What Is The Difference Between a Root Canal and a Pulpotomy?

Seeing that your child is in pain is never easy. If they have a cavity and are complaining about intense pain, you may wonder if their pediatric dentist will recommend a root canal.

While your child will require more than a simple filling to treat a severely infected tooth, a root canal isn't the way to go. Here's why, and here's what their doctor will do instead.

What Is a Root Canal?

If you have ever had an infected tooth, then you probably know that the dentist performed a root canal to restore your oral health. During the procedure, the dentist drills through the enamel and removes the pulp. Then, they fill the hole with a special material called gutta-percha and add a crown to protect and restore your tooth.

What Is a Pulpotomy?

A pulpotomy is similar to a root canal, but it is performed on a child's primary teeth. That's why they are also known as "baby root canals."

Similar to a root canal, a pulpotomy is used to treat an infected or damaged tooth. The dentist will remove the affected parts of the tooth, starting with the enamel and going all the way to the pulp. After the decay has been removed, the dentist will clean the tooth with a disinfectant to kill bacteria and then fill it with dental cement.

The Difference Between a Root Canal and a Pulpotomy

As you can see, the main difference between a root canal and a pulpotomy is that one is used to treat adult teeth while the other is meant for baby teeth. But the differences don't stop here.

A root canal also involves the removal of the entire pulp, including the roots, while a pulpotomy is less invasive. During a pulpotomy, the dentist will only remove the top part of the pulp.

Another difference between a root canal and a pulpotomy is the type of material used to fill the tooth after the procedure. In the case of a root canal, the tooth is filled with a rubber-like material that helps to seal the inside of the tooth and protect it from further infection. In a pulpotomy, the tooth is filled with dental cement.

In both cases, however, the patient will need a dental crown to restore the function and appearance of the tooth.

Does Your Child Need a Pulpotomy? You Can Count On Us!

A pulpotomy may sound like a painful and invasive procedure, but it's quite different from a root canal. And, when you choose to bring your child to a dentist who is not only professional but also kind and compassionate, you can rest assured that they will have a positive experience.

That's our promise at Campfire Pediatric Dentistry. If you are in the Middleton, Wisconsin area, call our office at (608) 535-9382 to find out more about our services and book an appointment for your little one.

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