What is a Pulpotomy?

A Pulpotomy is the partial removal of the pulp from a tooth. The pulp of the tooth is soft tissue inside the crown and roots of teeth which contain blood vessels and nerves. Only the tissue from the crown of the tooth is removed during a pulpotomy. A pulpotomy is undertaken when an infection of the pulp occurs, usually from tooth decay.4


An Oral Health Professional will remove all of the tooth decay and gain access to the pulp of the tooth. The open chamber of the tooth is then treated with a medication and sealed with a restoration. If tooth decay is left untreated it may progress to the pulp which causes inflammation, increased sensitivity to hot and cold and symptoms of pain in the tooth.

Risks and Complications of Pulpotomy

Pulpotomies have a high success rate. If pain or sensitivity does continue after the pulpotomy then the tooth may require an extraction;

  • Infection – In most cases treatment will completely resolve infection around the tooth. However there is some risk of an infection reoccurring.
  • Discolouration – The tooth may become darker in appearance following the pulpotomy.
  • Tooth Fracture – Pulpotomy may reduce the strength and durability of the tooth, making it more likely to fracture. This risk can be reduced by placing a stainless steel crown on to the tooth.

A pulpotomy is NOT recommended if the adult tooth has begun to erupt. This can be determined by taking a radiograph.