Tooth extractions and pulpotomies are two different procedures, but they serve roughly the same purpose. Both are used in the case of severe damage or decay in the tooth. Tooth extraction is used when the entire tooth must be removed. Pulpotomies are used to resolve the issue while saving the natural tooth. Our dentists at Sierra Kids Dentistry will be able to give you more information about these procedures.
The Importance of Extractions and Pulpotomies
Dental extractions and pulpotomies are used when a tooth is severely infected or decayed. Left untreated, infection in the tooth can spread to other parts of the body. This creates more serious health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, diabetes, osteoporosis, and more. These procedures ensure that the infection is removed and drastically reduce the risks of these other conditions. Pulpotomies, when appropriate, are extremely important in that they allow our dentists to preserve the natural tooth. This means that there is less loss of function and change in appearance, though there are restorative procedures that can be done following an extraction.
There are two types of extraction that our dentist can perform; simple and surgical. Simple extractions begin with a local anesthetic. Our dentist will then use a dental instrument to loosen the tooth and pry it out. Surgical extractions require local anesthesia as well as either intravenous (IV) or general anesthesia. Our dentist will perform the surgical extraction by making a small incision in the gum. They may need to take out the bone around your tooth or cut your tooth in half in order to fully remove the tooth.
Pulpotomies typically involve both local and general anesthesia. Our dentist will begin by drilling the decayed part of the tooth. They will also drill through the enamel and dentin until the pulp is exposed. Our dentist will then remove the infected pulp. Once the pulp canal is empty, our dentist will fill it with a dental cement. This seals the tooth to restore function and prevents further infection. To finish the procedure, a crown will be placed on the tooth.
Recovery from dental extraction can take several days and it is normal for your child to experience slight pain or discomfort. Our dentist will give you specific after-care instructions for both dental extractions and pulpotomies prior to leaving our office. For extractions, after-care typically includes a cold compress, pain medication, and antibiotics. Your child may also need to take antibiotics leading up to these procedures, but we will give you more information on that during the consult. For the first few days following the dental extraction, your child should eat soft foods before easing into other types of food.
Recovery from pulpotomies is very similar to a dental extraction, though it does differ slightly as the natural tooth is still intact. Full recovery can take several days. Again, slight pain and discomfort are common following this procedure. Like with dental extractions, cold compresses, pain medication, and antibiotics may be recommended by our dentist. To schedule a dental extraction or pulpotomy for your child, contact Sierra Kids Dentistry at (775) 473-1247 today.