For most parents, a trip to the pediatric dentist entails routine teeth cleaning and nothing but good news. However, not every kid will be so lucky. Cavities, problems with gums, teeth growing incorrectly, and other issues can lead to more serious procedures. For the most part, none of these procedures should be any more cause for concern than a regular visit, and a lot of them are preventive in nature, making sure that your child’s teeth stay as healthy as possible.
Take a moment to learn about some of the most common procedures that pediatric dentists perform and how they can help your children to have the best smile possible for the rest of their lives.
Fillings and Crowns
When a dentist discovers cavities or other forms of tooth decay, it’s important to treat them so that your child can avoid pain, unsightly spots on their smile, and further complications from letting the decay spread. For minor decay issues, and that have been caught early enough, the dentist can easily fill in the decayed area with a composite resin that has been colored to look just like a tooth. With this easy solution, your child’s teeth will look exactly as they did before the decay. Sometimes, when the decay is severe enough, especially for back teeth important for chewing food, the dentist might decide to affix a stainless steel crown. These crowns will help your child chew food normally until the tooth is lost, crown and all.
When decay has already progressed to the point that a crown and filling won’t be enough, the nerves and blood vessels within teeth need to be treated directly in order to keep more serious problems like infection from occurring. Your pediatric dentist will get that parts of the nerve that are being affected by a cavity, the root of the tooth, and remove them along with all the decay affecting the tooth and gums. This sounds more painful and serious than it really is, and serves to prolong the life of the baby tooth until it falls out on its own.
When a primary tooth gets lost a little too early, sometimes from kids falling down, playing sports, or anything else they might get themselves into, a space maintainer will need to be applied in order to keep the surrounding teeth in place and to ensure that the adult tooth grows in correctly. Once the adult tooth is in place and on its way to being a healthy and functioning tooth, the maintainer can be removed. If your child loses a tooth that wasn’t ready to come out, you should seek the attention of the pediatric dentist as soon as possible to determine if a space maintainer is necessary.