Save Teeth and Prevent Further Tooth Damage
Sometimes tooth stains turn into cavities, which can spread throughout the mouth and cause discomfort for your child. If the cavities become serious, your child may need a restorative procedure to save the tooth and prevent the infection from spreading.
At AOMS Pediatric Dentistry, we will only recommend procedures that are necessary to protect the health of your child. If tooth decay or minor cavities occur on a tooth that is going to fall out within a few months or a year, our staff will avoid an unnecessary procedure. But when a tooth has the potential to spread infection or cause long-term oral health problems, we will do everything possible to save your child’s tooth in a comfortable setting. During the first visit, we may take dental X-rays to get a clear understanding of the child’s facial structures.
Why Save Baby Teeth?
Many parents and guardians wonder why their child needs dental work to save baby teeth. They are just going to fall out anyway, right? Once a tooth develops a cavity and reaches the tooth’s second layer (dentin), the cavity will progress quickly in size. An untreated cavity will continue to grow and may lead to an infection. An untreated infection can lead to a cellulitis, which can interfere with breathing. This can become life-threatening. The premature loss of baby teeth can cause tooth alignment problems that require orthodontic treatment later on. Also, just like adult teeth, primary teeth are meant to help children speak and chew normally. Losing a tooth prematurely can make it difficult to develop normal eating and speaking habits.
Children’s dental procedures are often quicker and gentler than adult procedures. Most of the restorative procedures we offer can be completed in about 30 minutes or so. Children are typically awake during their procedure, and local anesthetic will ensure that they are comfortable and pain-free. We also offer child-safe treatments to relax patients with higher anxiety levels.
Sometimes a simple filling is all that is necessary to treat a cavity if the decay is not too deep in the tooth. We offer composite fillings so your child’s teeth will look natural and healthy. Composite fillings are also a great option for parents who are uncomfortable with metal fillings.
During the procedure, the infected portion of the tooth will be removed, and the space will be cleaned with a dental drill. Then the space will be filled with the composite material, which is set using a special light. Depending on the size of the cavity, your child may be given a local anesthetic.
When more extensive decay has occurred, with two or more surfaces of the tooth showing extensive decay, sometimes a crown can save the tooth. Crowns can also protect cracked or chipped teeth from further damage. Crowns come in either stainless steel or tooth-colored options. If the decay has reached the pulp, which is deep in the center of the tooth, sometimes a crown is needed to cover the tooth after a baby root canal, also known as a pulpotomy.
Baby Root Canal
Pulpotomy is the surgical removal of the entire coronal pulp, leaving the vital radicular pulp in the canals intact. This may be referred to as a partial baby root canal. A pulpectomy is the complete removal of all pulp tissue, which is the pediatric version of a regular root canal. The dentist will expose the infected pulp and remove only what is necessary to prevent further infection. Unlike regular root canals, pulpotomy does not require the use of special instruments to remove the pulp in the roots, making the procedure faster and much more comfortable for your child. Usually, a disinfecting agent will also be applied to clean, and medicine will be applied to soothe the remaining nerve tissue. The exposed tooth will be restored using a crown once the infection has been removed.
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Other Questions? We’re Here to Help
If you have questions about a procedure, financing, or anything else, please reach out to us at any time. Our team is here to help, and we look forward to caring for you and your loved ones.