Baby teeth are different to adult teeth. They have thinner enamel and larger nerve spaces. This means that when baby teeth develop decay, the decay travels to the nerve of the tooth faster than in adult teeth. What may look like small cavities in the teeth can cause inflammation and infection in the nerve space. To treat a baby tooth successfully it is important that any inflammation or infection is removed. This is called pulp therapy or “baby root canal treatment”. It is not a painful procedure and does not take much longer than a routine filling.
Pulp therapy is carried out to prevent pain and infection. The aim of pulp therapy is to keep the primary tooth in the mouth for as long as possible until the adult tooth beneath is ready to erupt. Primary teeth which have had pulp therapy need to be restored with a crown subsequently. This is to prevent bacterial contamination of the pulp space.