In some cases of dental injury in young children, there is a need for endodontic treatment on teeth where the root hasn’t completely developed. A typical solution would be pulp capping, which protects dental pulp after it has been exposed. Pulp capping doesn’t always work in children, however, so endodontists need to take special care to provide treatment that will give the pulp and the tooth the best chance to heal and survive long-term.
One treatment is known as apexogenesis. Exposed pulp is covered with a medication that allows it to heal while it grows and the root closes. When the pulp is relatively healthy and the situation calls for apexogenesis, it is possible that no further treatment will be necessary, as the pulp will heal and protect the tooth, giving it the opportunity to develop like normal.
When the dental pulp is unhealthy and apexogenesis is not an option, apexification is often the only treatment available. With apexification, the unhealthy pulp is removed and the medication is applied to the root instead. Unfortunately, this means the root canal walls will not develop further, leaving the tooth more fragile than those around it.
As with most endodontic treatments, it is important to discuss the various options with your endodontist in order to make an educated decision about your care. If you’re in the Richmond, VA area, give us a call and schedule a consultation with Dr. Jesse Harris and the rest of the team here at East Coast Endodontics.
About the Author
Dr. Harris has been a practicing dentist since 2005. In 2012, he received his Master’s of Science in Dentistry and a certificate in Endodontics. He founded East Coast Endodontics shortly after receiving his master’s degree. He also currently holds a part-time position as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Endodontics department at Virginia Commonwealth University. View his full bio.