Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Baby Root Canal

Children's teeth are similar to adult teeth in many ways.
They can both decay.
And the decay can get large enough that it can effect the nerve of the tooth.
In the case of an adult a tooth with an infected nerve would need a root canal.
In a child's tooth it would called a pulpotomy.
In both cases the nerve in the tooth is removed in order to help the tooth stop hurting.
One of the main differences here is the rate of success between the 2 procedures.

Root canals are, typically, very predictable.
Pulpotomys are much less so.

One reason for this is that the roots of an adult tooth are stable.
They have formed and are not going anywhere.
The roots on a child's tooth are ever changing.
The adult teeth coming in behind them are applying more and more
pressure to the baby teeth in order to force them out of the way so
that they, the permanent teeth, may erupt through the gums.

With this ever changing root structure, and not wanting to possibly damage the
permanent tooth under the baby tooth it is much more difficult to get a
pulpotomy to work then it is a root canal.

The one huge advantage that children have over adults in this
situation is that the baby teeth will fall out and the adult teeth shouldn't.

If a pulpotomy does happen to fail then removing the tooth is always
an option. And we just need to wait for the adult tooth to grow into its place.

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