Theriot Family Dental

Why Would I Child Need a Pulpotomy?

Posted by writeradmin

My six-year-old has a deep cavity that turned into an infection on his back teeth. My pediatric dentist wants to do a pulpotomy on it. I think that is completely unnecessary. Those baby teeth are going to fall out anyway. What’s the point except to add to my bill and line his pocket?


Dear Monica,

Child in dental chair

For the benefit of those that may not know what a pulpotomy is, I will explain it briefly. Think of it as a child-sized root canal treatment for infected baby teeth. It is typcially only done on back teeth, which leads to your question of what is the point. While it is true that most baby teeth fall out rather quickly back molars have to stay in until your child is around twelve years old.

Leaving that infection will cause your son a lot of pain. Infected teeth are painful. Plus, if left untreated, it will spread. Think about how close his jaw is to things like his heart, lung, and brains. Especially on children, there is not far for the infection to go. That dental infection could turn life threatening.

A pulpotomy is the best treatment, so your pediatric dentist was spot on here. The other option is to remove the tooth by extraction. If that happens, you need to get a space maintainer placed. If you don’t, the other teeth will shift into the empty space. As he ages, that will cause massive crowding which can only be fixed by orthodontics. That will be much more expensive than the pulpotomy.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.