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Pulpectomy is the surgical procedure in which the root canals are accessed. In this process, the infectious or dead tissues are removed. After this procedure, the root canal is filled with an appropriate material to ensure that the tooth is safe from infection. Pulpectomy can either be complete or partial. In a partial pulpectomy, the diseased or normal pulp is removed with an incompletely formed root. However in the case of total/complete pulpectomy, the entire diseased pulp is extirpated.

All teeth have a layer of pulp in them. It is nothing but a soft tissue layer. An important component of pulp is dentin, which is a hard material makes up the tooth structure. Some of the main functions of the dental pulp are as follows:

  • Protective function: The pulp facilitates the formation of secondary dentin, known as odontoblasts.
  • Nutritive function: The pulp supplies nutrients & moisture to the organic components of mineralized tissues.
  • Formative function: The pulp tissues produce dentin, which protects & surrounds the pulpal tissue.
  • Sensory functions: This function is responsible for the sensation of pain in response to extreme pressure, temperature or

Any issues in the pulp may lead to various issues. In majority of cases, it may cause infection, a phenomenon that can spread to the other areas of the mouth, especially jaws. Infections can either be seen as an abscess or can be diagnosed using diagnostic tests like X-rays.

Procedure: At first, local anesthetic is administered. The pulp layer is then accessed by making a small hole into the tooth. All the unwanted material is then removed to eliminate any chances of infections. An inert substance is then filled into the tooth to minimize the chances of any future infections. An example of such substance is prophylactic antibiotics.

Pulpectomy is different from pulpotomy, which is the procedure in which only the pulp from the tooth crown is extirpated. The surgical procedure however poses the risk that infectious tissues might be avoided.

Authored By Dr. Vinamra Dhariwal - Dentist, Chennai

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