How We Treat Your Child’s Cavities
Children have a high risk of tooth decay and lack of treatment for a cavity could lead to infection and even or premature tooth loss. But we can provide restorative dentistry to help kids avoid painful symptoms and missing teeth. In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX, pediatric dentist talks about how we treat cavities.
The Causes of Tooth Decay
A cavity occurs when the outer enamel is compromised, as this protective layer typically safeguards the teeth. Plaque buildup could weaken and erode the enamel, and could be brought on by poor brushing and flossing habits and a diet high in sugar and starch. Injury to the teeth and teeth grinding could also lead to damaged smiles and a higher risk of tooth decay. As part of your child’s treatment, our team will conduct a detailed diagnosis with digital x-rays to assess the cause and extent of the decay, so we can offer treatment with the right restoration.
When to See Our Team
If your child reports tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking, or a persistent toothache that lasts for more than a day, then consider scheduling a consultation. This discomfort could mean the decay has reached a more advanced stage and lack of treatment could lead to infection. An infected tooth then means the risk of premature tooth loss and misalignment isn’t far behind. If you attend routine checkup visits every six months, then we can likely identify cavities in the earliest stages of demineralization. Which means we can treat the issue before your little one experiences discomfort.
The most common method for treating a cavity is by placing a dental filling. We don’t use metal fillings, as these could be problematic for children. Instead, we use a composite resin that is safe for all ages. The material combines glass-like and acrylic-like particles, which we can shaded to blend with your smile and offer a more attractive appearance. Placement is simple. Our team will numb the tooth and then remove all decay. We clean the tooth and apply the filling material, which we shade to blend with your child’s smile. We then cure the composite resin with a special light, sculpting the tooth as we do. The last step is to polish the tooth for a brighter appearance and a smoother surface. The whole process takes only one visit!
Our Dental Crowns
What if the decay has reached a more advanced stage, too much to be treated with a filling alone? In this stage, our team could offer care with a dental crown, which covers the entire tooth and helps prevent the onset of an infection. We could use stainless steel for the side and rear teeth, which endure greater bite forces and pressures. Our NuSmile zirconia crowns are white and reserved for the more visible front teeth.
What if a tooth becomes infected? At this stage, you need more than a restoration. Our team can provide a root canal alternative known as a pulpotomy. We will numb the area being treated, and also discuss sedation so your child enters a calm and relaxed state. We then open the tooth and remove portions of the inner tissues, before we add a medicated filling. For some kids, we may need to cap the tooth afterward with a dental crown. The procedure helps prevent the tooth from being lost, and many find it comparable to receiving a filling.
We could also offer care to help you avoid the onset of a cavity! During each checkup visit, we could apply a fluoride gel to the teeth to strengthen outer enamel and prevent the onset of cavities. We also suggest kids use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste when they brush for this reason. Our team could also use dental sealants to coat the rear teeth, which are hard for kids to reach when they brush and floss. The sealants prevent food and drink particles from being trapped between these teeth, so the risk of cavities lowers significantly. The sealants then stay in place for up to ten years, and wear away gradually on their own.
If you have any questions about how our team diagnoses and treats cavities in your child’s smile, then contact our team today to learn more.
Speak With Your Dallas, TX, Pediatric Dentist About Cavity Treatment
If you would like to help your kids avoid cavities, or to schedule an appointment for a restoration treatment option, we invite you to contact your Dallas, TX pediatric dentist, Dr. Marr, by calling (214) 321-4880.
filed under: Children's Dental Services