Primary (baby) teeth play an important role in your child’s development, affecting their ability to chew food, speak properly, develop strong jaw and tongue muscles and maintain proper spacing for permanent (adult) teeth.
A dental restoration is recommended for patients who have teeth that are damaged by caries, worn down, history of trauma or genetically misshaped. Depending on your child’s needs, one or more of the following types of treatment may be necessary.
White fillings will be recommended for a tooth that has been decayed, worn down, chipped or cracked. White fillings will closely match existing tooth color, are very durable and should last many years.
When a primary tooth has had pulp therapy or is damaged or decayed, it may be necessary to place a crown to preserve tooth structure and function.
Depending on the location of the tooth (and your insurance benefits), two types of crowns are available:
Stainless steel crowns: These types of crowns are mainly used on back teeth and can withstand chewing forces due to there strong and durable nature. They normally last until the teeth naturally fall out.
Esthetic white crowns: These crowns are mainly used for front teeth, not as strong as stainless steel crowns, but durable and aesthetically pleasing.
Saving a tooth that has been injured or decayed is important to a child’s speech development, chewing and alignment of permanent teeth.
The pulp is the inner core of the tooth, which contains nerves, blood vessels, and reparative cells. A tooth that has been injured by trauma or has had extensive decay may need pulp therapy. The two forms of pulp therapy for children’s teeth are pulpotomy and pulpectomy.
Pulpotomy: When the disease has not invaded the root, the diseased pulp tissue within the crown portion of the tooth is removed and the remaining area is filled with antibacterial agents.
Pulpectomy: When the disease has entered into the root canals and the entire pulp is involved. The diseased pulp tissue is removed and roots are cleaned.
We do our very best to save a tooth, but there are times when a tooth may need to be extracted. Reasons for extractions include advanced caries, infection and at the request of an orthodontist for orthodontic reasons.
If a primary (baby) tooth is extracted prematurely, there may be a need for a space maintainer appliance. This appliance allows for preservation of space until its permanent replacement arrives.