Does your child have a cavity? Do they have a baby tooth that’s causing them discomfort? For these and other dental problems, we recommend that you call our team at Woodland Pediatric Dentistry. Once we have identified the problem, we can treat your child’s smile with children's restorative dentistry in East Cobb, all while making sure they stay calm and comfortable.
Dental Fillings and Restorations
Dental fillings are recommended when the cavity is relatively small, typically involving less than 1/3 of the tooth. A white filling is also called a composite filling or a resin filling. They are made up of a plastic, glass, and ceramic compound. White fillings are typically not noticeable because they are similar in color and appearance to natural teeth. White fillings are also quick and easy to place and harden in seconds. At Woodland Pediatric Dentistry, we use BPA-free composite materials.
Even with good home care and frequent visits to a pediatric dentist, children can develop large cavities at times. When this happens in baby teeth, fixing the decay requires a lot of the tooth structure to be removed. Therefore, a regular filling will not work and may even lead to a broken filling or tooth over time. Silver dental crowns or stainless-steel crowns, also known as SSCs, are typically used to restore any tooth that has a large cavity.
A dental crown will help to restore the original shape of the tooth while also helping protect it from further cavities. Dental crowns in Marietta are designed to last much longer than fillings. In the majority of cases, these stainless-steel crowns should effectively last your child until the baby tooth falls out and the permanent tooth replaces the baby tooth.
Baby Root Canal (Pulpotomy):
If a baby tooth has a deep cavity that extends near or into the nerve of the tooth, it will require some type of nerve treatment. We call this “baby root canal” or “pulpotomy” where the top portion of the nerve is removed, and a medicine is placed to protect the rest of the nerve. Once a baby tooth requires a pulpotomy, it is restored with a stainless-steel crown (SSC) to protect the remaining tooth structure.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)
Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is an antimicrobial liquid that is painted on a tooth to slow the progression of a cavity. This is a temporary noninvasive treatment option typically recommended for children who cannot yet cooperate with dental treatment or cannot undergo sedation procedures. SDF may not be effective in certain circumstances and is used at the doctor’s discretion on a case-by-case basis. The disadvantage of SDF treatment is that the liquid will turn the cavity black in color. It is important to keep in mind that SDF is only a temporary option and a final restoration may be indicated in the future. Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Sheh to determine if your child qualifies for SDF treatment in Sandy Springs.
The most common reason children need tooth extractions is to make room for new teeth! However, there are other reasons your child may need to have a tooth pulled. When a tooth is damaged beyond repair by an accident or dental decay, or if a baby tooth presents with signs of infection or abscess (pimple-like swelling next to the tooth), it will likely need to be extracted. Some children who undergo orthodontics treatment might need extractions of baby teeth to create room for developing permanent teeth.
Sometimes a primary, “baby” molar tooth may fall out early because of trauma or might need to be extracted due to abscess/infection, or insufficient space in the mouth. If the permanent tooth underneath this baby tooth is not close to eruption, a space maintainer is needed. A space maintainer is a small appliance either made chairside or fabricated by a dental lab and then placed in your child’s mouth until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt into that space. These appliances can be made for one side (unilateral) or both sides of the mouth (bilateral) depending on the circumstances. If space maintainers are placed at an early age, we might recommend removing them on a yearly basis to examine and clean the teeth underneath and recementing the spacer back. Once the permanent tooth erupts, the space maintainer will be removed at our pediatric dental office.