Internet Explorer is not supported for this application. For the best experience, use a supported browser such as Firefox, Safari, Chrome or Edge.

Pulpotomy in Adults

Learn the differences between pulpotomy and root canal therapy.

What is Pulpotomy?

Pulpotomy translates to "to cut the pulp" and is most commonly performed on baby teeth. In pediatric dentistry, a pulpotomy is performed when there is extensive tooth decay present with nerve exposure. However, the treatment can sometimes be effective on adult teeth as an alternative to root canal therapy. Pulpotomies tends to be less invasive than root canal therapy.

A Pulpotomy procedure consists of:

  • Open the tooth
  • Remove the tooth decay
  • Remove only the top most pulp (in the crown of the tooth)
  • Place the medication (usually in the form of a cotton pellet or cement paste)
  • Close the tooth with a temporary restoration
  • Can take 30 to 45 minutes; same day appointment
  • May cost up to $350.00 without insurance

A Root Canal Therapy procedure consists of:

  • Open the tooth
  • Remove the tooth decay
  • Remove the pulp within the crown and root of the tooth
  • Clean the canals
  • Fill the canals with a permanent material (gutta-percha)
  • Seal the opening with filling material and possibly place a crown to restore tooth function
  • Can take 60 to 90 minutes procedure; may require two appointments
  • May cost up to $1,400.00 without insurance

Pulpotomy can be successful if infection is diagnosed early; your dentist will determine whether you are a good candidate for pulpotomy based on the symptoms and x-ray. Signs that you may need a pulpotomy includes: sensitive to hot and cold, throbbing, pain, swelling in the check or jaw, or spontaneous sharp pain.

Pulpotomy and Insurance Coverage

Pulpotomy is considered an endodontic service and may not be covered under your insurance plan. Be sure to review your insurance booklet, visit your insurance?s website, or call customer service to get more information about your coverage, deductible, copay, and out-of-pocket fees.