Dental sealants are highly effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth. Dental sealants are a simple, painless procedure in which a tooth-colored “coating” is painted onto the surface of the tooth. This effectively “seals” the deep grooves, acting as a barrier and protecting enamel from plaque and acids.
Sealants are easy to apply, taking only a few minutes to place. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years before a reapplication is needed.
Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities by helping the teeth gain minerals they have lost and making them more resistant to acid. A fluoride treatment in your dentist’s office takes just a few minutes and normally follows your child’s dental exam.
White Fillings and Crowns
White fillings and crowns are a great treatment option in teeth that either have smaller cavities or have cavities in more esthetic areas. White fillings come in several different types of materials, some with fluoride-releasing capabilities, and Dr. Kaitlin will help you choose the best material for your child.
In the event your child does develop cavities, several factors influence the performance, longevity and expense of dental restorations.
- The components used in the filling material
- The amount of tooth structure remaining after the diseased area is removed
- Where and how the filling is placed
- The chewing load that the tooth will have to bear
- The length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth
Most of the time we will be able to restore teeth with a tooth-colored bonded composite material. Teeth that have more advanced decay will require a full coverage restoration or stainless steel crown. Before your child’s treatment begins, Dr. Kaitlin will discuss all options and help you choose the best filling for your child’s particular case.
A pulpotomy is a treatment that involves gently removing the superficial part of the nerve on a tooth that has deep decay in order to protect the rest of the nerve from infection. Typically, the tooth is then covered with a silver crown to ensure long-term protection until the tooth is ready to naturally fall out.
Silver Diamine Fluoride
Also known as “SDF”, this is a non-invasive option in treating cavities that involves no numbing, drilling or filling. SDF stops cavities from getting bigger and also helps with sensitivity. SDF is a great treatment option for patients who are unable to tolerate more traditional restorative treatment. It is also a great option for baby teeth with cavities that will fall out soon.
The liquid is simply brushed onto the affected area of the tooth killing the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
In certain situations, cavities are deep enough that infection has occurred and spread to the surrounding areas. When this happens, removal of the infected tooth is the best option to prevent further infection. Additionally, sometimes teeth need to be removed when there is severe crowding. Dr. Kaitlin is pleased to offer extractions for orthodontic purposes. Dr. Kaitlin and the staff at Providence Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics ensure that your child is comfortable by using a gentle technique, offering laughing gas, and by having individual overhead TVs and wireless headphones so your child can be as relaxed as possible throughout the appointment.
When baby teeth are lost early due to infection, sometimes space maintainer appliances are recommended to hold the space for the developing permanent teeth that are not quite ready to erupt yet. At Providence Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we offer both custom-made or same-day delivery appliances depending on your child’s needs. Dr. Kaitlin also offers custom appliances for patients who lost a front baby tooth early from trauma, have crossbites from prolonged pacifier or thumb use, or need help kicking a thumb habit!
Contact Providence Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you and your child!