Pediatric Dentistry is an age defined specialty that provides both primary and comprehensive preventative and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through the teenage years.
- Regular check-ups, starting by the first birthday, including x-rays, complete examinations and teeth cleaning.
- Fluoride varnish application and dental sealants to protect teeth against decay and cavities.
A composite filling is a tooth colored material that is used to fill cavities on both the front and back teeth. After we have numbed the decaying tooth using topical and local anesthetic, we will then use a rubber dam to protect your child’s airway. Next, the decay will be removed and then the tooth is filled with a tooth-colored composite material. Be advised that these fillings will require close and careful attention to home care (diet and oral hygiene, primarily flossing). If oral hygiene is cared for improperly, it is indeed possible to develop more cavities around the filling.
Stainless steel crowns are placed on the back teeth and every so often on baby canine teeth as well. Stainless steel crowns are used when a cavity has affected so much of a tooth structure that a composite filling material isn’t enough and can’t be used to repair the tooth. A crown covers the baby tooth and returns the tooth to its original shape and size. It is crucial to be careful with caring for your oral hygiene so that the gum tissue around the crown does not become swollen, red, and irritated by plaque buildup.
If a cavity has affected the nerve, part of the nerve is cleaned out and antibacterial medicine is placed on the remaining nerve structure, followed by a protective filling that is then placed on top of the nerve. Once the tooth has undergone the nerve treatment, the tooth is weakened and therefore needs to have a crown placed over it to protect it from fracture.
When the nerve of the tooth is infected for an extended period of time, the nerve tissue inside the roots of the tooth can die. When the nerve is non-vital, a pulpotomy is not able to remove all of the infection and a pulpectomy is now indicated. During a pulpectomy, the whole pulp tissue inside of the baby tooth is removed and the root canals are filled with resorbable cement. Then, a stainless steel crown is placed on top of the tooth to protect it from fracturing in the future.
Space maintainers are used to hold the spot that has been left by the lost tooth until the permanent tooth emerges. If your child loses a baby tooth early through guidance eruption, decay, or injury, then their other teeth can shift and fill the space, thereby causing little to no allowance for the permanent tooth to erupt. It is of great importance for your child to follow through with their check-up appointments so we can dispose of the space maintainer when the permanent tooth begins to erupt.
All of the space maintainers are a combination of steel wires and rings that are customized to fit the appropriate teeth surrounding the area of the lost tooth. The rings and wires are there to help in maintaining the space that the permanent tooth will need in order to emerge later on. These contraptions will be fitted and cemented into your child’s mouth when necessary and then removed as their teeth erupt into position. It is important that these appliances receive strict attention to your child’s diet, especially being sure to avoid sticky foods. It the patient happens to lose their space maintainer, please keep it tucked away in a Ziploc bag and call us immediately so we can re-cement the device. Because of the constant changes that occur in children’s mouths, space maintainers need to occasionally be remade prior to the eruption of the permanent tooth.