If after we have performed a thorough exam on your child’s oral health and determined treatment is necessary, one of our pediatric dentists will discuss a plan with you that may include any of the following options:
Local Anesthetic (Numbing)
Local anesthesia for children is the same as it is for adults in that it is a common and safe anesthetic used to numb the surrounding teeth and gums. We start with a topical jelly to first numb the surface area before we discreetly apply the local anesthesia. This can sometimes be a delicate process so we try to use humor or ask a lot questions about the child’s life in order to distract them which in most cases is effective. This procedure and effective numbing application allows our pediatric dentist in Indianapolis and West Lafayette to perform a number of dental procedures, such as tooth extractions and crowning with less pain and shorter recovery times.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Resin (white) and Amalgam (silver) Fillings
Resin (white) Crowns
Stainless Steel (silver) Crowns
A pulpotomy, often referred to as a “baby root canal”, is a procedure used to restore infected baby (primary) teeth in kids. Baby teeth most commonly become infected due to untreated tooth decay specifically known as cavities. This happens when cavities destroy the outer layer of the tooth, and attack the soft pulp inside your child’s tooth. This pulp is full of nerves which usually causes a lot of discomfort and pain.
Your child’s teeth can also become infected due to oral trauma. If your child breaks or cracks a tooth, oral bacteria can enter the inside of the tooth and cause an infection. If this happens our pediatric dentists highly recommend seeking emergency care in the event your kid experiences an oral injury. Regardless of how the infection begins, the results are always the same as the bacteria in your child’s mouth will begin to attack the pulp inside the tooth, killing the nerves and blood vessels. Without treatment your child’s tooth will eventually die and fall out.
A pulpotomy is a procedure performed by our pediatric dentists which involves the partial removal of the nerve tissue, followed by placing a sedative material to help soothe the tooth and seal the remaining exposed nerve. The tooth is then restored with a crown, covering the remaining tooth structure and providing strength to withhold biting forces.
The main difference between a pulpotomy and a root canal also known as a “pulpectomy”, is that a “pulpectomy” removes all of the pulp as well as the nerves instead of just a partial removal. Sometimes a pulpectomy is necessary for some children but in most cases it is not.