What Happens When Children Need Restorative Procedures?

What Happens When Children Need Restorative Procedures

What happens when your child has a cavity?

What happens when a tooth gets broken?

Why is it important to see the dentist when anything happens to your child's teeth?

These are questions that parents may encounter as their children grow. Most parents know about the importance of daily maintenance and are taking good care of their children's oral health routines: brushing twice daily, flossing at least once a day, and, of course, seeing the dentist every six months for regular check-ups.

But what if the day-to-day maintenance isn't enough? What do you do if your child gets a tooth chipped when playing or munching on something hard? What if, no matter how hard you try to prevent it, they get a cavity? What if they get an abscessed tooth that needs to be removed?

We hope these things don't happen, but sometimes they do. Let's discuss what we may suggest and how we can help in these situations.

Conservative Treatment

At Jungle Roots, we take a conservative approach to treatment, preferring to focus on prevention and education. For minor damage or early in the decay process, we may be able to wait and watch. Sometimes though, cavities or damage do need treatment to restore the tooth, and this is called restorative treatment.

For example, what if your toddler chips part of their tooth from a fall or because they decided to chew on a rock? Or, what if an older child has a sport-related injury that causes a broken tooth? What happens when a cavity is discovered at a routine exam?

In these scenarios, the dentist will assess the nature of the damage and where it is located in the mouth. If the root is not affected, there is just a small amount of damage to the enamel, and your child is at an age when the tooth may be falling out soon to allow an adult tooth to erupt, Dr. Culp may decide to wait and watch the tooth.

However, if the damage (or a cavity) needs treatment to prevent further damage and restore the tooth’s function, we will recommend one of the following types of restorative treatment.

What is a Restorative Procedure in Dentistry?

At Jungle Roots, three procedures are most commonly done to restore your child's damaged teeth, whether the damage is from a cavity or trauma: filling, mini-root canal/crown, or extraction. The choice depends on how much damage there is to the tooth, as any restorative procedure needs to restore the function and appearance of the tooth and keep the restoration reliable for years. Our team will discuss the procedures with you and recommend the right one for your child.

When treating cavities, the most important thing is to be sure that ALL of the decay is removed. So, treatment will depend on how big the cavity is and how far the bacteria has made it through the tooth.
Restorative Dental Procedures for Children

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Fillings are used when all the decay can be removed without exposing any pulp (which holds the nerves and blood vessels in the tooth), and there is also enough healthy tooth structure remaining. Fillings restore the tooth's structure and allow it to function as it should.

  • The dentist will numb your child's tooth so they do not feel anything during the procedure.
  • The dentist must first remove ALL of the decay caused by the bacteria. If not all of it is removed, it can cause further damage.
  • Next, they check to verify that there is no exposed nerve and that there is enough healthy tooth to be repaired.
  • Then, we will fill in the hole left with tooth-colored filling material. These are safe substances and are an effective way of replacing the removed decay.

Mini-Root Canal (Pulpotomy) and Crown

If the tooth's pulp is affected because a cavity has reached the pulp at the inner core of the tooth, or the pulp is exposed due to trauma, your child may need a mini-root canal and crown.

  • The dentist will numb your child's
  • Next, they will remove any decay and the damaged part of the pulp and treat the affected nerve tissue.
  • Often there is not very much healthy tooth structure left, so a crown is applied over the remaining part of the repaired tooth to protect it and allow it to function properly.

You may wonder why such a meticulous procedure would be necessary for a baby tooth, but saving the baby tooth can prevent other issues until the adult teeth are ready to erupt and grow.

Extraction (Tooth Removal) and Spacer Placed

If your child's tooth is severely damaged, it may not be able to be saved. Sometimes, bacteria gets into the nerve of the tooth, causing the pulp to die and the tooth to be infected. In this case, the dentist may need to extract (pull out) the tooth. If it will be a while until the adult tooth erupts, a space maintainer (spacer) is put in its place. Occasionally teeth are extracted for orthodontic reasons. Learn more about this and spacers HERE.

  • We will numb the area and extract the tooth. Our team is experienced in this procedure and it is nearly always a smooth and easy process!
  • Removing a primary (baby) tooth usually requires replacing the space where the tooth was with something so that the adult tooth has room to erupt through the gums and grow. (This can help avoid preventable orthodontic complications.) We use something called a spacer that is easily removed by our team when it is time. Later, when the adult tooth is ready to erupt, we will remove the spacer and the adult tooth will have the room it needs to grow in.

Helping Kids Feel Safe and Calm

When any restorative dental procedure is necessary, it can leave you and your child with many concerns. Our staff at Jungle Roots is happy to answer any of your questions and help you feel comfortable that the method chosen is the right one for your child.

Our compassionate team is trained in calming techniques to lessen your child's anxiety during any procedure at our office, helping them feel safe and comfortable.

We may offer different forms of sedation if they would benefit your child during any procedure. We are fortunate to have Dr. Jason Brady, a world-recognized unconscious sedation specialist, working with us. His extensive knowledge of and experience using this technique, combined with his bedside manner, make him a great doctor to have if sedation is needed.

We are privileged to walk your children through any dental care they receive, from routine exams and cleanings to restorative procedures and orthodontic services. We wish that every child could experience a dental home where they feel safe and comfortable - and even leave feeling happy! It is our privilege to offer this to even our littlest patients and help set all children who visit us on the path to a lifetime of optimal dental health!

