If your child’s primary tooth has extensive decay, or has been damaged by trauma, action may be needed to restore the integrity of the tooth and prevent infection from spreading to surrounding teeth.
After a set of X-rays are taken, Dr. Dana will be able to assess the extent of the infection and recommend one of two options, a pulpotomy or a pulpectomy.
If the decay or trauma is confined to the crown of the tooth, a pulpotomy may be recommended. When a cavity gets really deep — close to the pulp of a tooth, or even into the pulp — the pulpal tissue becomes irritated and inflamed.
A pulpotomy is when the inflamed pulp chamber, usually on a baby molar, is removed. A dentist will remove all the infected material in the pulp of the crown only, to leave the living tooth root intact. After a pulpotomy on a baby molar, the empty space will be filled with dental cement and a stainless steel crown placed to restore the tooth.
Crowns are “cemented” onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of the tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes the tooth’s new outer surface.
Stainless steel dental crowns are regarded as a good temporary restoration to save a primary tooth until the permanent tooth can emerge and take its place. Keeping the primary tooth, if at all possible, is essential. A primary tooth can be restored with a stainless-steel crown during one appointment. A crowned tooth must be brushed and flossed, the same way as other teeth.