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Dentistry/pediatric pulpotomy


My daughter is 4 yrs old and I took her into the dentist he found several cavities. One is so deep on her molar he said he will need to do a pediatric pulpotomy or as he explained it, a baby root canal. I am worried because alot of my family members have said they think I should get a second opinion and that we should have the tooth pulled. My question to you is, Is this a safe decision to to the pediatric pulpotomy? Her dentist wants to to it with an anesthesiologist in his office to put her under so she wont feel any pain. I think the thought of her being "put under" really worries me most. I scheduled the appt for 4 weeks away but am wondering in your opinion if i am doing the right choice in choosing the pediatric pulpotomy. Any info would be helpful. Thank you so much for your time.

Hi Kristin,

I'm sorry to hear you & your daughter are going through all this. I can understand your concern. In situations like this, a pulpotomy is usually the best choice. It allows the tooth to be saved and hold the space for the permanent teeth that are forming below the baby teeth. If the tooth is removed, then a space maintainer would need to be made and that increases the cost and also the amount of appointments and treatment your daughter would need. All that said, without being able to exam your daughter, I am only speaking in general terms.

As for being "put under", there are a number of ways to do that. Since an anesthesiologist will be doing that part, it should be a very safe procedure. I can understand you feeling uneasy, but whether she has the pulpotomy or an extraction, she would still need to be put under since she is only 4 years old and children that young are very difficult to manage without some sedation....they just don't understand the "what & why" of what is going on.

Hope this helps.

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD


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Gary Backlund, DMD, MSD


I am an Endodontist ( root canal specialist ) and can answer questions about root canals and their treatment. I cannot diagnose or treat online, but can answer general questions. I have been a specialist for 25 years and am Past President of the Washington State Association of Endodontists.


25 years practicing as a specialist

American Association of Endodonists, Past President Washington State Association of Endodontists.

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