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What Happens When Children Need Restorative Procedures

What happens when your child has a cavity?

What happens when a tooth gets broken?

Why is it important to see the dentist when anything happens to your child's teeth?

These are questions that parents may encounter as their children grow. Most parents know about the importance of daily maintenance and are taking good care of their children's oral health routines: brushing twice daily, flossing at least once a day, and, of course, seeing the dentist every six months for regular check-ups.

But what if the day-to-day maintenance isn't enough? What do you do if your child gets a tooth chipped when playing or munching on something hard? What if, no matter how hard you try to prevent it, they get a cavity? What if they get an abscessed tooth that needs to be removed?

We hope these things don't happen, but sometimes they do. Let's discuss what we may suggest and how we can help in these situations.

Conservative Treatment

At Jungle Roots, we take a conservative approach to treatment, preferring to focus on prevention and education. For minor damage or early in the decay process, we may be able to wait and watch. Sometimes though, cavities or damage do need treatment to restore the tooth, and this is called restorative treatment.

For example, what if your toddler chips part of their tooth from a fall or because they decided to chew on a rock? Or, what if an older child has a sport-related injury that causes a broken tooth? What happens when a cavity is discovered at a routine exam?

In these scenarios, the dentist will assess the nature of the damage and where it is located in the mouth. If the root is not affected, there is just a small amount of damage to the enamel, and your child is at an age when the tooth may be falling out soon to allow an adult tooth to erupt, Dr. Culp may decide to wait and watch the tooth.

However, if the damage (or a cavity) needs treatment to prevent further damage and restore the tooth’s function, we will recommend one of the following types of restorative treatment.

What is a Restorative Procedure in Dentistry?

At Jungle Roots, three procedures are most commonly done to restore your child's damaged teeth, whether the damage is from a cavity or trauma: filling, mini-root canal/crown, or extraction. The choice depends on how much damage there is to the tooth, as any restorative procedure needs to restore the function and appearance of the tooth and keep the restoration reliable for years. Our team will discuss the procedures with you and recommend the right one for your child.

When treating cavities, the most important thing is to be sure that ALL of the decay is removed. So, treatment will depend on how big the cavity is and how far the bacteria has made it through the tooth.
Restorative Dental Procedures for Children

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Fillings are used when all the decay can be removed without exposing any pulp (which holds the nerves and blood vessels in the tooth), and there is also enough healthy tooth structure remaining. Fillings restore the tooth's structure and allow it to function as it should.

  • The dentist will numb your child's tooth so they do not feel anything during the procedure.
  • The dentist must first remove ALL of the decay caused by the bacteria. If not all of it is removed, it can cause further damage.
  • Next, they check to verify that there is no exposed nerve and that there is enough healthy tooth to be repaired.
  • Then, we will fill in the hole left with tooth-colored filling material. These are safe substances and are an effective way of replacing the removed decay.

Mini-Root Canal (Pulpotomy) and Crown

If the tooth's pulp is affected because a cavity has reached the pulp at the inner core of the tooth, or the pulp is exposed due to trauma, your child may need a mini-root canal and crown.

  • The dentist will numb your child's
  • Next, they will remove any decay and the damaged part of the pulp and treat the affected nerve tissue.
  • Often there is not very much healthy tooth structure left, so a crown is applied over the remaining part of the repaired tooth to protect it and allow it to function properly.

You may wonder why such a meticulous procedure would be necessary for a baby tooth, but saving the baby tooth can prevent other issues until the adult teeth are ready to erupt and grow.

Extraction (Tooth Removal) and Spacer Placed

If your child's tooth is severely damaged, it may not be able to be saved. Sometimes, bacteria gets into the nerve of the tooth, causing the pulp to die and the tooth to be infected. In this case, the dentist may need to extract (pull out) the tooth. If it will be a while until the adult tooth erupts, a space maintainer (spacer) is put in its place. Occasionally teeth are extracted for orthodontic reasons. Learn more about this and spacers HERE.

  • We will numb the area and extract the tooth. Our team is experienced in this procedure and it is nearly always a smooth and easy process!
  • Removing a primary (baby) tooth usually requires replacing the space where the tooth was with something so that the adult tooth has room to erupt through the gums and grow. (This can help avoid preventable orthodontic complications.) We use something called a spacer that is easily removed by our team when it is time. Later, when the adult tooth is ready to erupt, we will remove the spacer and the adult tooth will have the room it needs to grow in.

Helping Kids Feel Safe and Calm

When any restorative dental procedure is necessary, it can leave you and your child with many concerns. Our staff at Jungle Roots is happy to answer any of your questions and help you feel comfortable that the method chosen is the right one for your child.

Our compassionate team is trained in calming techniques to lessen your child's anxiety during any procedure at our office, helping them feel safe and comfortable.

We may offer different forms of sedation if they would benefit your child during any procedure. We are fortunate to have Dr. Jason Brady, a world-recognized unconscious sedation specialist, working with us. His extensive knowledge of and experience using this technique, combined with his bedside manner, make him a great doctor to have if sedation is needed.

We are privileged to walk your children through any dental care they receive, from routine exams and cleanings to restorative procedures and orthodontic services. We wish that every child could experience a dental home where they feel safe and comfortable - and even leave feeling happy! It is our privilege to offer this to even our littlest patients and help set all children who visit us on the path to a lifetime of optimal dental health!

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