Restorative Treatment Options
While we at Kalamazoo Pediatric Dentistry wish we never had to restore a tooth on any of our patients (because they were all perfectly healthy), we know that life happens. Some children are more prone to developing cavities than others and some struggle with brushing and flossing. If decay is discovered at a child’s exam, we always address the issue immediately and go over the different options for treatment with you. Here are some that we may discuss.
When decay in a tooth is discovered in its earliest stages, we can use a filling to save it, rather than pull it. Depending on the tooth with the decay, Dr. Basler or Dr. van Hofwegen will use a silver filling or a composite filling, which will match the shade of your child’s tooth. To fill a tooth, the decayed matter is removed, and the filling material is packed in and cured. Depending on the location of the filling, we might not have to use a numbing agent, making the procedure quick and painless for your child.
Root Canal Therapy
We will always make every effort to save your child’s tooth in the event of serious decay or trauma. In some cases, deep cavities or cracked teeth can allow bacteria to enter the pulp tissue inside a tooth. This can lead to a serious infection.
Depending on the severity of the inflammation, the inside of a tooth can be treated partially (pulpotomy) or completely (root canal therapy).
In some cases, we can avoid a root canal treatment by treating the tooth nerve with a medication. If the permanent tooth root canal has been completely infected, then, instead of extracting the tooth, we can help you find a specialist to perform root canal therapy.
While we want to keep your child’s smile as natural as possible, there are some circumstances where we will recommend stainless steel or porcelain crowns. Possible circumstances include large fillings or when a tooth has several cavities that are spread out on different sides. Cracked and worn teeth are also great candidates for crowns. Our dentists, Dr. Basler and Dr. van Hofwegen, will always be happy to discuss all possible options, along with the advantages and limitations of them.
Crowns can improve a tooth’s shape or ensure a weakened tooth will be able to withstand normal chewing and pressure. This ensures a perfect fit for cleanliness and longevity. Crowns for children are essentially a cap that is cemented onto an existing tooth. We have all different sizes to fit your child’s individual tooth.