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Traditional cavity restorations using white fillings are still one of the best modalities for restoring tooth decay. After drilling out the decayed tooth structure, Resin Composites are bonded to the tooth and restore function. Esthetically pleasing and very strong, these restorations have been used for decades on both primary and permanent teeth.
Stainless steel or White Zirconia crowns are sometimes recommended for children following a baby root canal or if a back baby tooth suffers from severe trauma or cavities. Because most baby molars do not fall out until the ages of 10-12, these crowns are recommended when traditional fillings are insufficient to protect the tooth from further damage until it falls out on its own. The differences between stainless steel and white crowns are mostly color preference. The pros and cons of each type of crown will be discussed with you to help you make a good decision for your child.
Baby Root Canal Therapy
Pediatric root canal therapy is designed to maintain the integrity of the affected tooth to prevent premature loss. The early loss of posterior (back) teeth can lead to future problems with the placement and eruption of adult teeth. To avoid the difficulties inherent with crooked or impacted adult teeth, proper root canal treatment is needed to avoid the premature loss of primary molars. Dental caries and traumatic injury are the primary reasons for pulp therapy in children. Due to the loss of tooth structure involved in teeth requiring pediatric root canal therapy, full coverage restoration such as a pediatric crown is necessary.
Extractions are commonly performed on pediatric patients to address extensively decayed non-restorable teeth or orthodontic problems. To help make the procedure as comfortable as possible for your child, we may recommend the inhalation of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and a local anesthetic. If your child is anxious, oral or IV sedation can also be offered in the comfort of our office.
Over-retained Baby Teeth
Sometimes permanent teeth begin erupting either too far forward or behind the primary teeth. This is usually due to natural crowding in the bone and may indicate a need for extracting over-retained baby teeth. Here at smiles+grins, we make it very comfortable and easy to help get these baby teeth out. The teeth are always returned to the kids in a special "tooth fairy" box.
As part of your child’s orthodontic treatment, primary and/or permanent teeth may need to be removed to gain more space in the mouth. With a referral from your Orthodontist, our team at smiles+grins can help you get the teeth removed in the most comfortable and pleasant way.
Nitrous oxide, aka "laughing gas" or "happy air," is a safe and effective behavior management tool offered at smiles+grins. It is delivered via a nose-piece and your child will breathe through his/her nose. While a child is breathing nitrous oxide, it gives a sense of well-being and relaxation. It will raise the pain threshold and give the feeling of time flying by. Additionally, it works well for children who have a gag reflex during the dental appointment. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes nitrous oxide sedation as a safe and effective technique to use for helping children tolerate dental care.
Happy air is safe because:
- Your child remains awake, responsive, and breathing on his/her own without assistance.
- Your child receives more oxygen, compared to normal room air.
- It begins to work rapidly, and is quickly eliminated from the body after a short period of breathing oxygen, and it has no lingering effects.
- We have different "flavors," such as strawberry, grapes, and bubble gum to choose from for the nose-piece to make the "happy air" experience fun and enjoyable for your child.