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What Is Pulpal Debridement?

By G.D. Palmer ; Updated July 27, 2017

According to Benefit Services of Hawaii, pulpal debridement is a procedure done to relieve serious pain before a normal root canal. This procedure involves opening the tooth and removing infected tissue to relieve pressure.

Causes

Endodontic treatment is most often required when the pulp inside the tooth becomes infected or inflamed. This inflammation can be caused by serious decay, too many dental procedures in one tooth or a crack in the tooth itself. Pulpal debridement is the first step in a root canal, which requires removing all the pulp and filling the tooth with an inert substance.

Process

Also called an “open and broach” procedure, pulpal debridement involves creating an opening in the affected tooth. The endodontist removes part of the infected pulp, giving the remaining tissue room to swell. This relieves some of the pain, allowing a root canal patient to wait longer before having the full procedure performed.

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Warning

Although a pulpal debridement might reduce the pain in an infected tooth, it should never be considered a substitute for a root canal. Patients who have received this procedure must return to have the remaining infected tissue removed and the tooth sealed.

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