Understanding pulp treatment

How to Choose Between Pulpotomy and Pulpectomy?

Pulpectomy and pulpotomy are endodontic procedures used to treat pulp issues in teeth. The dental pulp resides within the tooth and comprises blood vessels, connective tissues, and specialized cells. It’s essential for the tooth’s vitality since it provides nutrients and moisture to the dentin. 

Inflammation, cavities, extreme pain, and tooth decay damage the dental pulp. Dentists use pulpotomy and pulpectomy to treat the tissues of damaged permanent teeth. 

Pulpotomy is performed on live teeth, and the infected pulp is removed from the crown portion. Meanwhile, pulpectomy completely removes the infected pulp from root canals and crowns. 

Both of these processes have a few more differences. Let’s look at their procedures, benefits, and risks! 

Read: Crown Vs Root Canal: Understand The Difference!

What is Pulpotomy?

A pulpotomy is a dental procedure that can preserve the health of a child’s primary teeth.

In this process, the dentist removes the coronal part of the pulp. Pulpotomy treats and saves the infected teeth damaged due to deep cavities to avoid further infection and inflammation. 

The dentist then disinfects the remaining healthy tissue using a mixed biocompatible material to restore normal functioning and relieve the lingering discomfort experienced by the patient. 

This process is alternatively known as baby root canal or mini root canal. If this treatment is not done timely, infection and inflammation can lead to an abscessed tooth (a pus pocket caused by bacterial infection). 


The process of pulpotomy works like this: 

  • The dentist applies a local anesthetic to the gums, numbing the area. Following this, they administer a local anesthetic. 
  • Next, they place a rubber dam to isolate the tooth, reducing moisture from saliva. 
  • Dentists use high-paced and slow-paced handpieces to clean the cavity. 
  • Then, they remove and excavate the coronal pulp. 
  • Afterward, they stop bleeding and fill the chamber with the recommended material. 
  • Finally, the dentist seals and covers the tooth with a crown for extra protection.


  • It reduces the need for more invasive procedures in the future. 
  • Pulpotomy is a relatively quick process that can drastically improve the health and longevity of your child’s teeth. 
  • By safely removing the decayed area of the tooth while maintaining the bulk of it, pulpotomy helps children keep their permanent teeth longer. 
pulpotomy vs pulpectomy - PVPD

What is Pulpectomy?

In pulpectomy, the dentist removes the pulp entirely from the damaged teeth, from the crown to the roots. They meticulously clean, disinfect, fill, and cover the tooth.

This procedure is quite similar to the root canal. 


Here is the procedure of pulpectomy: 

  • Firstly, the dentist applies local anesthesia to minimize the discomfort and pain. 
  • Next, they drill a hole to access the pulp. 
  • Afterward, they extract the pulp from the roots. 
  • They clean, disinfect, and fill the tooth with the recommended material. 
  • Then, they place a crown over the tooth and prescribe antibiotics to lower the risk of infection. 


  • This process can save damaged teeth and eliminate the need for a more complicated root canal procedure. 
  • By removing only the infected tissue and retaining the rest of the natural tooth structure, a pulpectomy saves the tooth from extraction
  • With proper oral hygiene and regular checkups, a pulpectomy can provide long-lasting relief and prevent the recurrence of infection or decay. 

How Are Pulpotomy And Pulpectomy Helpful For The Kids?

The pulpotomy and pulpectomy offer nearly the same benefits to the kids with the ultimate goal of saving the teeth. Below, we have mentioned all of their benefits in detail: 

  • Save Decayed Teeth

Both of these procedures save the baby’s teeth, which are severely damaged or decayed. By removal of the pulp, they reduce the risk of infection and complete loss of teeth. 

Also, they do not interfere with the functioning of teeth roots and allow the normal growth of teeth.

  • Ensure Teeth Alignment

They ensure the proper alignment of the teeth by reducing the risk of space complications.

The teeth can become crooked or overcrowded if left untreated, resulting in further dental problems.

  • Treat Dental Trauma

The dentist can prescribe your children any of these procedures if the dental injury leads to the exposure of the inner pulp. y

A pulpotomy or pulpectomy is usually the only treatment available when severe dental injuries lead to the breakdown of teeth.

  • Prevent Dental Complications

These procedures prevent severe dental problems, especially gum disease and oral cavities.

If left untreated, the infection can spread to nearby regions and put you in need of invasive treatments.

Risks Associated with Pulpectomy and Pulpotomy 

Pulpectomy and pulpotomy are generally safe, but they have risks that must be considered. 

The primary risk involves post-operative pain, typically caused by a reaction between the root canal filling material and bacteria still present in the tooth.

Other risks can include infection and root resorption, both of which can cause the need for further dental treatment and potential loss of the tooth. 

Additionally, excessive tissue removal during either procedure may lead to complications.

For this reason, it’s essential to have an experienced endodontist handle your treatment plan to lessen the likelihood of any risks associated with these procedures.

How to Choose Between Pulpotomy & Pulpectomy? 

Various factors are considered when choosing the one procedure between pulpotomy and pulpectomy. For instance, a pulpectomy is done when the tooth has: 

  • Extensive decay 
  • Irreversible pulpitis 
  • Or infection that has spread into the root canals. 

While pulpotomy is recommended when there is a: 

  • Shallow decay
  • Reversible pulpitis 
  • Possibility of preserving the remaining healthy pulp. 

Besides, other factors such as tooth vitality, infection extent, and patient age and cooperation also matter. Various procedures like cold and electric tests and X-rays check the tooth’s vitality. 


Pulpotomy and pulpectomy are both procedures used to treat the infected pulp. However, knowing which process is the most suitable for the patients is important. 

The choice of the right procedure depends on various aspects, such as the intensity of the infection, the patient’s age, and the teeth’s vitality. Check out our blogs to learn about cavities and other dental issues! 

Let Us Help You to Restore Your Gleaming Smile! 

Do you or your child have infected pulp that is not letting you sleep? Worry not! At Palm Valley Pediatric, expert Dentists and Orthodontics guide you smoothly to the right procedural choices.

Let us help you to restore your gleaming smile.

The team at PVPD has decades of experience with Pulpectomy and Pulpotomy procedures to ensure not only the safety of your child but the most comfortable experience possible.

This includes post-procedure care and follow-up visits, providing the most seamless process possible.

We want your children to feel at ease and you as parents. Feel at ease and book your appointment today!

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