Pulpotomy and Pulpectomy are both procedures that aim to clear infected tissue from the pulpal area of the tooth. The most essential difference between the two is that pulpectomy removes tissue from the pulp chamber and the root canal of the tooth, while pulpotomy focuses solely on tissue in the pulp chamber. Being that these two procedures are the preferred treatments for both symptomatic irreversible pulpitis (SIP) and symptomatic apical periodontitis, our staff at Professional Endodontics thinks it’s important to be able to distinguish between the two.

Why Do I Need Either?

As mentioned, symptomatic irreversible pulpitis and symptomatic apical periodontitis are the most common reasons for pulectomy or pulpotomy. Here is a brief definition of the diagnostic terms:

Symptomatic Irreversible Pulpitis – This occurs when there is evidence that infected tissue has caused the vital inflamed pulp to be incapable of healing. However, the inflammation has not yet reached the periapical tissues making it hard to diagnose.

Symptomatic Apical Periodontitis – This occurs when infection has caused inflammation of tissue within the pulpal area of the tooth, as well as the tooth’s root canal.

Both SIP and SAP involve symptoms including sharp, lingering pain upon thermal stimulus, and possibly pain accentuated by postural changes, such as lying down or bending over. However, patients with SAP will experience pain during percussive activities, like biting, whereas patients with SIP will not. The similarities between the two make it difficult to diagnose, which may lead to improper treatment. That’s why it is beneficial to consult an endodontist in addition to your dentist. Asking for a second opinion is being a cautious patient.


Pulpotomy is a potential treatment method for emergency cases of SIP due to caries, large restorations, cracked tooth syndrome or trauma. The procedure requires adequate removal of the inflamed pulp tissue, leveling at the canal opening followed by a fitted coronal seal. After emergency pulpotomy takes place, the patient will need endodontic treatment within six months to avoid another painful episode.


Pulpectomy is a form of root canal therapy recommended when the infection has traveled throughout the pulpal area and into a tooth’s root canal. The procedure requires the removal of all tissue within the pulpal area, as well as in the root canal. The resulting space is then filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its normal function.

It should be noted that in many cases this procedure can be replaced with traditional root canal therapy

If you have questions about what treatment is best for your patient call and talk to one of our doctors, or refer your patient to us evaluation.

About Professional Endodontics

Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes with treating issues with the inside of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists. Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Best Dentists. Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.

Professional Endodontics now offers three state-of-the art facilities in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and a fully renovated Southfield location in the Comerica Tower. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental deliver systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.

Professional Endodontics

29201 Telegraph Road

Suite 110

Southfield, MI 48034

(248) 358-2910