What is a Pulpotomy Procedure?

PulpotomyBy definition a pulpotomy is the surgical removal of an inflamed pulp chamber due to the invasion of some ugly bacteria. It’s a complicated word for a very common procedure in pediatric dentistry. The success rate is high and it is also something which can be done in conjunction with other procedures if needed.

As a parent or caregiver it is important to know that inflammations in the pulp chamber do occur in young children affecting their baby teeth. Your child may appear grumpy or if they are old enough, complain their tooth hurts. It is necessary to address this inflammation to prevent infection and to save the tooth itself.

How Does A Pulp Tissue Develop Inflammation?

When a cavity gets extremely deep, it can get too close to the pulp of the tooth or even into the pulp.  The tissue then gets irritated and swollen, resulting in a feeling similar to that of a toothache. If this inflammation goes on without any treatment, an abscess can form.

A Pulpotomy In Baby Molars

In baby molars the purpose of a pulpotomy is to try to save and restore the tooth. The decay is removed in the top part of the pulp chamber.  The root canals are not removed.  Pulpotomies may buy some time, but they cannot save an already abscessed tooth. However, it can save a badly decayed baby tooth.

The Pulpotomy Procedure

The procedure includes removing the nerve in the crown (the part of the tooth nearest the gum line) and a filling material is placed in the nerve chamber.  This helps keep the nerve tissue intact.  Following the nerve treatment, the tooth needs to be restored. Most often a crown is used for final restoration

Benefits Of A Pulpotomy

  • It may prevent unnecessary loss of teeth due to a possible infection.
  • It may give a developing permanent tooth a chance to fully develop


The success of the procedure depends on the extent of the decay.  Sometimes the inflammations occur due to the natural bacteria in the mouth.  Staying in tuned with your child’s dental habits and health can help you in identifying a problem early.


As with any questions or concerns, please contact us or set up an appointment with one of our pediatric dentists.