My daughter has a tooth that has decay and our pediatric dentist wants to do a pulpotomy. I am confused by this. It’s a baby tooth. Why not just take it out? They’re not permanent teeth so what is the big deal? When I questioned the dentist he literally snorted and said, “Tell me where you got your dental degree?” I was so offended.
I find his response to you extremely rude and arrogant. Yes, he has a dental degree, but that is why you asked him the question to begin with. I find when patients are questioning something a medical practitioner says it is mostly because they are trying to understand the recommendation. This is especially true when it comes to parents trying to take care of their children. My first recommendation to you is that you start looking for a new pediatric dentist. One who understands the responsibility parents hold and how to respect that.
When Does a Baby Tooth Need to be Retained?
Let’s start with what a pulpotomy is to begin with. In essence, it is a child’s version of a root canal treatment. It is only necessary when it is a back molar. While most baby teeth can come out early with no real repercussions, a back molar needs to stay in a child’s mouth until they are around twelve years old.
If a molar falls out prematurely, it will cause the other teeth to shift into the empty space and then when her twelve-year-old molars come in, there will be crowding, which will require orthodontics to repair. I don’t know any parent who wants to pay for braces.
If it is another tooth, then saving that tooth isn’t as urgent. However, don’t just leave an infection there. Your choices are to treat the decay/infection or to extract the tooth. Leaving decay can get into the pulp of the tooth. This can spread to other parts of her body. If you think about how close our jaws are to our heart, lungs, and brain, you can see how a dental emergency can turn life-threatening quickly.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.