A pulpectomy and a root canal may seem like the same procedures, but there are differences. Here is a bit of information about these endodontic treatments and how they differ:
A pulpectomy is usually reserved for kids.
When a child has an infected tooth, the infection may be severe enough to necessitate an endodontic treatment. The interior of the tooth, which is called the pulp, may need to be treated or removed. If a substantial portion of the pulp is infected, it is usually necessary to completely remove it. The introduction of an antibiotic into the infected tooth will likely not be enough to prevent the infection from spreading.
A pulpectomy is usually reserved for primary teeth. The procedure involves many of the same components as a root canal, since the pulp is removed from the tooth and the tooth is disinfected, sealed and covered with a crown. However, the sealant used for a pulpectomy should eventually degrade. This is important for the treatment of a primary tooth, because the roots of the baby tooth must be eventually absorbed by the child's body. This is necessary before the proper presentation or eruption of the permanent teeth.
The seal of a root canal does not need to be broken down or absorbed by the body, because the root canal is used to treat a permanent tooth.
Are the symptoms associated with the need of a root canal and a pulpectomy the same?
The symptoms associated with an infected tooth that needs a pulpectomy or a root canal are generally the same. The affected tooth may cause a great deal of pain or discomfort, because the dental nerves that lie within the pulp may become inflamed from the infection. In addition, the infection may cause the tooth to take on a darkened appearance. Issues with dental nerve can also cause the tooth to become more sensitive to heat and cold. There may also be a foul smell coming from the mouth due to the infection.
Sometimes, an abscess, which is a small pus-filled bump, may develop on the gums near the infected tooth.
Are there alternatives to pulpectomies and root canals?
Sometimes, an infected tooth can be treated by antibiotics without an invasive procedure. In other instances, only the top portion of the pulp may be infected. In such a case, when the infection is quite localized, the dentist may be able to inject antibiotics into the pulp of the tooth to eradicate the infection without requiring and more substantial procedures.
If you suspect that you or your child has an infected tooth, schedule an appointment with a dentist or pediatric dentist, like A Wild Smile, in your area.
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