My son’s pediatric dentist tells me we need to do a pulpotomy on one of his teeth. I asked him why that was necessary if it was just a baby tooth and he acted as if I’d offended him by asking a question. I left embarrassed and without an answer. But, it’s my son. I don’t want for him to undergo an unnecessary procedure. Can you help me?
Of course you don’t want your little boy to go through any unnecessary procedure. Your son’s dentist should not have treated you that way. You have every right to know why something is or isn’t necessary for your child. I have to tell you this isn’t the best dentist for you or your son.
I’d like you to find another pediatric dentist. He can also see a general dentist who treats children. One who has good reviews and is willing to answer as many questions as you have without any impatience.
Now to your question. A pulpotomy is essentially a child’s version of a root canal treatment. In this procedure, most of the pulp of the baby tooth is removed, then the tissue inside the roots is daubed with a disinfectant such as formocresol. The tooth is then sealed. It will likely also be covered with a dental crown. Most insurance only covers a stainless steel crown for children.
This is typically only done on a tooth which needs to last for a long time, such as a molar. The reason these are important is they need to stay in his mouth until he is around twelve years old when his adult molars will start to come in.
If it comes out prematurely, your dentist will need to place a space maintainer there. If he or she doesn’t, then the other teeth will shift into the open space. This leads to crowding as his adult teeth attempt to come in. When that happens, that leads to needing expensive orthodontics.
This blog is brought to you by Huntsville Dentist Dr. Steve Murphree.