Extractions & Pulpotomies
If a child needs a tooth extracted, they may very well feel frightened if they don't know what's going to happen. Pulpectomies are also used for child patients on occasion, so it's important to inform yourself if your child needs this procedure.
It's important that you understand these procedures so you can properly prepare your children for them. This page will help in that regard. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to us.
Why Do Children Need Tooth Extractions?
If a child's tooth is decayed so severely that a root canal won't work, we will need to extract it. Other times when we'd need to extract a tooth are when it's crowding other teeth or if it's fractured beyond repair. Sometimes children getting braces will need some teeth removed so we can move their teeth to the desired positions.
The Extraction Procedure
The type of treatment used will depend on the child's individual case and the type of extraction we're going to perform. In cases where we can easily see and remove the problem tooth, we'll carry out a simple extraction. This involves numbing the area with a local anesthetic and gently taking out the tooth with forceps.
If the tooth is impacted, we'll have to remove some of the adjacent gum tissue to get to the tooth. In such cases, we will need to sedate the child with an IV or laughing gas before starting. We'll inform you about what will take place during sedation and how to prepare your child accordingly.
What Is Pulp and What Does it Do?
The pulp is the inner part of a tooth, containing nerves, blood vessels, reparative cells, and connective tissue. The pulp acts as a sort of alarm system for a tooth. When a tooth decays, the pulp's nerves increase its sensitivity or cause a toothache to warn the body of potential harm. The tooth may feel cold sensitive at first, which could indicate an initial phase of tooth decay.
If the decay is not stopped, the pulp can become exposed, and the tooth's sensitivity to cold will increase. The tooth can become heat-sensitive as well. If trauma caused the initial damage, the pulp can swell and ache and could get infected due to exposure to bacteria.
What Is a Pulpectomy?
If the pulp becomes infected, we'll need to treat it to prevent a dental abscess and the risk of having to extract the tooth. A pulpectomy is a method of treating infected dental nerve tissue to save the tooth and preserve the structural integrity and function of the dental arch. We employ this method when the entire pulp is involved.
During a pulpectomy, we completely remove the diseased pulp tissue from the crown and root. We then clean and disinfect the canals, completing the process by placing a final restoration. If the problem tooth is a baby tooth, we'll fill it with a resorbable material, so the roots resorb and the baby tooth falls out at the right time.
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For more information, please contact our office at 256-712-4080, or schedule an appointment today!