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Restorative Treatments for Childhood Cavities and Tooth Defects
Early prevention of oral health problems and cavities is ideal, but there are times when treatment may be needed. Unfortunately, tooth decay remains the most common chronic childhood disease in America.
Children have some of their baby teeth until age 12 or 13, and leaving cavities or other oral health issues untreated can lead to pain and infections that can negatively impact your child’s quality of life, overall health and well-being.
Our pediatric dental specialists are here for you every step of the way and are ready to discuss all of your options if treatment needs are discovered at your child’s dental exam.
We realize that dental treatment may elicit many emotions for children and adults alike. Our specialized training and office environment help children feel calm, comfortable and confident when receiving dental care. Sometimes, however, a child feels anxious during treatment.
We are here for you to help you determine how treatment should be handled to best suit your and your child’s needs. Most of our patients are treated in our offices, but some children are in need of treatment in a hospital setting. We take time to discuss all of your options in detail with you during your child’s visit.
In the Office Setting
At Smiles In Motion, our gentle, caring manner helps children feel comfortable during treatment, plus they get to watch a movie during their treatment to help them relax.
In addition to an abundance of encouragement and praise, we can utilize nitrous oxide, which is a safe and very light sedative, to relieve anxiety.
It rarely causes a child to fall to sleep and they are aware and able to carry on a conversation with us.
General Anesthesia in a Hospital Setting
When treatment is extensive or if a child’s anxiety level is high, dental treatment in a single visit in a hospital setting may be an option.
All of the pediatric dentists at Smiles In Motion are qualified to treat children in a hospital setting.
Here we collaborate with an anesthesiologist who administers medications and monitors your child while your pediatric dentist completes all of your child’s treatment in one sitting – while your child is unaware of their surroundings.
Pediatric Dental Procedures and Treatments
At your child’s dental visit, if a concern in detected by your pediatric dentist, all treatment options will be discussed with you in detail. Below is a summary of the most common pediatric dental treatment needs:
Pediatric Dental Fillings
Your pediatric dentist may recommend a filling if your child has a cavity or a defect on one or two surfaces of their tooth.
White fillings are commonly used and are an effective treatment for small to moderate sized childhood cavities or tooth defects.
All of the white composite filling materials used at Smiles In Motion are BPA free.
Pediatric Dental Crowns
A crown may be recommended if your child’s tooth is fractured due to trauma, severely decayed, is at high risk of developing a second cavity on the same tooth, or has undergone a nerve treatment.
Crowns cover and protect what remains of a tooth restoring it to its normal size and shape while strengthening and protecting it from further cracking or breakage.
Baby Tooth Nerve Treatments (Pulpotomy/Pulpectomy)
If a cavity is very deep, it may extend into the nerve of your child’s tooth, causing pain and increasing the risk of secondary infection in the tooth.
A pulpotomy/pulpectomy, otherwise known as a “baby root canal” or “nerve treatment”, may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.
A tooth may need to be extracted or “wiggled out” if that tooth can no longer be restored due to large tooth decay, dental trauma, or if a baby tooth is not wiggling out in time for the permanent tooth to erupt in a favorable position.
There are also times that an orthodontist may recommend certain baby teeth be extracted to help prepare your child’s mouth for orthodontic care.
Following a tooth extraction, a space maintainer may be placed to save space so your child’s adult tooth to erupt into the mouth correctly. At Smiles In Motion we discuss with you what type of space maintainer will best suit your child’s needs.