A pulpotomy is commonly referred to as a “baby tooth root canal,” although strictly speaking it is not a root canal because the tooth roots are not involved. It is the surgical removal of the portion of an inflamed pulp chamber in a child’s tooth, when the decay or trauma is confined to the crown portion of the tooth. Cavities and traumatic injury are the main reasons why a tooth would require pulp therapy.
The pulp is the soft interior of a tooth that contains the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue. A cavity that has reached the nerve (pulp) of the tooth causes the pulp to become inflamed and may cause a child to experience intense pain. Because baby teeth are not as hard and strong as adult teeth, and the nerve inside a baby tooth is closer to the outside, children’s teeth are both more sensitive and susceptible to decay and tooth pain.