-threatening health issues, and most ERs will not even have a dentist on staff.
Even if you can see a dentist at the ER, though, you’ll end up paying a lot more to get treatment compared to seeing an emergency dentist. Even a simple ER visit can cost thousands of dollars.
Most dental emergencies are not life-threatening, and that includes tooth pain. In general, we only recommend that you go to the ER if your child has another serious complication. For example, if they were in a serious accident and you think their jaw is broken, or they are having trouble breathing or swallowing, you need to call 911 and go to the ER right away.
Use your best judgment. You shouldn’t hesitate to go to the ER if you think it’s necessary, but in most cases, tooth pain can be treated by an emergency dentist like Dr. Thompson at Desert Kids Dental. If you’re not sure what to do, you can always contact our dental team at (702) 660-7099 to discuss your child’s situation.
If your child is experiencing serious pain and discomfort or their mouth is bleeding and you don’t know what to do, they’re having a dental emergency. This category is broader than you may think.
Of course, dental emergencies include dental trauma caused by accidents, slips and falls, hits in contact sports, and other such injuries. This can include cracked, chipped, or broken teeth, or even loose or knocked-out teeth. Large cuts and lacerations to the tongue, cheeks, gums, and other oral tissues are also dental emergencies. All of these conditions are very serious, and demand immediate treatment at Desert Kids Dental.
There are lots of other things that qualify for emergency treatment, though. This includes tooth pain, which may indicate a severe cavity or an infected tooth, as well as bleeding when brushing, pieces of food or other objects stuck between the teeth, and failed or damaged dental work, such as a pulled-out filling or dental crown.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so if you’re not sure if your child’s condition qualifies for same-day care, the best thing to do is to call Desert Kids Dental at (702) 660-7099. We can ensure your little one gets the care they need in Las Vegas.
Dental emergencies, particularly those caused by dental trauma, can be really painful and scary for kids. That’s why we offer dental sedation for emergency patients, including nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, and even general anesthesia.
With sedation dentistry from Dr. Sandra Thompson, your child can relax, rest, and get the treatment they need to eliminate their oral pain, restore their tooth, and prevent further complications and oral health issues.
Losing a baby tooth too early can be a dental emergency.