Pulpectomy 2020: Pulpectomy is a difficult word.  5 year old Cyndi jumped down from the dentist’s chair and announced she was getting an appendectomy even though her tummy did not hurt.  What she had actually heard her mom and the dentist discussing was a Pulpectomy. But she did speak the “ectomy” part of the word correctly.

You see, “ectomy” means removal, as in “removal of the appendix.”  However, when the dentist says “pulpectomy,” there is no appendix involved. You might already know that Pulp indicates the tissue at the very heart of the tooth.  Thus, Pulpectomy is a dentist’s procedure to remove all the pulp from a baby tooth. Why?  As Cyndi stated in the story above, “Mommy, it’s infected.”

A Root Canal in a Baby Tooth: A Big Shock for Parents?

Pulpectomy is Sometimes the Cure for Infected Pulp.

When Infection Invades the Root of a Baby Tooth, Pulpectomy is the Last Resort.

Just before our Father’s Day Blog, we created a blog that covered several root canal-type procedures your child might need if he or she had deep infection in a baby tooth.  You might want to read and review it before checking out this one.  Currently we are greatly concerned over the amount of decay we are seeing due to the COVID-19 quarantines.  Therefore, we wanted to refresh your knowledge of this procedure and bring it into 2020.

Pulpectomy shocks parents because it gives detailed attention to a baby tooth.  It never takes a parent long to say, “Wait a minute. Isn’t this tooth going to fall out anyway?”

Our answer is that we want the tooth fall out (or shed) at the proper time.  Here’s why:

  • Protection: Until then it can protect the precious bud of the permanent tooth under it.
  • Place-Holding:  Nature individually sized and shaped this tiny tooth to hold a proper space for the precious secondary tooth to  to grow into.
  • That position and spacing will be very important to your child’s eating and speaking development.

Best of all, after your child’s pulpectomy, your child’s tooth will be structurally sound. Then, amazingly, it will shed normally at the appropriate time to make way for the eruption of the permanent tooth.

Infected Pulp Really Hurts

By the way, none of the above information will impress a child with with a deeply infected pulp. That condition hurts.  Your child will have  pain and swelling within the gum tissues or even the cheek. We call it the classic profile for a toothache.   This brings us to first steps:

1.    Dr. King will dentist will attend to the pain and swelling first.

2.    He will review your child’s health and dental history.

3.    Of course the examination is extensive.

In view of these first steps, be aware also that Dentistry for Children only recommends the Pulpectomy as a last resort to save the structure of that very important tooth.   We discussed less drastic measures in our previous blog.

This Kind of Tooth Infection Never Heals


After the Pulpectomy is Over, the Pain Will Be All Gone...Just Like New.

Mr. Buzzy (the Drill) Makes a Lot of Noise, But Pulpectomy Won’t Hurt…We Promise!

So, let’s explore what the dentist does in a Pulpectomy. You can help with calming confidence as the procedure begins. With the use of local anesthesia, your child will be ready for the dentist to work on his or her sore tooth.

1.    We use a rubbery-looking sheet, called a rubber dam.  It will isolate the tooth. And it keeps the tooth dry during the Pulpectomy. It looks strange, but it actually adds comfort and protection to the situation for the child.

2.    By the way, the AAPD gives all dentists guidelines for deciding if a the infection in a tooth justifies a pulpectomy.

Step By Step, Pulpectomy 2020 and Restoration of the Tooth:

1.  Mr. Whistle (the drill) And the First Steps:   First, Dr. King drills small opening into the biting surface of the tooth. Mr. Thirsty, the suction will help with the process.

2.  With this opening, he will drain the infection.  And often, the dentist will prescribe a course of antibiotics.

3.   Kids around here know nitrous oxide as Miss Sweet Air.  Miss Sweet Air or Mr. Sleepy Juice (Novocain) sets us up for removal of the infected tissue from the root canal. It is very important that you and your child understand that this procedure does not hurt. That is because our highly educated, experienced and compassionate Dr. King has a detailed, artistic and passionate love for doing dental procedures painlessly.

4.   If you ever had a root canal, you will recognize the following steps.  Henceforth, the procedure for your child’s tiny tooth resembles your traditional root canal treatment.

Detailed Secrets of the Pulpectomy 2020:  Here We Go

If the Pulp is Infected, We Can Still Save the Life and Position of a Tiny, Precious Tooth.

Luckily the roots of baby teeth do not develop as large and deep as do those in permanent teeth.

5.   The Clean-Out:  The doctor will use delicate instruments to remove every bit of the infected tissue from the root canals. (No more Sugar Bugs here!)

6.   The Disinfection:  Following the clean-out of all the infected pulp, Dr. King disinfects the little root canal. Basically he then cleans the tooth, inside and out. Next, he fills the root canals to seal them.

The Big Pulpectomy 2020 Secret

Here is the most amazing step of the procedure:  The dentist chooses an absorbable material. He fills the now-empty root canals with it. Then, this magic “absorbable material acts just as the original pulp. In fact, the tooth is fooled into thinking this is the original pulp. This is why your child’s body can still absorb the roots normally. And, miraculously, it is also why the tooth can sheds at the proper time and allows the new permanent one to take its place.

Replacing the Pulp in a Pulpectomy 2020

And the Tooth Falls Out at Just the Right Time to Be Collected By the Tooth Fairy.

You might like to know specifically what we use to seal the roots of the tooth:

  • Dentists often use a zinc oxide/eugenol paste, or isoform paste and calcium hydroxide.
  • Many years of research has also shown a that a mixture of calcium hydroxide and isoform makes a perfect pulp replacement.
  • It easy for the dentist to delicately apply.

Likewise, as noted, the body system can absorb it smoothly and naturally.

Additionally, we must mention this mixture is non-toxic, and it won’t hurt the permanent teeth waiting to erupt. Likewise, it is radio-opaque, which means it shows clearly on subsequent x-rays.

Crowning Glory:  Finishing and Protecting the Tooth

After the root procedure is finished. The dentist chooses a restoration for the tooth. Somehow our little princess and princesses are always excited about their crowns and tooth-colored hats. However, be aware that if the If the tooth is in the back, the best choice after Pulpectomy  is a strong stainless steel crown.  However, front teeth usually require a composite, tooth-colored resin, because even princesses and princes love that natural look. Cyndi’s final comment sums up the treatment. “My awful, terrible, big mean tooth feels all better! And my crown is so pretty! Thank you!”

Are You Ready to Celebrate Independence Day?

Cyndi Endorses the Procedure and Feels Like a Princess in Her New Dental Crown.

It has become almost “Dentistry for Children” tradition that we hereby bring you a couple of our favorite patriotic quotation to help you celebrate the true meaning of Independence Day.

President Bill Clinton said, “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”  At “Dentistry for Children,” we see the children of America represented every day, and they renew our faith in “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”

So, once again, as in previous years, the owners and staff of Dentistry for Children, are pleased to wish you and your family a Happy July Fourth Holiday. And once again, be Safe!