Young children can lose primary (baby) teeth and even immature permanent teeth when the pulp, the living tissue inside a tooth, becomes infected. This is often the result of trauma or dental caries (tooth decay) and creates a special problem for the child. An injured immature tooth may need apexogenesis or an apexification to improve the chances of saving the tooth.
Apexogenesis of the Tooth Root
This procedure encourages the root to continue development as the pulp is healing. Soft tissue is covered with medication to encourage growth. The tip of the root (apex) will continue to grow and close as the child gets older. In turn, the walls of the root canal will thicken. If the pulp heals, no additional treatment will be necessary. The more mature the root becomes, the better the chances of saving the tooth.
Apexification of the Tooth Root
In this case, the unhealthy pulp is removed. The endodontist places a biocompatible cement into the root to help a hard tissue to form near the root tip. This hardened tissue provides a barrier for the root canal filling. At this point, the root canal walls will not continue to develop, making the tooth susceptible to fractures. So it is important to have the tooth properly restored by your dentist.