Our focus is on prevention, but we recognize that cavities happen. When cavities happen, our goal is to help your child through treatment in an efficient and supportive manner. Every child is unique and we will proceed through the appointment at a pace appropriate for your child. Our team is dedicated to fostering a positive view of dentistry in your child and is skilled in explaining the procedure in a kid friendly manner. Please help us and your child succeed by avoiding using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear. If you have questions how to best help your child prepare for their visit, please contact our office.
We find that most children behave better when they come back on their own. However, we understand that sometimes a parent’s presence is desired. In these instances we ask that you serve as a silent partner. Our team will likely converse with you as a way to help distract your child, but we ask that you avoid questions such as “Does that hurt?” or statements such as “You are almost done.” It is really important for you to be positive and encouraging about the dental visit; before, during, and after. Please let our team know if you have any personal dental fears so we may better prepare you for the visit.
“But their just baby teeth…”
Our team is dedicated to helping your child obtain optimal oral health. An untreated cavity in a primary tooth can lead to pain or infection and an emergent dental situation. Many primary teeth are not lost until your child is 11 or 12 years old. These teeth are important for proper chewing and eating, and guiding permanent teeth into their appropriate space. Many factors are considered when recommending treatment for your child. Our goal is not simply to fix a tooth, but to help manage the overall caries process in your child’s mouth.
Resin (Tooth-Colored) Fillings
Tooth colored fillings are used to repair fractured teeth and/or areas of decay. The shade of restorative material is matched as closely as possible to the color of the natural teeth. Their use is determined on a case-by-case situation. Larger cavities, especially in primary (baby) teeth, usually respond better to placement of stainless steel crowns.
Stainless Steel Crowns
Stainless Steel Crowns are used to restore back teeth that are too badly decayed to hold fillings or on teeth that require a pulpotomy (see below). Stainless steel crowns are silver caps that fully cover the baby tooth.
Zirconia Crowns are a cosmetic option for restoring primary teeth. They are tooth colored crowns and are especially useful for restoring anterior teeth. They may also be used on posterior teeth.
This is sometimes referred to as a “baby root canal.” This procedure involves removing the top-part of the tooth’s nerve and treating the remaining nerve with a material that disinfects, soothes and protects. A pulpotomy is necessary when decay has spread to the nerve of the tooth.
You will hear us refer to this as a “wiggle.” An extraction is the removal of a tooth. If a primary molar is extracted, it may be necessary to place a space maintainer.
Space Maintainers are used when a primary tooth has been prematurely lost to hold space for the permanent tooth. If space is not maintained, teeth on either side of the extraction site can drift into the space and prevent the permanent tooth from erupting.