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What is Pediatric Dentistry?

Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry that deals with the examination and management of dental health in children.

Dental procedures are generally perceived as intimidating and painful experiences that most would like to avoid, especially among children. However, it is vital that children have their milk teeth checked regularly by pediatric dentists for evidence of caries and tooth decay.

Teething problems

Pediatric dentists are consulted if teething is delayed in an infant. The development of the teeth and jaws needs to be appropriate to allow the infant to be suitably weaned onto solid foods. Good and timely teeth eruption is also important in the development of appropriate speech.

Malocclusion or misaligned teeth

A malocclusion describes when the teeth of the upper and lower jaws do not meet when the jaws are closed together. This can create problems with eating or speaking. The malocclusion may cause may pain on biting or injuries to the insides of the mouth, gums and tongue. Pediatric dentists are responsible for addressing the problem of poorly aligned teeth using braces.

Dental caries and tooth decay

Despite the fact that milk teeth are eventually shed to be replaced by permanent teeth, it is still important that these teeth are well maintained. Children have an increased likelihood of developing tooth decay and therefore cavities that can expose the inner dental pulp to bacteria and cause toothaches. Children tend to be more susceptible to dental plaque and tooth decay because they are more likely to eat sugary, sticky foods and not maintain their dental hygiene as well as older people might. Therefore, pediatric dentists commonly encounter tooth decay.

  • Gingivitis and dental abscesses are just as likely to occur in children as in adults.
  • Regular dental health checkups along with the maintenance of good oral hygiene through daily brushing and flossing of the teeth should help children maintain a healthy set of teeth for life.

What you Need to Know About a Pulpectomy?

Pulpectomy is a procedure to remove all the pulp from the crown and roots of a tooth. Pulp is the soft inner material that contains connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves.

Pulpectomy is usually performed in children to save a severely infected baby (primary) tooth, and is sometimes called a “baby root canal.” In permanent teeth, pulpectomy is the first part of the root canal procedure.

When is a pulpectomy needed?

Pulpectomy is used to save a baby tooth that has been severely damaged by decay or trauma. While baby teeth may not seem important enough for a dental procedure like this, there are valid reasons for pulpectomy.

The baby tooth is reserving a space for the permanent tooth. Premature loss of a baby tooth can cause problems like:

  • difficulty chewing
  • speech development issues
  • having adjoining teeth move into the space, affecting the alignment of permanent teeth (this can lead to crooked, overcrowded teeth that are difficult to clean)

Material used to fill the tooth after a pulpectomy is designed to be reabsorbed by the body when the permanent tooth begins to erupt.

Can a pulpectomy be avoided?

Pulpectomy is performed when tooth enamel is damaged by decay. You may be able to prevent decay by practicing good oral care:

  • Brush your teeth (or your child’s teeth) at least twice a day.
  • Drink water with meals to wash away sugar and acids.
  • Replace sugary drinks with water or milk.
  • Have regular exams. Catching decay early may mean the difference between a standard filling and a pulpectomy.

Trauma to a tooth can also lead to decay. You can help lower the risk of injury during athletic activities by wearing a mouth guard. Be sure to visit the dentist following an injury to the mouth.


Pulpectomy is a procedure to save a severely damaged tooth, usually a baby tooth.

It’s not always necessary or possible to save a baby tooth. But when the situation calls for it, pulpectomy can prevent problems with chewing, speech, and overcrowding that can occur when a baby tooth is lost too soon.

A dentist can determine the viability of the tooth and whether pulpectomy is the best option.

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