Dental caries or trauma to a baby tooth has the potential to result in the infection or death of the living tissue that is inside of the tooth. Of course, this can cause a lot of pain for the child, which means the problem must be treated. For permanent, adult teeth, a root canal may be appropriate in these cases, but baby teeth don’t require root canals like adult teeth do.
However, there is a procedure called a pulpotomy, which is often referred to as a baby tooth root canal, that can be used to help preserve primary teeth in children.
What is a Pulpotomy?
A pulpotomy involves removing the top of the infected pulp or nerve tissue within the tooth. However, unlike a normal root canal, the healthy nerve tissue in the root of the tooth is left alone. A special medication is then put on the top part of the baby tooth, helping the tooth to heal over time. However, after the pulpotomy, a child will need to have a crown placed on top of the tooth to keep it covered. This keeps bacteria from getting down into the nerve.
Repair Baby Teeth if Possible
In some cases, a baby tooth that is severely affected must be pulled. However, it’s better to repair the tooth if possible with a pulpotomy. Removing baby teeth can result in a bad bite for the child.
The primary teeth are important for guiding in the new permanent tooth, and losing a tooth too early could cause problems as the permanent teeth begin to come in. Having a baby tooth root canal, or pulpotomy, not only helps keep the proper spacing for the permanent teeth, it also helps to ensure that the gum and bone tissue is supported.
Whenever possible, a pulpotomy offers a much better choice than removing the tooth. This treatment helps children to retain full function of their tongue, jaws, and teeth, which ensures that permanent teeth are guided into their proper place and children are less likely to deal with speech problems.