Beyond providing dental checkups and cleaning along with preventive care, Whittington Pediatric Dentistry offers a number of services that can increase oral function and improve oral health while accommodating the needs of a developing child. Common procedures provided by our team including the placement of restorations, pulpotomies, tooth extractions, and the placement of space maintainers.
Even baby teeth need restorations. Both baby teeth and adult teeth are susceptible to disease and damage. When teeth become damaged, they must be restored because a tooth cannot generate new tissue to heal. If a damaged tooth is not restored with something like a filling or crown, its weakened structure means that the internal parts of the tooth can become infected and its external structure can break down.
Fillings are small, conservative restorations used to address minor cavities. These restorations are placed same-day and can be made from different materials. We use composite resin fillings rather than amalgam fillings. Composite resin fillings are ideal because they are tooth-colored and typically require less tooth preparation (removal) for their placement.
More extensive restorations may require a dental crown. A crown is like a cap that is precisely designed to fit over the entire tooth above the gums. This restoration is useful when a tooth is badly affected by tooth decay or dental trauma but still salvageable. Both baby teeth and adult teeth might require crowns. When a crown is placed, it restores the damaged tooth to its proper size and shape so that the occlusion is supported. Crowns are made for durability from stainless steel or Zirconia, for a natural looking alternative.
A pulpotomy is an endodontic procedure. When a tooth is severely diseased or injured, an infection may develop within the root canal. The root canal contains nerve endings and dental pulp. Dental pulp has vital cellular material and when infected, the tooth can die. To prevent this from happening, a pulpotomy is performed to save a tooth and restore oral function. By removing the top section of infected dental pulp, a patient can retain his or her biological tooth and some of its important cellular material. The area where the pulp was removed is then sealed to prevent damage to the rest of the contents of the root canal. A pulpotomy is beneficial because whenever a biological tooth can be saved it is best for one’s oral health.
When teeth cannot be saved with endodontic treatment or when baby teeth fail to fall out fast enough to accommodate emerging adult teeth, a tooth extraction might be necessary. An extraction is a minor surgical procedure where the entire tooth, including its roots, is removed from the mouth. Removing diseased teeth can prevent the development of painful abscesses and prevent damage to the developing, neighboring permanent teeth. When baby teeth are removed to accommodate adult teeth, it can prevent orthodontic problems and stop adult teeth from becoming impacted (stuck) in the jaw and gums.
After a baby tooth is extracted, fixed space maintainers keep the adjacent teeth in the correct position. This helps facilitate the arrival of the new adult tooth. Their purpose is simply to prevent the neighboring teeth from shifting into the empty tooth socket after a baby tooth is lost or extracted. A space maintainer is custom made to fit perfectly between teeth so that it won’t disrupt your child’s normal, oral function.
When performing any type of procedure, our team strives to create a serene, comfortable, and welcoming atmosphere for our patients. We utilize local anesthetics and sometimes sedation to ensure that our young guests are at ease and without discomfort.