Primary (baby) teeth are much weaker than their adult counterparts. If your child has decay or enamel damage, our goal is to prevent the infection from causing complications to their surrounding smile. Additionally, if decay has impacted their permanent (adult) teeth, Dr. Joyce will want to intervene before the cavity spreads elsewhere or creates an abscess.
Depending on the needs of your child and the tooth under consideration, we may recommend one or more of the following restorative/therapeutic treatments to maintain optimal oral health:
Whether your child’s missing tooth structure is caused by dental decay or trauma, our office uses only amalgam-free and BPA-free tooth-colored filling materials to restore the affected area and maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.
Tooth-colored and Stainless Steel Crowns
When a tooth’s structure is significantly weakened, dental crowns will better strengthen the tooth and give it an appealing look. Dental crowns are also often utilized to treat tooth discoloration, breakage, large decay, and poorly shaped teeth.
Hall Technique is a minimally invasive restorative option for primary teeth with severe decay and/or hypomineralization without numbing, deep sedation, and with little to no tooth structure removal. It is an evidence-based procedure with clinical efficacy equivalent to the conventional surgical approach to stainless steel crown (SSC) placement. Sealing the lesions allows the vital pulp to produce reparative dentin and wall itself off from the carious lesion. The procedure is well tolerated by most pediatric patients and is an excellent alternative to the more invasive surgical approach.
Silver Diamine Fluoride
Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is technically not a restorative treatment – it is a cavity-fighting antimicrobial liquid that is used to treat dental cavities in a quick, non-invasive, affordable, and painless manner. Since its clearance by the FDA in 2014, SDF has become a safe alternative to a traditional filling that requires local anesthetic administration and removal of tooth structure for many patients with dental caries. This treatment option is great for young, fearful or pre-cooperative children and patients with special healthcare needs who may otherwise require sedation for traditional dental restorations such as fillings or crowns. The significant side effect of SDF treatment is tooth discoloration-- while healthy tooth surfaces remain undisturbed, tooth decay turns dark/black after application. In fact, we look for his discoloration during follow-up appointments to know that the medication was effective.
Resin Infiltration (White Spot Treatment)
ICON Resin infiltration is a minimally-invasive restorative treatment. It is ideal for white spot lesions and certain congenital hypocalcified enamel lesions. white spot lesions are a sign of early dental caries—they are subsurface enamel porosities resulting from inadequate oral hygiene and associated plaque, bacteria and acids. Hypocalcified lesions, or enamel bruising, are congenital enamel defects often caused by trauma or infection involving the primary teeth.
Traditionally, the treatment options of these lesions are limited to fillings, crowns or veneers. Resin infiltration is a relatively new treatment choice which is much less invasive and less expensive than the aforementioned traditional treatment modalities. With resin infiltration, the tooth structure becomes strengthened and it therefore slows down the disease progression of cavitation.Often times, we also see an improvement in esthetic appearance of these lesions after treatment. Infiltration can also be done sooner than other cosmetic options like veneers that a child has to wait until growth is complete. Additionally, decalcified or hypocalcified spots treated with Icon will whiten similarly to the natural tooth enamel when treated with over-the-counter or clinical whitening products.
Which Treatment is Best for My Child?
If you would like to discuss more about these treatment procedures or what might be the best treatment options for your child, please contact us to reserve an appointment. Our Belmont pediatric dentist is always happy to answer your questions!
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