How Pediatric Dentists Treat Childhood Cavities

July 2, 2019 Mitten Kids Dentistry

Childhood Cavities Grand Rapids, MI Pediatric Dentists

Did you know that the number one chronic childhood disease in the United States is tooth decay? For this reason, it’s important to know how your child’s pediatric dentist treats cavities so your child can enjoy a beautiful healthy smile. If your child has a toothache, you may want to schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist in case they need a filling.

Prevent Childhood Cavities

The best way to treat childhood cavities is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Be sure to schedule a dentist appointment for your child every six months for professional teeth cleaning and dental exam. Your dentist examines your child’s teeth and takes dental x-rays to detect cavities. That way, a cavity can be caught and treated while in its early stages.

Sealants are another way to prevent childhood cavities. Sealants are a protective coating that is painted on teeth to seal them, keeping bacteria out. Our dentist might recommend dental sealants for your child at your next appointment.

READ MORE: How Do Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities? >>

Help Children Overcome Dental Fear

A fear of the dentist can be made worse when your child has a cavity. While the idea of having your tooth drilled into is never pleasant, it’s even worse for children with dental phobia. If your child has dental anxiety, you may want to ask about sedation dentistry for children.

Most Grand Rapids pediatric dentists offer nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and general anesthesia. For example, nitrous oxide (also called laughing gas) is administered through a mask over the nose. While breathing in nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen, children are relaxed, yet awake and responsive.

Treat Cavities

Pediatric dentists may use a tooth filling, pulpotomy, or dental crown to restore your child’s tooth. They will do everything in their power to save a tooth so that it doesn’t need to be extracted. Baby tooth extraction is considered a last resort after all other treatment options have been exhausted.

The premature loss of a baby tooth can cause other teeth in your child’s smile to tilt toward the open space, creating problems with bite and opening the door for future tooth loss.

1.) Tooth Filling

If your child has a small cavity, your child’s dentist will be able to repair the tooth with a dental filling. First, the dentist will drill and remove the decayed matter in the tooth. Next, your dentist will use a tooth-colored resin to fill the hole left in the tooth.

2.) Pulpotomy

Your child may need a pulpotomy when tooth decay is deep enough to irritate tooth pulp or even get inside their tooth. In this scenario, your dentist will remove the decayed tooth tissue before removing the pulp chamber inside the tooth.

In most cases, the dentist will need to place a stainless steel crown over the tooth to restore it to its natural strength. A pulpotomy is usually performed on a baby molar and is similar to a root canal except the tooth roots aren’t removed.

3.) Dental Crown

If the cavity is too big to be fixed by a filling, your dentist may recommend a dental crown. A dental crown is essentially a “tooth cap” that restores a tooth to its natural strength and appearance. First, the dentist removes the decayed tooth matter and makes sure to remove enough enamel for the crown to sit naturally on your child’s tooth.

Call Our Office Today!

Brett Kingma DDS, Grady Randall DDS, and Alex Korte DDS at Mitten Kids Dentistry are dedicated to helping children maintain healthy baby teeth. If you are interested in setting up a teeth cleaning or dental exam appointment for your child with our Grand Rapids pediatric dentists, call us at (616) 942-9840.

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