How Is Pulpotomy Different From A Root Canal?

When dealing with an infected tooth, you need to act fast before the infection spreads. There are two main procedures to help remove inflamed tissue from an infected tooth—pulpotomy and root canal. While most patients use the two terms interchangeably, they refer to different procedures. Here is a breakdown of pulpotomy and how different it is from a root canal.

Pulpotomy Procedure

It is a dental procedure that aims to take out a tooth pulp without taking out the tooth's roots. When performing a pulpotomy, dentists use a filing on the tooth to protect its roots. Pulpotomy is a common procedure among children as they are prone to getting decayed teeth. The procedure is also done on adults. 

Although uncommon, a pulpotomy can be recommended when a child falls or sustains physical trauma on a tooth to preserve it. The process is relatively short and takes between half an hour to an hour. Before the procedure, your dentist will administer a topical anesthetic to numb the side of the mouth where the tooth is located.

Your dentist might inject a sedative or local anesthetic at the start of the procedure. Then, they will focus on the tooth and clean its surface before drilling through the enamel to remove the coronal pulp.

2 Main Differences

The two main differences between pulpotomy and a root canal are:

Invasiveness of the Procedure

Since both procedures involve removing inner tooth contents, they are invasive. However, a pulpotomy is less invasive because the dentist will only focus on removing the top pulp's infected part. However, a root canal is more invasive since all tooth content, including the roots, will be removed.

Effectiveness of the Procedure

While both procedures aim to save an infected tooth from extraction, they are effective at different stages of the infection. When the infection in the tooth is just starting out and not widespread, getting a pulpotomy is likely to be more effective as the infected area can be removed. However, if the entire pulp is infected, or the infection has been in the tooth for a while, a root canal is more effective in preventing extraction.

Which Procedure Is Best for You? 

After understanding the differences between the two, you can decide which procedure is better for you. It is hard to tell what is going on inside your tooth: therefore, it is best to consult a dentist and set an appointment to know the best procedure for your tooth pain. 

Reach out to a general dentistry clinic for more information.