- A filling is recommended when a child has a cavity that extends into the inner portion of the tooth or dentin. If left untreated, the cavity will progress and may require a more invasive treatment like a full-coverage crown or baby tooth root canal.
- During the procedure, the cavity is removed either fully or partially and a hole remains. To restore this tooth to its natural form and function, we must fill in the hole with “paint” or composite resin. The white filling is sculpted to the natural contour of your child’s teeth and bite and then it is set with a flashlight or “light saber”. When your child leaves, no one will be able to tell that they had the procedure completed; the tooth will be free of decay, look like a natural tooth, and be hard as a rock.
- If your child’s cavity is too large (affecting 3 of the 5 surfaces) or the damage is too great for us to place a white filling, we may recommend placing a full-coverage prefabricated crown. The purpose of the crown is to provide protection and strength to your child's tooth until it falls out.
- Crowns are “cemented” onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of the tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes the tooth’s new outer surface.
- We call it a shield, cap, or jewelry for your tooth.
- Stainless steel dental crowns are the standard of pediatric dentistry and appear silver and have similar components to jewelry (Contain Nickel).
- White crowns provide an esthetic alternative to metal crowns. With 9 times the strength of a natural tooth, these Zirconia crowns restore form, function, and beauty. We have 6 years of experience with placing these technically challenging restorations and enjoy helping parents achieve the beautiful smiles they want for their kids.
- Pulpotomy “ Baby Tooth Root Canal”
- When a cavity or trauma gets really deep or close to the nerve of a tooth, the pulpal tissue becomes irritated and inflamed. A pulpotomy removes the inflamed tissue in the crown portion of the tooth and replaces it with medication. The only medicine used in our office for pulpotomies is Mineral Trioxide Aggregate (MTA).
- MTA is research-backed as the most successful and safest material used for pulpotomies and promotes healing.
- A Pulpepctomy removes tissue from both the crown and root of the tooth and is required when the nerve is irreversibly infected or dead. This procedure takes a little bit more time and requires the use of hand files similar to an adult root canal.
- Indirect Pulp Cap (IPC)
- When repairing a deep cavity that extends close to the nerve, we cannot always remove all of the decay without risking exposing the nerve. To preserve an alive nerve in a tooth and to help it repair, we may recommend an IPC. Caries surrounding the nerve are left to avoid pulp exposure and are covered with a biocompatible material. The tooth is then restored with a material that seals it from bacterial contamination. As long as the tooth remains sealed from leakage, the prognosis is good for the cavity to stop and for the dentin to reform to protect the pulp. This treatment often has a very high success rate.
- In the case that a tooth is over-retained or not able to be restored, we are available to make even the most difficult procedures comfortable.
- Extractions may be indicated when a baby tooth becomes infected, is impeding the eruption of its permanent successor, or is preventing adequate brushing because it is stuck to gums.
- Prior to performing a “wiggle” for your child, we will coach them with age-appropriate terminology on how things are going to feel and sound. We will help them to leave with a smile and a tooth chest for the Tooth Fairy!
- When a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a space maintainer may be necessary to help hold the space for the developing permanent tooth.
- Without proper space maintenance, teeth can become crowded or impacted (stuck in the bone).
Silver Modified Atraumatic Restorative Technique (SMART)
- Is a minimally invasive treatment used to treat or halt the progression of decay.
- The procedure entails 2 applications of Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) followed by a tooth-colored filling to help prevent food impaction in the decayed area.
- It is often used in pre-cooperative or special needs children.
- Local anesthesia is not required.
- This in-office treatment must be combined with changes in your child’s diet and an increased focus on oral hygiene in order to be effective.
- This technique is a minimally invasive treatment option for white, yellow, or brown spots on the enamel.
- These discolorations may be caused by:
- demineralization post-orthodontic treatment
- The trauma of a baby tooth affecting the adult tooth bud
- Inherited conditions like hypoplasia, hypo calcification
- Environment conditions like Fluorosis
- It is a conservative approach instead of the typical drilling and filling.
- Using a series of special “shampoos, conditioners, and light abrasion” we are able to remove or blend the white spot to the natural shade of the remaining tooth. An unfilled resin is then applied to the tooth to seal in the color correction and to help fade the appearance of spots.