According to the United States Surgeon General Report of Oral Health in America (2000), dental cavities (i.e. tooth decay) are the most common chronic and prevalent infectious disease of children. Tooth decay develops when bacteria penetrate into the surfaces of our teeth, eating away at the sugary residues that are left from the food we eat and poor oral hygiene. As cavities develop, there are numerous methods to remove the bad bacteria from our mouth and restore teeth back to health.
Tooth-colored (Composite) Fillings
Composite resin is a type of durable material used to fix small to moderate sized cavities, repair fractured teeth due to injury and can also correct any blemishes in color, size or shape of teeth. Composite fillings allow for more conservative treatment as the material bonds very well to teeth. The material is highly aesthetic and blends in with the natural color of your tooth.
Baby Root Canal (Pulpotomy)
When bacteria progress beyond the outer two layers of the tooth (i.e. enamel and dentin) and near the nerve, or pulp, of the tooth, then a pulpotomy is recommended. With a pulpotomy, the infected area of the pulp is removed and a medicament is placed over the nerve for its preservation, prior to a final covering for the tooth. Pulpotomies are important and enable a tooth to be saved for proper function and dental growth.
When a cavity is too large or a tooth is significantly compromised due to the extent of decay (i.e. after a pulpotomy), then a dental crown is recommended to protect and strengthen the weak tooth. At Tooth Clues, we have Sprig EZCrowns for anterior teeth and posterior teeth; these zirconia crowns are durable and naturally blend in with pediatric teeth. Stainless steel crowns are also available, but are only recommended and used for posterior teeth.
Extractions and Space Maintainers
When decay becomes extensive such that a tooth becomes infected or damaged or a baby tooth just does not want to fall out, it becomes necessary for us to assist in wiggling it out for the Tooth Fairy. If your child prematurely loses a baby tooth, it is important for a space maintainer to be placed so as to hold the adjacent teeth apart and maintain space for the permanent tooth that will grow into the space. There are various types of space maintainers which will be recommended based on your child’s dental needs and monitored at subsequent visits with us at Tooth Clues. Please be aware that sometimes orthodontists recommend tooth extractions to facilitate orthodontic treatment and we will happily work together to ensure that your child’s needs are met.