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What Should I Expect After My Child Gets A Pulpotomy?

February 5, 2024

A pulpotomy is a procedure that is typically performed on primary (baby) teeth. When a tooth has a deep cavity or extensive decay that reaches the soft layer of tissue under the enamel, an infection can occur in the tooth. A pulpotomy can treat the infection and preserve the tooth until it is ready to be naturally shed. 

If your child needs a pulpotomy, you may be wondering what the recovery will be like. Here’s what you can expect after the procedure. 

What is a Pulpotomy? 

A pulpotomy is a procedure that is used to treat an infected tooth. During a pulpotomy some of the dental pulp is removed, usually just from the crown portion of the tooth. Dental pulp is the soft tissue on the inside of a tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. Medication is placed inside the tooth to treat the infection and prevent it from becoming reinfected. The tooth will then be covered with a crown. 

Local anesthesia is used to ensure that your child is comfortable during the procedure. Sedation is available to help them relax if necessary. 

Recovery After Pulpotomy

You can expect your child to experience the following after a pulpotomy: 

  • Numbness. The mouth will be numb for up to a few hours following the procedure. It is important that your child does not eat right away to prevent accidentally biting the cheek, lip, or tongue while it is still numb. Liquids are fine to consume. 
  • Mild discomfort. The tooth may be tender following the procedure, so it is best to avoid chewing in that area of the mouth. A soft diet for the first 24-48 hours is recommended. Over the counter pain medication can help to manage any discomfort. 
  • Normal behavior. In most cases it is fine for your child to resume their regular daily activities following a pulpotomy. As long as they did not have any deep sedation, they will most likely feel completely normal. 
  • Stainless steel crown. The tooth will most likely receive a stainless steel crown. It will be silver in color. A stainless steel crown is a durable and affordable option, as the tooth will eventually fall out in a few years. 

Is a Pulpotomy Worth It? 

Many parents question whether a pulpotomy is worthwhile for a baby tooth that will just fall out. If the baby tooth is close to being ready to fall out on its own, we may recommend extraction. But if the tooth should still remain in place for a few years, a pulpotomy can save the tooth and allow it to remain in the mouth as a placeholder for the permanent tooth. Extracting a tooth before the permanent tooth is ready to come in would mean that a space maintainer would be necessary to prevent the other teeth from shifting into the space left. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Pulpotomies 

What is the difference between a pulpotomy and a pulpectomy? 

A pulpotomy only removes some of the dental pulp, leaving many of the nerves still in place. A pulpectomy removes all of the nerves within the tooth. 

What is the difference between a pulpotomy and a root canal?

A root canal completely removes all of the dental pulp and fills the tooth with a replacement material for a permanent restoration. A pulpotomy is a much simpler procedure that is only designed to help a baby tooth last for a few years. 

Who Performs Pulpotomies? 

A pulpotomy is a procedure that is performed by an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in restoring the health of the teeth from the inside. Elite Endodontics of NH provides pulpotomies for children’s teeth that are infected or at risk of infection. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 

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Hudson, NH 03051
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182 Central Street
Hudson, NH 03051
1310 Hooksett Road
Hooksett, NH 03106
60 Whittier Hwy, Unit 1
Moultonborough, NH 03254
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