Pulpotomy refers to a common endodontic procedure in which dental pulp is removed from the pulp chamber. This procedure is usually done on primary teeth (children’s teeth) by a pediatric dentist.
Pulpotomy is necessary in instances where the pulp of a tooth has become infected due to deep decay or a crack within the tooth and the infected areas need to be removed. In pulpotomy all of the coronal pulp tissue is removed from the crown (visible portion of the tooth above the gums) but the pulp tissue in the root canals remain. This is different that pulpectomy in which all of the pulp is removed from both the root canals and crown. Damage to the pulp becomes visible when a pocket of pus forms at the tip of the tooth root (abscess). If left alone the infection in the tooth will spread and cause further damage to the bone around the tooth. This can lead to the tooth falling out.
The only alternative to pulpotomy is tooth extraction which although initially cheaper requires further implementation of a dental implant or a bridge. Extraction could also cause a shift in the surrounding teeth resulting in crooked teeth and eventually possible teeth loss.
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