How Long Will A Pulpotomy Last?
A pulpotomy, sometimes referred to as a baby root canal, is a procedure used to treat an infected tooth. It is performed on primary (baby) teeth that will eventually fall out, so it is designed to last until that happens.
If your child needs a pulpotomy, you may be wondering how long it will last. Here’s what you can expect.
What is a Pulpotomy?
A pulpotomy is used to treat an infected tooth. An infection occurs when bacteria invades the inner chamber of the tooth and reaches the dental pulp, soft tissue made up of blood vessels and nerves. During a pulpotomy the infected portion of the pulp is removed from the crown of the tooth and a medicated dressing is placed inside. The medication treats and prevents infection in the remaining dental pulp.
How Long Does a Pulpotomy Take?
A pulpotomy is a relatively short endodontic procedure. It usually takes no more than 30-40 minutes to complete. Local anesthesia is used to numb the tooth being treated and sedation is available to help the child relax if needed.
How Long Will the Results of a Pulpotomy Last?
A pulpotomy is designed to last until the tooth naturally falls out on its own when the permanent tooth is ready to come in. The amount of time until this occurs may vary, so most pulpotomy procedures will last for an average of 5 years. There is always a possibility that the tooth could become reinfected during this time and require further treatment.
Will the Tooth Need a Crown After a Pulpotomy?
The tooth will most likely be fitted with a stainless steel crown following a pulpotomy. Stainless steel crowns are silver in color and are more affordable than porcelain crowns. Since the tooth will eventually fall out, it makes less sense to use a more expensive porcelain crown.
Is a Pulpotomy Worth It?
A pulpotomy preserves the tooth so that it can stay in place in the child’s mouth until it is ready to be naturally shed. Extracting a tooth before it is ready leaves a gap in the mouth that may allow the other teeth to shift out of place. A space maintainer would be required to hold the place for the permanent tooth to come in. In most cases a pulpotomy is recommended over extraction, unless the tooth is ready to fall out soon.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pulpotomies
Can a dentist perform a pulpotomy?
Some dentists may have the training and experience to perform pulpotomies. But an endodontist specializes in this procedure, which could increase the chances of success and help the tooth last longer.
Is a pulpotomy just a root canal?
A pulpotomy is slightly different from a root canal. During a root canal procedure all of the dental pulp is removed from the tooth and replacement material fills the tooth. A root canal is meant to be a long term restoration for a permanent tooth so that it will last for many years. A pulpotomy only removes some of the dental pulp and treats the infection with the goal of helping the tooth last for a few years until it falls out naturally.
Where Can My Child Get a Pulpotomy?
A pulpotomy is an endodontic procedure that is performed by an endodontist. An endodontist specializes in saving teeth by treating the dental pulp, making them highly qualified to perform pulpotomies.
Heart of Texas Endodontics provides pulpotomy procedures for children who have teeth that are infected or at risk of infection. Our doctors are highly qualified and experienced with this and other endodontic procedures for children as well as adults.