If your child’s primary tooth has extensive decay, action may be needed to restore the integrity of the tooth and prevent infection. After X-rays are taken, Dr. Katie will be able to assess the extent of the decay and may recommend one of two options, a pulpotomy or an indirect pulp cap.
A pulpotomy may be recommended if the decay reaches the inner part of the tooth (the pulp) with the absence of signs of infection. When a cavity gets deep, the pulp can become inflamed. During a pulpotomy the inflamed tissue from the inner part of the tooth is removed in the crown portion (usually on a molar). The healthy pulpal tissue in the root structure is left in place. After a pulpotomy on a baby molar, the empty space will be filled and a stainless steel crown will be cemented to cover the tooth.
INDIRECT PULP CAP
If the decay is approaching the pulp, Dr Katie may recommend an indirect pulp cap. During an indirect pulp cap a small amount of decay (cavity) is left over the pulp (inner portion) of the tooth. This area is cleaned with an antibacterial mouth rinse and a medicament is placed over the decay to help heal this area and protect the health of the tooth. Generally a stainless steel crown is cemented (on a baby tooth) to cover the tooth. If an indirect pulp cap is performed on a permanent tooth it can generally be restored with a white filling.