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Dr Richa Raj

Dental surgeon

Pearly White Dental

Center, Al Khuwayr

The pulp of a tooth is the inner, central core. It contains nerves, blood vessels, connective tissue and reparative cells. Cavities in baby teeth progress faster and affect the nerve sooner than in permanent teeth. When they become extremely deep, they can get too close to the pulp of the tooth or even into the pulp. This irritates the pulp tissue causing swelling, resulting in a feeling similar to that of a toothache. If this inflammation goes on without any treatment, an abscess can form. A clinical examination and an xA[degrees]ray are required to determine whether the tooth requires a root canal treatment.

Pulp therapy in children is often referred to as nerve treatment, children's root canal or pulpectomy. In this treatment, the diseased pulp tissue is removed from within the tooth. Canal disinfection is done by irrigation, laser decontamination and proper cleaning. Next, an antiseptic agent is placed to prevent bacterial growth. In the next few sittings, the procedure is repeated till all the infection is cleared. Lastly, the tooth is filled with a special filling material and is covered with the permanent restorative material. These materials are designed to dissolve while the body is naturally reabsorbing the root in preparation of the tooth falling out to be replaced by a permanent tooth later on in life.

Key benefits of pulp therapy and preserving the tooth are:

u1/4 The tooth becomes pain free and functions till it falls off naturally.

u1/4 It helps to maintain the space for the permanent teeth to erupt and provides vertical bite support.

u1/4 It ensures that speech is not affected and aesthetics are maintained.

u1/4 These factors are also essential for proper orthodontic development of the teeth and jaws. Also, the child does not have to bear the trauma of getting the tooth removed.

Milk teeth and permanent teeth are distinct. The nerves of milk teeth have no relation to the nerves of the permanent teeth. Therefore doing a root canal treatment in milk teeth does not damage the permanent teeth formation. On the other hand, not doing a root canal in the decayed milk teeth may cause damage to the development of permanent teeth. The infection and the pus of the primary tooth can spread beyond its roots and damage the structure and eruption path of the developing underlying permanent teeth.

For more information on this topic, email your queries to Dr Richa Raj at

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Publication:The Week (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Nov 7, 2013
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