The pulp of a tooth is the inner, central core of the tooth and contains blood vessels and nerves. Dental caries (cavities) and trauma to the tooth are the primary reasons for children to undergo pulp therapy.
Your child may need pulp therapy if he/she has
- Tooth pain for no apparent reason
- A tooth that is sensitive to temperature changes
- A broken tooth
The main purpose of pulp therapy is that the tooth is not lost. Primary teeth are needed for chewing and speaking and serve as space savers for permanent teeth. Without the primary teeth to guide them, existing neighboring teeth can crowd in, causing permanent teeth to grow in crooked or tilted.
The two forms of pulp therapy for children’s teeth are: vital pulp therapy for primary teeth (pulpotomy) and non-vital pulp therapy for primary teeth (pulpectomy).
Vital Pulp Therapy for Primary (Baby) Teeth
Vital pulp therapy is for cases in which the tooth’s pulp may be salvaged. The main purpose is to maintain and protect existing healthy pulp by removing the diseased pulp tissue within the crown portion of the tooth. Next, an agent is placed to prevent bacterial growth and to calm the remaining nerve tissue. This is followed by a final restoration (usually a stainless steel crown).
Non-Vital Pulp Therapy for Primary (Baby) Teeth
Non-vital pulp therapy is required when the entire pulp is diseased (into the root canal(s) of the tooth). During this treatment, the diseased pulp tissue is completely removed from all parts of the tooth. The canals are cleansed and filled with a special material meant to be naturally absorbed by the body while the root prepares for the primary tooth to fall out and be replaced by a permanent tooth. A crown is placed on the tooth to prevent fractures.
If the pulp is severely damaged then your doctor may recommend removing the tooth entirely. If this is a case ask if space maintainers are necessary for future development.
If you suspect your child is in need of pulp therapy, contact our office or schedule an appointment for a consultation today.
Our team consists of dedicated individuals who are kind, friendly, and caring. Our staff is here to ensure a pleasant experience during your visit to our office. Our team includes experienced and energetic people whose goal is to communicate well with our patients and provide the best care possible.
- We put our patients’ needs first
- We create a comfortable environment
- We provide quality and comprehensive care
Mary Katherine Matthews, DMD
Experienced Hockessin Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Katie Matthews is a board-certified dentist in Hockessin specializing in pediatric and special needs dentistry. She is committed to helping parents and their children establish a dental home by age one. Early education and routine preventive care promote healthy habits. Dr. Katie is happy to accommodate the unique needs of each and every child.
what parents say
Dr. Mary Katherine Matthews Testimonials
Dr. Kate was wonderful with my son. She did the checking and the cleaning of his teeth. He had his first x-ray at the age of 14 and he did well with the “Astronaut” machine. He and I were able to see the full picture of his teeth including the start of his wisdom teeth. Dr. Kate answered all my questions. We are very pleased.
The dental visit with our 6 year old was amazing! Our child has typically been very anxious about dental care. He left his appointment today saying that he “likes going to the dentist.” Everyone was very patient, kind and caring! Thank you again for this wonderful experience!
It is obvious that Dr. Katie cares about children. She took her time with my three-year-old son and explained everything that she was doing. I felt very comfortable, and so did he. Thank you!