Primary teeth are often called "baby teeth" because they fall out as childen grow older. That does not mean these teeth are not important. In fact, keeping primary teeth healthy and intact can play a big part in the development and eruption of permanent teeth. Decay is very common in childhood and should be taken seriously. Untreated cavities can result in infection, pain and even damage to the permanent teeth. Early loss of baby teeth from decay can lead to impaction and crowding.
Common treatments for cavities in primary teeth include;
- Tooth colored Fillings
Tooth Colored Fillings
Tooth colored, or composite resin fillings, are fillings that have no heavy metals or mercury in them. They are durable and help restore teeth to their original shape and color. In some cases, they are used to close gaps in permanent teeth and make a smile more aesthetic.
Crowns are recommended on primary teeth that have had nerve treatments and teeth that cannot sustain a filling without fracturing. We offer both stainless steel crowns and tooth colored crowns.
Stainless Steel Crowns
Silver crowns are most commonly used in pediatric dentistry. They are durable, strong and long-lasting.They are used for teeth with developmental defects , large areas of decay or fractures. Silver crowns also strengthen teeth that have had previous nerve treatments or root canals.
Tooth Colored Crowns
We offer two different versions of tooth colored crowns. One is a plastic coating filled with a tooth colored filling (pedo jacket). The other is a porcelain coated metal or zirconium crown that providesstrength and is more aesthetically pleasing than stainless steel. Placing tooth colored crowns requires skill and time to perform, but can be worth the effort to cosmetically restore severely broken down teeth.
Primary (baby) teeth are very small, and decay can be serious. If decay reaches the dental nerve, a nerve treatment will be needed. There are two types of nerve treatment in baby teeth (depending on the extent of decay): a pulpotomy or a pulpectomy . If the decay has just reached the nerve, a pulpotomy will be performed. A pulpotomy involves removal of the nerve in the crown portion of the tooth (part of the tooth above the gum line), which is then filled with a sedative material placed into the nerve chamber. This maintains the vitality of the remaining nerve tissue. A pulpectomy is done if the tooth needs a full removal of the nerve. Following the nerve treatment, the dentist will cover the tooth with a crown to protect against fracture.
Teeth are extracted or removed when they are not savable by any other treatment. This may be due to decay, infection, or trauma. Teeth are also extracted for orthodontic reasons when there is inadequate space in the jaws to accommodate all teeth. Over-retained teeth on growing children can cause impaction, painand crowding.
After care instructions for extractions:
- Do not scratch, chew, suck or rub lips,tongue or cheek while they feel numb or asleep. The child should be watched closely to make sure this is not happeneing before the anesthesia wears off.
- Do not rinse the mouth for several hours following extraction
- Do not spit excessively
- Do not drink carbonated drinks for the remainder of the day
- Do not drink through a straw
- Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area
- Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally.
- Excessive bleeding can be treated by applying pressure or biting on a wet teabag.
- Children's pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be given for pain.