Nerve Treatment / Pulpotomy on Primary Teeth
When a cavity has become very large it often destroy the tooth structure all the way down to the pulp or living tissue of the tooth (see diagram). Often this tooth decay into the pulp will be painful. When the decay has reached the dental pulp, the pulp is generally still alive but the outer areas of the pulp are infected with the bacteria that caused the cavity. If the pulp is not treated and the infected areas are not removed then the bacteria will continue to cause infection and can penetrate all the way into the root canals. If this occurs then the tooth will become abscessed and very painful requiring early removal of the tooth.
To prevent the tooth from abscessing and to relieve any discomfort we can perform a pulpotomy. We often refer to this as a baby root canal but it is not nearly as complicated or difficult of a procedure as a root canal. To perform a pulpotomy we remove the cavity and then access the pulp chamber in the crown of the tooth. We remove the pulp tissue in the crown of the tooth so that all that is left is the healthy pulpal tissue that is down in the roots of the tooth.
We evaluate the remaining pulp tissue to make sure that it does not show any signs of infection and then place medication in the pulp chamber to make sure that all of the bacteria have been killed. We restore the tooth by placing a medicated filling material in the pulp chamber and placing a stainless steel crown that covers, protects, and strengthens the tooth.