The purpose of this study was to identify differences in usage trends for 2 specific pulpal therapy treatments in pediatric patients during an 11-year period from January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2020.
Insurance data claims for children aged 2 through 12 years undergoing a pulpotomy or a pulpectomy performed by a general dentist (GD) or pediatric dentist (PD) from 2010 through 2020 were extracted from a dental data warehouse. The state where the provider was located was included in the extracted claim.
Rates of undergoing a pulpotomy or pulpectomy declined from 2010 through 2020 (odds ratio [OR], 0.978 or 0.946, respectively; P < .001). PDs were more likely to perform pulpotomies than GDs (OR, 1.393; P < .001), but PDs were less likely to perform pulpectomies than GDs (OR, 0.225; P < .001). Younger patient age was a significant predictor for undergoing pulpotomy treatment for both GDs and PDs (ORs, 0.850 and 0.892, respectively; P < .001). With increasing patient age, PDs had increased odds of performing a pulpectomy (OR, 1.030; P < .001) and GDs had decreased odds of performing a pulpectomy (OR, 0.995; P = .04). When examining effects according to American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry national membership districts, the trends remained consistent with those above.
The percentage of children undergoing pulpotomy and pulpectomy therapy declined from 2010 through 2020 among both GDs and PDs.
These changes in pulpal therapy practice might indicate a teaching change in pulpal therapy guidelines, suggesting that less invasive pulpal therapy can be used rather than pulpotomies or pulpectomies.
Pulpotomy; children; pediatric dentistry; pulpal therapy; pulpectomy.