What Is Pulp Therapy in Pediatric Dentistry?

The “pulp” of a tooth is hidden inside the center of each tooth and can’t be seen without special tools. It contains nerves, tissue, and blood vessels that provide important nutrients and oxygen to the tooth. So, what is pulp therapy in pediatric dentistry?” 

The dental pulp can be damaged in different ways. Baby teeth are no exception. In children, it usually happens due to tooth decay or an injury, which can make the pulp hurt and swell. That’s why dentists perform this procedure similar to a root canal. 

Types of Pediatric Pulp Therapy

First, the pediatric dentist will check the tooth and take X-rays of the problem area. The treatment will depend on how much and where the pulp is damaged. The following are the types of dental pulp therapy:

  • Pulpotomy

A pulpotomy is done on baby teeth and growing permanent teeth when only the pulp in the crown (the part of the tooth you can see) needs to be removed. The dentist takes out the infected or damaged pulp, which helps the healthy pulp left in the tooth.

  • Pulpectomy

In cases of severe decay, trauma, or infection, all the pulp tissue in both the crown and the root of the tooth needs to be removed.

In both pulpotomies and pulpectomies, the dentist removes the infected or damaged pulp, disinfects the tooth, fills it with a special material, and puts a crown (a cap) on the tooth to make it stronger and protect it from further damage.

Symptoms of a Damaged Dental Pulp

Usually, the best sign that the pulp is damaged or exposed is pain. Your child might say they have general mouth pain or that a specific tooth hurts. They might also complain about a jawache, headache, or sore and sensitive gums.

Sensitivity to hot or cold on the tooth is another sign of possible pulp damage. Other signs of damaged dental pulp include:

  • Trouble sleeping because of pain
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods or drinks
  • Swollen, red, or sensitive gums

If your child has dental pain or a mouth injury, contact your pediatric dentist right away for an examination.

Is Dental Pulp Therapy Safe for Children?

Yes, dental pulp therapy is safe for children and is performed under the careful watch of your child’s dentist and their team. This therapy is only used when necessary; for less severe cases, there are other ways to protect a child’s damaged tooth.

When doing dental pulp therapy or a root canal, the dentist will use the right anesthetics to make sure your child is as comfortable as possible. After the procedure, your child might get some pain medication to help with any discomfort.

For very anxious children, those with special needs, or children who need multiple procedures, the dentist might suggest sedation dentistry. This means your child will be fully sedated, and a licensed anesthetist will supervise. 

Wrapping Up

Baby teeth are more prone to decay than adult ones. The reason is children are fond of sugary snacks and often neglect routine dental care. Parents often ask, “What is pulp therapy in pediatric dentistry?” It is not sinister. It’s just another term for a root canal to save your child’s tooth. 

Visit Dr. Aliasgar Y.Mogri at Cypress Smiles Dental. Our doctor specializes in restorative (white fillings), cosmetic (porcelain veneers and whitening), implants and crowns and bridges (caps), endodontics (root canal treatments), and periodontics. Dial (281) 206-0100 to book an appointment. 

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