We all want perfectly healthy teeth, but unfortunately, due to circumstances in or out of our control, that isn’t always what we have. When tooth decay has gone beyond resolution with a standard cleaning at the dentist office, more drastic procedures may need to happen to save the tooth from becoming worse.
What Is a Root Canal vs. a Pulpotomy?
Cavities are openings on your teeth that are caused by sugar and other forms of degrading particles that rest on your teeth after you eat or drink something. The first defense to cavities forming is brushing your teeth and flossing regularly. Sometimes, the cavity goes untreated and grows larger than what can be filled. In these circumstances, a few procedures such as Root Canals and Pulpotomies can be performed to attempt to save the tooth.
A pulpotomy is a process of removing part of the pulp, a combination of blood vessels and nerves, within a tooth. When bacteria gets into a tooth, the pulp starts to die. As long as it doesn’t get to the roots, it is possible to save the tooth as well as some of the pulp that protects it. Once some of the pulp is removed, the tooth is filled with a medication that stops the bacteria from spreading. After finishing the treatment, the dentist will cap the tooth. Pulpotomies are more commonly performed in pediatric dentistry because they are more inclined to save the teeth for spacing issues. It is also challenging to perform root canals on children.
Root Canals are a similar beast, just more extensive. They are typically performed on adults when a tooth’s pulp is fully infected with bacteria, and inflammation creates pain in the roots. During this treatment, the dentist will drill into the tooth to remove any decay and nerve damage caused by the bacteria. The tooth will be hollow on the inside and sealed at the top to prevent other bacteria from getting into the canal.
If you or someone you know is suffering from tooth pain, do not wait to get dental help. Prolonging a visit could be the difference between saving your tooth or losing it. Call us at (248) 234-9987 to schedule an appointment with one of our dental professionals today.