Restorative dentistry refers to the procedures that prevent or treat diseased teeth by bringing them back to good health. It may also include the repair or replacement of damaged teeth. While sometimes people assume that this type of dentistry is only for adults, sometimes children require these types of treatments as well. The more information that parents have about restorative dentistry, the better they can help their child achieve quality oral health.
Prior to any procedures, your dentist will perform a thorough examination and take x-rays to determine the extent of the problem. Once a plan is put in place, it is time to prep the area. First, the dentist will apply a bit of numbing gel to the treated area before administering a shot. This shot will allow the child to remain awake but calm during the procedure. However, if extensive work needs to be done, then there may be a need for further sedation to ensure that the child is comfortable throughout the process.
Restorative dentistry can involve many types of procedures. The common procedures include:
Extractions may be necessary for a variety of reasons. The common cause of tooth extraction in children is due to large cavities, infection, overcrowding, or orthodontic issues. This process is fairly simple and should be completed in under thirty minutes.
Once a cavity has been drilled out of a tooth, fillings are necessary in order to protect the rest of the tooth. Fortunately, cavities that can be correct with fillings are usually not a result of excessive decay, and the tooth can still be healthy for years to come. Silver or white fillings may be an option based on personal preference.
A pulpotomy is a nerve treatment when there is deep decay, pain from an infected tooth, or when the decay is nearing the pulp of the tooth. If this procedure is not completed, it puts the child at risk of severe infection or completely losing the tooth.
Children may need a crown if they have undergone a pulpotomy, have excessive decay, or have fractures in the teeth. The crown fits over the existing tooth in order to protect it and avoid having to remove it completely.
Some children either lose a baby tooth too early or their baby tooth simply never appears. If this happens, then a space maintainer must be put in place or else the surrounding teeth will crowd the area and prevent grown-up teeth from coming in.
Restorative dentistry can include some extensive procedures which may make some children nervous. Parents can help by offering support to the dentist. They can do this by:
Bringing a comfort item from home for the child to hang on to during the procedure
Opting to stay in the room with the child for additional support
Parents will be provided with clear instructions for follow-up care and how to promote proper oral hygiene to avoid future concerns. In rare cases, you may need to contact your dentist right away if your child spikes a fever, has severe bleeding, or excessive pain that doesn’t subside after 24 hours.
Restorative dentistry can help children regain their oral health. However, a lot can go into these procedures, so we want to be sure that parents are fully aware of what is included. We want to work with you to help your child have a bright and healthy smile. Contact our office today to learn more about your options!