West Coast Pediatric Dentistry prides itself on keeping up with current research and guidelines regarding evidence-based dentistry.
Cavities are due to a process where bacteria cause the breakdown of healthy tooth structure. When the teeth are exposed to sugars, the bacteria make an acidic environment in the mouth, which leads to the breakdown of tooth enamel. When this happens repeatedly and frequently, the continual breakdown of the tooth is then considered a cavity. We can usually see the initial breakdown of the tooth enamel visually. This may present as “white spots” and on dental radiographs (x-rays) we may be able to notice any changes happening in between the teeth. When we catch cavities in this early stage, we may be able to monitor them and with changing home habits and other preventive measures, a filling might not be necessary. When cavities do happen and need treatment, we can provide different restorative options.
Restorative dentistry means restoring the health of the tooth that has a problem. The term “dental restoration” could include a filling, a crown, a nerve treatment or placement of a space maintainer to hold the space for the adult tooth that will grow in.
Pediatric Tooth-Colored Fillings and Dental Crowns
Depending on the size and location of the cavity, different restoration options are available. In the case of minor to moderate tooth damage, from tooth decay or trauma, we may recommend a tooth-colored filling. The cavity will be removed and the filling material will be placed and shaped to match your child’s tooth.
In cases of extensive tooth damage, your child may benefit from a stainless steel crown that will fully cover the tooth and restore it back to its normal shape and function. Crowns also protect the tooth from any additional damage. It is one of the strongest and longest lasting dental materials available.
Space maintainers may be recommended in certain situations. Baby teeth are important to act as a guide for the developing permanent tooth underneath. When a baby tooth is lost early, from trauma or infection, a space maintainer may be recommended to help hold that space for the underlying adult tooth. Our pediatric dentist will discuss if this recommended as it is determined on an individual basis and the specific type of space maintainer that would be best will be reviewed before placement.