Pediatric Dental Care & Services
RESTORATIVE CARE & SERVICES
Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During dental bonding, a white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance.
The filling “bonds” with your teeth. Because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades, it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.
Tooth bonding can also be used for fillings instead of amalgam. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than silver amalgam. Bonding can be used on front or back teeth, depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.
Bonding is typically less invasive than other cosmetic treatments and usually can be completed during one visit to our office. However, it can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, let us know. The bonding can generally be easily patched or repaired in one visit.
Traditional dental restoratives, or fillings, may include gold, porcelain, and composite. The strength and durability of traditional dental materials continue to make them useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, such as in the back of the mouth.
Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, as well as on the back teeth, depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay.
WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOUR CHILD?
Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity and expense of dental restorations, including:
- The components used in the filling material
- The amount of remaining tooth structure
- Where and how the filling is placed
- The chewing load that the tooth will have to bear
- The length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth
Before your child’s treatment begins, Dr. Al will discuss all options and help you choose the best filling for your son or daughter’s particular case. It may be helpful to understand the two basic types of dental fillings: direct and indirect.
- Direct fillings are placed immediately into a prepared cavity in a single visit. They include glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings. Dr. Al prepares the tooth, places the filling, and adjusts it during just one appointment.
- Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits and are rarely done on pediatric patients.
Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or partially destroyed by tooth decay.
Crowns are “cemented” onto an existing tooth. They fully cover the portion of the tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface.
Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength to hold a filling. Unlike fillings, which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth.
Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression, which enables a dental laboratory technician to examine all facets of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is sculpted just for you so your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
If your child’s primary tooth has extensive decay, or been damaged by trauma, action may be needed to restore the integrity of the tooth and prevent infection from spreading to surrounding teeth. After a set of X-rays are taken, Dr. Al will be able to assess the extent of the infection and may recommend and discuss options for pulpal therapeutics.
There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes, a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt.
Other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth may also require removal of a tooth.
If it is determined that your son or daughter’s tooth needs to be removed, Dr. Al may “wiggle” it during a regular checkup or schedule another visit for the procedure. Although this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with us any concerns or preferences for sedation; we want to make sure your youngster is as comfortable as possible.
THE DAY AFTER YOUR CHILD’S EXTRACTION
- No drinking with straws
- No vigorous rinsing and spitting
- A soft diet is recommended: avoid eating popcorn, pretzels, pizza, crackers, or any food with sharp edges.
- If your little one has any discomfort, we may recommend an OTC children’s analgesic medication
- If your child experiences swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag and call our office.