The Children’s Dentist of Allen utilizes the most advanced techniques and equipment available to create a positive experience for children when teeth need to be restored. Restorative dentistry in pediatric dentistry typically comprises two procedures: fillings and crowns. Both procedures aim to repair damage to the tooth’s surface, or enamel, and restore the function and esthetics of your child’s teeth.
Tooth sensitivity is the most common early warning sign of enamel loss due to tooth decay. While there could be a number of reasons for this sensation, only your pediatric dentist can diagnose its underlying cause. If a damaged tooth surface is not treated early, your child’s discomfort will increase. Early childhood caries (ECC), is the most common chronic early childhood disease in the United States, tooth sensitivity can be a sign of active caries infection (decay) and if left untreated it is likely to spread to the teeth surrounding the cavity. Untreated infections like this can cause serious issues if not addressed, even damage to permanent teeth.
A filling repairs and restores the surface of a tooth that has been damaged by decay, fracture, or wear. A dental filling strengthens the tooth. If tooth decay is not repaired at its early stages, it will worsen and additional or alternative dental treatments may be necessary. The Children’s Dentist of Allen uses tooth-colored fillings; this material allows us to help your child have a healthy smile while also creating a natural look.
1. SDF Fillings
Silver Diamine Fluoride is often used as a conservative approach for the treatment of active decay. SDF may not cure the active decay but does often assist in arresting the furthering of decay. The application process is done in two appointments usually 2-4 weeks apart.
2. Silver Modified Atraumatic Restorative Technique (SMART)
This type of temporary restoration is often used to "buy time" with the application of silver diamond fluoride (SDF) and glass ionomer cement (GIC) these are used without removing the decay - the goal is to stop/delay progress of the decay and allow for more time to treat apprehensive children with cavities.
A dental crown restores a tooth's shape, size, and strength. It fully encases the visible portion of your child’s tooth. Your child will need to be careful of sticky and hard foods when chewing on crowns.
1. Stainless Steel Crowns
On primary (baby teeth) molars we use stainless steel crowns in many situations; these crowns were developed to deliver natural tooth anatomy and restore strength after missing tooth structure has been removed due to decay. These crowns are cemented on the tooth and when the child loses the baby tooth the crown is usually still attached or may come off at shedding of tooth. Due to spacing of posterior (back teeth) sometimes thicker tooth colored crowns cannot be used and the option available is the stainless crown.
2. Nu-Smile or Tooth Colored Crowns
Nu-Smile are pediatric zirconium crowns, we also have similar tooth colored crowns for children, our goal is to maintain a healthy smile and these tooth-colored crowns are a great benefit when they can be used to crown baby teeth. We always try to utilize this type of crown in visible areas of a patients smile; due to spacing in the back of the mouth we sometimes cannot use this type of crown in the non-visible back teeth. These crowns are cemented on similar to stainless steel crowns.
Baby teeth can be infected by decay into the “pulp” of the tooth and a baby tooth root canal is needed, this is a procedure to remove the infected pulp chamber of the tooth to keep harmful bacteria from causing more problems to the affected tooth and to keep your child from having pain. Once this pulpotomy (baby root canal) is completed the tooth will have to have a crown to cover the tooth and strengthen this area for your child’s smile. The pulpotomy and crown procedure will be done at the same appointment.