What is Restorative Dentistry?
Restorative dentistry is the prevention and treatment of diseases of the teeth to restore or bring them back to their best health. Restorative dentistry also includes the repair or replacement of damaged or defective teeth.
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What are the most common pediatric restorative procedures?
Important procedures of restorative dentistry used for kids
- 1Composite Fillings (White fillings) – Composite fillings are primarily made up of resin. They are tooth-colored restorations and therefore give your teeth their natural color and look. Fillings are used to fill cavities in children’s teeth. These are however the small ones; the larger ones need other restorations like a stainless steel crown. In adults however, cavities are always resolved with fillings – the composite fillings that is.
- 2Stainless Steel Crowns - Crowns or the stainless steel crowns as they are popularly referred to as, provide full coverage to the tooth thus protecting it from any further decay. The only drawback of stainless steel crowns are their aesthetic appearance, as some parent object to their silver appearance. But as far as longevity and durability is concerned, stainless steel crowns are way too superior!
- 3Pulpotomy, or treatment of the nerve - A pulpotomy, or nerve treatment, is done when there is a large amount of decay (such as a deep cavity), when there is pain from an infected tooth, or when the decay is very close to touching the pulp, or nerve of the tooth. If not treated properly and promptly, your child could develop a serious infection or lose the tooth. A special drill is used to clean out the cavity and the top part of the nerve. The pulp is then sterilized, and medicine is put over the empty space to control bleeding. The entire nerve or a part of it may be removed, depending upon the amount of decay. Stainless steel will be fitted over the remaining part of the tooth. The crown will be placed over the tooth at the same appointment.
- 4Anterior Esthetic Crowns - An anterior esthetic crown is a white crown used to restore a damaged anterior tooth. Anterior esthetic crowns are composed of resin composite or zirconium. These crowns restore your child’s natural smile without compromising esthetics.
- 5Extractions (removing teeth) - A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth. A child might need an extraction for several reasons. An extraction might be needed if your child has a severe infection or a very large cavity. Extractions may also be done if your child has spacing problems, such as crowding, or if space needs to be made for orthodontics (braces).
FAQs concerning children’s Restorative methods:
How long will the composite fillings last if my child gets it done?
Composite fillings do not last as long as they do on the permanent teeth of adults. Therefore, if large cavities exist, placing a crown is the wiser decision.
Does my baby need a crown or a filling?
If the cavity in your baby’s teeth is too large such that an amalgam filling will not be enough to seal it, the crown is recommended. Moreover, if your child is prone to too much of cavities, a stainless steel crown would provide you with a longer and better solution.
Are there other restorative methods for children?
No. Although restorative dentistry includes important elements like bridges, dentures and implants, these are not applicable to children’s teeth for obvious reasons. Considering their age where they possess temporary teeth mostly, other procedures are futile and hence not recommended.
So if you are dreading the possibility of cavities appearing on your baby’s teeth or if the child is inherently prone to this, then start early: consult your pediatric dentist and go for the restorative treatments as early as possible. The earlier you start the lesser are the threats to your baby’s teeth!
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