What is Pulp Therapy?
Pulp therapy is a treatment that helps prevent the loss of a severely infected primary tooth. Instead of losing the tooth prematurely and risking orthodontic complications, pulp therapy allows the tooth to stay in place for several more months or years as needed.
The treatment may be recommended on teeth that have:
- Been severely traumatized (such as a fall, or hit with a ball)
- Show evidence of dying
- Root resorption
- Large cavities extending into the nerve
- Large fractures
You could say that pulp therapy has some similarities with a root canal, in that the diseased nerve tissue inside of the tooth is removed and the inner chamber of the canal is cleaned then medicated. However, the nerve chambers are not filled with a material like root canals, because the tooth needs to eventually resorb and fall out on its own. Since the tooth is also much smaller, the treatment is much quicker to complete.
Are Other Treatments Necessary?
Any tooth treated with pulp therapy will also need to have a restoration placed over it to prevent reinfection and maintain function. A temporary crown is usually cemented into place and the material of the crown will depend on where the tooth is located.
What Happens if I Don’t Have the Tooth Treated?
Infected primary teeth can cause infection of permanent teeth below or premature loss of the tooth. This complicates spacing and eruption patterns, which may lead to orthodontic concerns later on.