Our comprehensive procedures offered in age-specified pediatric dentistry include, but not limited to the following:
Sealants, conventional restorative and crowns, pulp therapy and root canals, space management, prevention, sports guard, and dental emergency management.
A sealant is a clear or shaded composite material applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where four out of five cavities in children are found. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth.
Restorative and crown
When a tooth is cavitated, the area must be cleaned out and then filled. This is known as a restorative treatment or filling. Typically, a white tooth colored substance is used to fill in the area once all decay has been removed. If the teeth are badly decayed, a stainless steel crowns may be used, rather than a filling.
Pulp therapy and root canal
The pulp of a tooth is the inner, central core of the tooth. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, connective tissue and reparative cells. The purpose of pulp therapy in Pediatric Dentistry is to maintain the vitality of the affected tooth.
Dental caries (cavities) and traumatic injury are the main reasons for a tooth to require pulp therapy. Pulp therapy is often referred to as a “nerve treatment”, “children’s root canal”, “pulpectomy” or “pulpotomy”. The two common forms of pulp therapy in children’s teeth are the pulpotomy and pulpectomy.
A pulpotomy removes the diseased pulp tissue within the crown portion of the tooth. Next, an agent is placed to prevent bacterial growth and to calm the remaining nerve tissue. This is followed by a final restoration (usually a stainless steel crown).
A pulpectomy is required when the entire pulp is involved (into the root canal(s) of the tooth). During this treatment, the diseased pulp tissue is completely removed from both the crown and root. The canals are cleansed, disinfected and, in the case of primary teeth, filled with a resorbable material. Then, a final restoration is placed. A permanent tooth would be filled with a non-resorbing material.
A baby tooth stays in place until the permanent tooth, growing underneath, pushes it out and take its place. There are times when the baby tooth comes out too early. When this happens the permanent tooth may not be ready to take the place of the removed baby tooth. A space maintainer is used to hold the space until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt. Space maintainers are appliances made of metal or plastic that are custom fit to your child’s mouth. They are small, unobtrusive and in most cases kids adjust to them within a few days.
When a child begins to participate in recreational activities and organized sports, injuries can occur. A properly fitted sports guard is an important piece of athletic gear that can help protect your child’s smile, and should be used during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth.
Mouth guards help prevent broken teeth, and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. A properly fitted mouth guard will stay in place while your child wears it, making it easy for them to talk and breathe.
Dental emergency management
First rinse the irritated area with warm water (or salt water). Use dental floss to dislodge any food or debris around the irritated area. Place a cold compress on the face if swelling occurs. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums.
Knocked out permanent teeth
The most important thing to do is to remain calm. First find the tooth and second retrieve it. Hold it by the crown versus the root. You can rinse gently with cold water but do not scrub or clean with soap. Attempt to reinsert it back into the socket immediately and hold it there with clean gauze or a wash cloth. If that is not possible put the tooth in a glass of cold milk and take to the dentist.
Chipped or Fractured Permanent tooth
Contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible. Fast action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with warm water. If swelling occurs apply a cold compress. Like with a knocked out permanent tooth put the chip from the tooth in milk and carry with you to the dentist.
Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or cheek
To stop bleeding, use firm yet gentle pressure with gauze or a wash cloth. Apply a cold pack/ice to the area to reduce swelling.
Source: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. For additional information, please go to www.AAPD.org