Why is our pediatric dentist recommending a pulpotomy?

By October 17, 2016 November 30th, 2018 Pediatric Dentist

I have 3 children and for the past 8 years have used the same pediatric dentist for each child. I have a good relationship with the dentist and have had to reason to distrust him. In our household we have a high standard for keeping our teeth clean so the latest results from our 5 year old daughter’s recent checkup have been disturbing. The dentist found 2 cavities in my daughter’s teeth and she is recommending a pulpotomy. I’m not sure that I understood her explanation of what this treatment in and why it is necessary for primary teeth. The dentist has been very clear in explaining other preventive care so I am wondering why this issue is foggy. Can you explain it simply? Thx. Marcy

Marcy – If there is infection in a primary tooth, a pediatric dentist might recommend a pulpotomy to remove it. Dental instruments are used to clean out the tooth and remove the pulp, or living tissue inside the tooth. The pulp is removed from the roots. The tooth is disinfected and a dental filler material is used to replace the pulp. A dental crown is used to protect the weakened tooth from further damage.

A pulpotomy is similar to a root canal treatment for adults. The procedure is used to save primary teeth. Although many parents question why primary teeth need to be saved, these teeth have an important role in reserving the space for permanent teeth and in guiding permanent teeth to the proper position when they erupt.

If a primary tooth needs to be extracted, a space maintainer might be used to keep the empty space intact. This prevent nearby teeth from drifting toward the empty space and interfering with proper position and eruption of the permanent tooth.

Ask your child’s pediatric dentist for a more thorough explanation of why a pulpotomy is recommended for your daughter. You can also ask to see x-rays of her teeth that reveal an infection and not tooth decay that might otherwise be treated.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, consider getting a second opinion from another skilled pediatric dentist.

This post is sponsored by Naperville Dental Specialists.