Although Primary (baby) teeth will eventually fall out, primary teeth play an important role as a spacer for permanent (adult) teeth to come in place of primary teeth in the future.
Pulp infection in primary tooth can also cause long-lasting damage that would affect permanent teeth.
Every tooth contains the part called pulp in the center of the tooth, which is made up of living connective tissue and cells. Typically, a pulp infection or necrosis occurs when a tooth has been greatly affected by caries (or cavities), a traumatic injury, and/or from other causes. If any of these damages occur to your child’s tooth, it is important to have them addressed by a dental provider.
Dr. Ahn will evaluate your child’s tooth to see whether the tooth is damaged to the point of involving pulp tissue or not. In case of damages into the pulp, Dr. Ahn can conduct a thorough evaluation and determine which treatment is right for your child.
Some of the treatment options include:
- Pulpotomy: This treatment involves removing a portion of the tooth’s inner pulp, and it is most often performed when a baby tooth’s inner material has become diseased or infected. By completing a pulpotomy, our dentist can restore the tooth’s health and prevent the remainder of the tooth’s pulp from becoming infected.
- Pulpectomy: This treatment is similar to a traditional root canal. Performed on teeth where the pulp is irreversibly infected, our dentist will remove the damaged pulp, irrigate and disinfect the area, and fill the canals. The tooth will then be treated with a restoration to prevent further damage.
- Protective Liner: When a tooth’s pulp is exposed but not infected, our dentist will apply a protective liquid directly to the pulpal surface. This will act as a barrier between the pulp and restorative material such as a filling.
- Direct Pulp Cap: For teeth that have been affected by a traumatic injury, it is possible that pulp may be exposed. This treatment will cover the pulp with a bio-compatible resin to protect the pulp. A restoration will then be applied to treat the rest of the tooth.