Oral conditions may affect your child and damage his or her teeth. Restorative dentistry involves treating oral diseases and the repair or replacement of teeth, restoring the oral health of a child. It also involves the prevention of similar conditions from recurring.
Some of the procedures that are common in restorative dentistry include:
- Space maintainers installation
- Installation of stainless steel and golden crowns
- Treatment of teeth nerves (which is called pulpotomy)
- Extraction of severely damaged teeth
- White or silver fillings on teeth with cavities
Depending on the procedure that the child will be undergoing, the dentist may take thirty minutes to two hours. Most of the procedures are done on local anesthesia and the child is awake when the procedures are being performed. Pediatric restorative dentistry is not a one-day procedure. Regular visits to the dentist are required for teeth to be examined, cleaned and for treatment of emerging conditions. After the treatment is done, it is good for the child to visit the dentist every six months for a checkup.
What to expect during a pediatric restorative dentistry procedure
The process depends on the dentistry procedure being performed. Most procedures do not require much more than a physical examination of the affected area. However, in more complex procedures, an x-ray may be required. If the child has had a recent x-ray, he or she will not be required to take another x-ray of the same area. The dentist will review the images of the last x-ray examination.
After reviewing the images, the dentist may numb the area with local anesthesia.
This is a procedure done to treat the nerve when there is widespread tooth decay, when an infected tooth causes so much pain, or if the decay is dangerously close to the nerve or the pulp. A dental drill cleans out the cavity and sterilizes the pulp. Part of the nerve or the entire nerve may also be removed. A crown is put over the remaining part of the teeth.
If your child loses teeth early or if a permanent tooth takes too long to appear, a space maintainer is placed over the gap to ‘save’ the space for the intended tooth. This prevents other teeth from moving out of place to cover the void. Space maintainers are removed after the permanent tooth erupts.
Teeth can be extracted if there is a deep cavity or a severe infection. They are also extracted if there is overcrowding in the mouth. The child may need space maintainers after an extraction, except for in cases when the extraction was needed to reduce overcrowding.
Crowns and fillings
Silver and white fillings are placed when there are cracks in a tooth’s surface due to decay. They fill the area after the decay has been removed. Crowns are used when only a part of the tooth remains, or if the tooth crown is weakened after a procedure.
If your child suffers from any tooth condition, take him or her to a Salina pediatric dentist for a restorative dentistry procedure.