When we encounter a tooth that has extensive decay or has been badly damaged through an impact, we may need to repair the strength and integrity of the tooth and take steps to prevent the surrounding teeth from getting infected. Our first step is to take a set of X-rays so one of our doctors will be able to discover the extent of the damage and infection. Then we can recommend one of two options: a pulpotomy or a pulpectomy.


If the damage from the decay or the trauma to the tooth is limited to the crown of the tooth, we would typically recommend a pulpotomy. It is used if a cavity is very deep and extends close to the tooth's pulp or if it is into the pulp of the tooth.

A pulpotomy is a procedure used when the pulp chamber is inflamed. This usually occurs on a baby molar and the pulp is consequently removed. Removal of the infected material in the pulp at the crown leaves the living root of the tooth intact.

Following a pulpotomy on a baby molar, the dentist fills the newly empty space with dental cement and a crown made of stainless steel. This restores the tooth.


We would likely recommend a pulpectomy when the tooth infection has reached both the tooth crown and the root. With a pulpectomy, all the pulp material is removed from the roots and the crown.

The first step is to numb your child's tooth. Then we remove the pulp, including the nerve tissue, from the canals and the crown. Then we thoroughly disinfect and clean the root canals and pulp chamber.

The last step is to fill the damaged areas of the tooth and tooth roots with dental cement. Then we finish with a stainless-steel crown.


To provide a replacement surface for the damaged tooth, we use a crown. The crown is cemented onto the existing tooth. It covers the surface of the entire tooth above the gum line. The new crown effectively becomes the new outer surface of the tooth.

Dental crowns are made of stainless steel and are generally considered an excellent temporary restoration of a primary tooth. The crown remains until the permanent tooth comes in, making the primary tooth fall out. This procedure allows us to keep the primary tooth in many cases.

Most compromised primary teeth can be restored in a single appointment using a steel crown. Care for a crowned tooth, with flossing and brushing, is the same as the other teeth.