Pediatric Dental Restorations
Our teeth — just like the other parts of our bodies — can sometimes get hurt or sick. And when that happens, it’s time to see the dentist.
At Rockland Pediatric Dental & Orthodontics, we provide several restorative procedures to treat teeth damaged by injury or decay in order to bring your child’s smile back to full health.
Pediatric dental restorations may include:
- Dental fillings
- Dental crowns
- Nerve therapy (or pulp therapy)
- Space maintainers
Restorative dental treatments may require taking an x-ray of the affected area. Your child’s dentist may use a local anesthetic to ensure the procedure is painless. They will first apply a topical numbing gel before giving an injection of numbing medicine and will make sure the area is completely numb before they get started.
These procedures may make your child feel nervous or even a bit frightened. We are happy to discuss ways to help your child feel relaxed and comfortable during their appointment.
Pediatric dental fillings are used to repair cavities, which are small holes in the surface of the tooth where the enamel has eroded away due to a buildup of food bits, bacteria, and acid. After removing the decayed part of the tooth, a silver or tooth-colored material is applied to fill in the tooth.
A pediatric dental crown may be recommended for a tooth that has a larger amount of decay or which has been cracked or severely chipped due to injury. The dentist will use a drill to remove the decayed area before placing a tooth-shaped crown, which sits on top of and covers the original tooth like a cap.
Nerve Therapy (or Pulp Therapy)
If tooth decay, infection, or injury has affected the nerve or pulp in the center of the tooth, your child may be experiencing a lot of tooth pain, and their dentist may recommend nerve therapy to save the tooth. This procedure —sometimes called a “baby root canal” — cleans out the affected part of the tooth and applies medicine to help heal the tooth. A crown is usually placed during the same appointment. The good news? Your child will likely experience immediate pain relief!
There are a few reasons why your child’s dentist might recommend extracting (or “pulling”) a tooth:
- Extreme cases of tooth decay or severe infection
- To address spacing problems such as crowding or to prepare for orthodontic treatment
- Over-retained baby teeth — baby teeth that remain in place after a permanent tooth has erupted
If your child loses a baby tooth too soon, their dentist might recommend a space maintainer as a way to keep neighboring teeth in place as your child’s smile develops — maintaining the space for the permanent tooth to erupt at the right time.
A pediatric space maintainer consists of a metal band that wraps around one of the neighboring teeth and attaches to a metal loop designed to hold open the empty space. Think of it like saving the seat beside you on the school bus!