Did you know that more than 90% of Americans have had at least one cavity by the time they are 21? Sadly, that means your child will likely experience some degree of tooth decay throughout the years. If left untreated, the issue can progress, working its way to the inner layers. When this happens, both the look and function of your child’s smile are at risk. Fortunately, there is a solution: a pulpectomy or pulpotomy. To learn more about root canals for kids, read on!
What Causes Tooth Decay in Children?
Before diving into what a pulpectomy and pulpotomy are, it’s important to discuss what puts your child at risk for needing one. Most often, it’s due to one (or a combination of) the following:
- Neglecting to brush properly.
- Forgoing flossing.
- Skipping their six-month dental checkups and cleanings.
- Eating an excessive amount of sugar.
- Partaking in unhealthy dental habits, like using their teeth as tools to open things.
A Look at the Difference Between Pulpectomy and Pulpotomy
Although they sound similar, a pulpectomy and pulpotomy are two different procedures. A pulpotomy is often recommended if the decay hasn’t spread too far. In this case, the infected pulp can be removed while preserving the living roots of the tooth. In a pulpectomy, on the other hand, the entire pulp needs to be removed since the infection has reached the root. In both cases, the tooth will be numbed beforehand, ensuring your child feels no discomfort. Once the tooth has been treated, it will be filled with dental cement and protected with a dental crown (if needed).
How to Protect Your Child’s Teeth from Decay
While the cases of tooth decay in children are no doubt prevalent, it’s important not to give up hope – you can help your little one keep their teeth in pristine condition. To do so, make sure they:
- Brush for two full minutes after each meal (or at least morning and evening).
- Floss daily.
- Visit their dentist on a biannual basis.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that is low in sugar.
- Practice good dental habits, like wearing a mouthguard when they play sports.
As a parent, you want to protect your child’s smile (and oral health). Fortunately, with the above tips in your arsenal, you can help keep their teeth in tip-top shape for years to come. If they do begin to experience tooth pain, make sure to schedule an appointment with their dentist ASAP!
About the Practice
Worcester Endodontics is home to two exceptional endodontists, Dr. Karyn Stern and Dr. Mario Abdennour. As board-certified tooth-saving experts, they have an in-depth understanding of how to diagnose and treat extensive tooth decay. Plus, they offer child-friendly sedation options and carefully customized dental crowns to ensure the entire process is as comfortable as possible for your child. If you’re interested in learning more about children’s endodontics, visit our website or call 508-755-3636.