A pulpectomy, often referred to as a “partial root canal,” is a common procedure in which a dentist removes the entire pulp from a tooth’s pulp chamber, crown, and roots. This procedure is recommended when the pulp has become infected and the infection cannot be resolved. The goal of the procedure is to prevent the infected pulp from spreading, which could lead to the loss of one or more teeth.


The pulp is soft living tissue found inside all teeth. This tissue includes cells which generate dentin, the hard material from which teeth are made. When pulp becomes infected, it can cause considerable pain to the patient, and the infection can spread into the jaw and to neighboring teeth, making it a cause for major concern. Infections can often be identified visually, as the tooth or gum line may develop an abscess. Infections can also be seen with an x-ray of the involved tooth.



This procedure is also commonly performed on the primary teeth of a child to reduce the risk of early primary tooth loss, which can cause bite and alignment problems. Ultimately, the dentist will want to prevent any tooth loss.

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