Poor oral hygiene practices can trigger painful dental infections that can cause tooth abscess. When a dental infection reaches the pulp, then your dentist may recommend a Pulpectomy. Pulpectomy otherwise known as a ‘partial root canal’ is a common dental procedure which involves accessing the pulp chamber of a tooth and removing infected or inflamed pulp tissue. This procedure is usually done when the entire pulp is infected and the infection cannot be resolved. The main aim of this procedure is to prevent the infected pulp from spreading the infection and ultimately saving the tooth.

The Procedure

Prior to the procedure antibiotic medications are prescribed to address bacterial infection, especially in cases where an abscess has already set in. After administering local anesthesia to numb the infected area, your dentist will drill a hole into the infected tooth to access the pulp. The diseased pulp tissue is completely removed from both the crown and the root. The root canals are then cleansed properly and medicated to remove any lingering traces of infection. Then the tooth is filled with an inert, non- resorbable material (in case of a permanent tooth and resorbable material in case of a primary tooth) to stop further infection. Finally the tooth is sealed with a crown or cap.

The Symptoms

You may need a Pulpectomy if

  • The tooth or gum line develops an abscess.
  • Throbbing pain and extreme sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures bother you
  • A traumatic injury to the face has damaged the pulp
  • You experience swelling and/or tenderness which typically denotes extensive pulp damage
  • You suffer alveolar swelling and pus discharge from the canals
The Eligibility

Pulpectomy is an ideal choice if

  • You are healthy, cooperative and well-informed about the procedure
  • The infected pulp causes a great deal of pain but there is no time available that day to do full dental treatment
  • You suffer from pain and irreversible inflammation extending to the radicular pulp
  • You are looking to save the tooth and maintain the integrity and function of the dental arch
  • The decay has progressed into the dental nerve far enough, resulting in tooth abscess
  • The presence of root resorptionis less than one-third of the original root length
  • Infections are clearly seen with an X-ray of the involved tooth
  • Your child is diagnosed with pulpitis, an inflammation of the dental pulp tissue
The Risks Involved

Pulpectomy is a very straightforward procedure with a low risk of serious complications. However, it may result in excessive bleeding, infection at the treatment site, adverse reactions to anesthesia and tooth discoloration due to filling materials.

The Impact

Pulpectomy for primary teeth has a high success rate in preventing the spread of bacterial infection and necrosis to nearby teeth. It not only provides immediate pain relief but also saves a dead or abscessed tooth

Pulpectomy simply means ‘cutting the infected pulp out of the tooth’. It is usually performed when the pulp has been irreversibly damaged or has undergone necrosis due to extreme dental caries or trauma. If you suspect a tooth infection see your dentist right away. You may need a Pulpectomy to maintain the vitality of the infected tooth and prevent tooth loss! But remember this is just a palliative measure to relieve the pain associated with the affected tooth and you may need a root canal at a later date.