Pulpotomies in


What Is a Pulpotomy?

A pulpotomy is a restorative treatment that is primarily performed on baby teeth when they become infected. A tooth infection can be caused by tooth decay or dental trauma, but bacteria enter the tooth, leading to swelling and an abscess. 

When the infection is isolated to the crown portion of the tooth, we can treat it with a pulpotomy which involves only partial removal of the dental pulp. This is why we often call pulpotomies “baby root canals” since we leave the roots intact. 

This prevents the need for more invasive treatment and can save the tooth from extraction. After removing the infected tissue, a medicated filling is placed in the tooth to kill the remaining bacteria and keep the existing pulp in the roots of the tooth healthy. 

Depending on where the tooth is located, it may then be protected with a crown. Contact us at Harmony Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics today to schedule a consultation.

pulpotomy in Bethesda

Did you know…

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Placing a pediatric crown after a pulpotomy prevents breakage in the weakened tooth.

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How It Works: The Pulpotomy Process

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One of our dentists in Bethesda will need to examine and take x-rays of the tooth to determine if the infection has spread to the roots. This will determine if the tooth can be treated with a pulpotomy.

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Local Anesthesia & Sedation Options

We will administer local anesthesia to numb the tooth before using a dental drill. If your child has dental anxiety, we also offer sedation options.

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Removal of Pulp From Crown

A drill is used to make an access hole into the tooth’s pulp chamber. Then, we will use special tools to scrape out the infected pulp from the crown of the tooth.

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Medicated Filling

A special medicated filling is used to replace the missing pulp and to keep the remaining pulp healthy.

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Pediatric Crown

If the tooth receiving the pulpotomy is a rear molar, a pediatric crown will be recommended for protection.

Benefits of Pulpotomies

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Eliminate Pain & Inflammation

When your dental pulp becomes infected, it becomes inflamed. The pulp is connected to your nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Your nerves are responsible for sensation so when you experience pulp inflammation, you get symptoms like severe tooth pain and sensitivity. A pulpotomy stops the pain by removing the source of the infection.

Save Tooth From Extraction

If we drill into your tooth and there is no healthy pulp left, the tooth will need to be extracted. A pulpotomy helps us preserve the health and structure of the tooth so it doesn’t need to be removed and replaced.

Prevent More Invasive Treatment

A root canal is a longer, more costly, and more invasive procedure compared to a pulpotomy. By treating your tooth with a minimally invasive pulpotomy, we save you time, money, and tooth structure.

Did you know…

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Because we leave the roots intact in a pulpotomy, the roots can continue to grow.

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Have Questions About Pulpotomies? Find Answers Here.


How Long Does a Pulpotomy Last?

A pulpotomy is a pretty quick treatment that can be completed in about 30 to 45 minutes. The length can vary slightly depending on the location of the tooth and whether or not it needs a dental crown.

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Can You Do Pulpotomies On Adult Teeth?

Yes, in some cases, a pulpotomy can be performed on adult teeth. However, they are most commonly performed on baby teeth which is why they are called “baby root canals.” Because the structure of adult teeth is different and they contain less blood supply, pulpotomies are generally less effective in adult teeth than root canals.

Are Pulpotomies Covered By Insurance?

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Yes, most dental insurance plans will cover pulpotomies on children under major dental coverage. Major dental is typically covered at 50% of the cost of the treatment. However, coverage varies depending on your insurance plan. Contact your insurance company to ask what they will cover.

See What Patients And Parents Are Saying!

Preventive care Reviews & Testimonials

We had a great experience with Dr. Sholander. It was our first visit and Dr. Sholander explained the entire process to my son as she checked his teeth. The office has different rooms with age appropriate toys. We were in the toddler room.

Sarah Siddiqui
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Dr. Goodman & Dr. Sholander are the perfect team! They do exceptional work and take great care of their patients. We have trusted them for ortho and dental for our 3 daughters. I highly recommend Harmony Pediatrics.

Christine Brady
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Harmony Pediatric Dentistry is a uniquely beautiful, creative, and fun dental home for your child. You’re greeted and cared for with the warmth and kindness necessary to make your child at ease and comfortable during their visit. Dr. Sholander is absolutely wonderful. She provided thorough, comprehensive dental care and education with the gentle touch required to have my 3yr old daughter excited to brush, floss, and come back for her next visit.

Jeremy Fishelberg
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Call (301) 664-4220

Did you know…

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Around 85% of children see the dentist regularly. 

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