Teeth are quite complex, with multiple layers of living tissue. The most sensitive and soft layer is located within the innermost cavity of the tooth. This is where the pulp is located. And, like the outer portions of the tooth, the inside pulp will sometimes require dental treatments. Keep reading to learn about a few of them.
The internal tooth pulp is protected by hard layers of enamel and dentin. However, even though it is protected strongly, the tissue can become injured. Injury is usually the result of a trauma situation. Hard blows to the face during sports activities as well as falls and other accidents can cause damage.
When the dental pulp is injured, it can rebuild or deteriorate. Deterioration can result in tooth loss, so your dentist will complete one or several treatments to ensure that the tooth can remain healthy and strong in the jaw. One such treatment is called pulp capping. This is often the treatment of choice where tooth trauma directly exposes the pulp.
The pulp cap is completed with the insertion of a substance called calcium hydroxide over the soft tissue. The compound acts on the tissue by irritating it and sealing it off. Irritation works by stimulating the healing process while the sealing keeps the tissue protected from pathogens that can cause an infection.
The capping is completed with the placement of a resin filling. And, your dentist will meet with you soon after the treatment to make sure the pulp is healing properly. You will be asked about any pain sensations in and around the tooth that may indicate an infection. X-rays are also completed to assess pulp health.
Decay can eat deep enough into the dentin that it comes close to the pulp tissue. When this happens, your dentist may not know for sure if bacteria have worked their way into the pulp chamber or not. And, sometimes your dental professional may nick the soft tissues slightly during the decay removal process. Both of these situations can lead to minimal damage to the dental pulp.
When only a small portion of the tooth pulp is injured or infected, your dentist can complete a pulpotomy. This is where only the sliver of injured tissue is removed and the healthy pulp is left behind to heal once the tooth is sealed off.
Once the damaged pulp is released, your dentist may use antibacterial medicine within the tooth or a pulp cap is created with calcium hydroxide. A filling will complete the treatment.