When the nerve (pulp) tissue of a baby tooth is first infected (affected), it needs to be treated to prevent further damage which could result in a dental abscess and loss of the tooth. The ultimate objective of this procedures is to save the tooth, so that it will maintain the integrity and function of the dental arch.

A pulpotomy is the treatment of choice. It is commonly used on baby molars with advanced cavities. The infected or affected area is removed, while retaining the “vitality” of some or all of the pulp or nerve tissue in the root canals. The area is sterilized, and remaining tissue is mummified and the chamber is sealed. It is sometimes called a baby tooth root canal, but it’s not really a root canal and it can be done is some cases in permanent teeth. It is a very common procedure in children and has a very good prognosis of success and does not affect the way the tooth is lost when it comes time for replacement with its permanent successor.

This procedure can also be used as a temporary fix on adult teeth under certain circumstances.