Dental sealants are materials which are used to protect children's teeth from cavities. Teeth brushing and flossing may not be sufficient to clean up the groves and fissures of the biting surfaces of molar teeth in a child. Dental sealants are air-tight plastic shields which are flown into teeth surface to protect them from dental infection. Dentists normally perform this task during the child's routine dental visit. The pediatric dentist carefully cleans the teeth before application of sealants. With proper care parents can ensure that the child is free from toothache.
Space maintainers are used in pediatric dentistry when children loose teeth or when a decayed tooth needs to be extracted. Space maintainers are normally made of stainless steel or plastic. They are custom made by the pediatric dentist. Both removable and fixed space maintainers are available. They prevent the moving of nearby teeth towards the gap and ensure that the gap is maintained for the permanent tooth to erupt. Proper care must be taken to clean space maintainers in order to prevent accumulation of dental plaque around the soft gum tissues.
Dental fillings can help restore decayed tooth in children. Amalgam and tooth colored fillings are commonly used by pediatric dentists. The process of removing decayed part of the tooth requires local anesthetic. The dentist will carefully remove the decayed part of the enamel using drills before filling the surface. Once the decayed part is removed and the tooth is cleaned the dental filling material is carefully filled on the surface. The procedure is quite quick and painless. The dentist finally explains to parents how to protect the fillings.
The primary teeth of children should be protected when they are damaged from injury or decayed severely. The molars are the teeth which are commonly protected using dental crowns. Stainless steel is the most widely used metal crown for protection of children teeth. Placement of dental crowns in children usually happens in a single visit. Local anaesthesia is used during the process. Dental dams are used to protect teeth nearby and other areas including lips and cheeks when the decayed part is being removed by the dentist. Tooth decay is removed and the tooth is shaped to hold the crown. Finally the crown is cemented over the tooth of the child.
As a preventive method against dental decay fluoride treatment is one of the recommended procedures for children. Together with dental sealants fluoride treatment can protect children from tooth decay up to 95%. Fluoride treatment involves professional application of fluoride at the dental office. Five percent sodium fluoride varnish is one of the commonly used agents for the purpose. Apart from professional treatment, fluoridated water is also a major source which can also avoid dental caries in the young ones. Most of the cities and towns in USA use fluoridated water.
Plaque removal is absolutely necessary to prevent tooth decay in children. Research has shown that routine maintenance of oral hygiene is not sufficient to remove bacterial plaque from the oral cavity of children. Therefore a professional dental cleaning or dental prophylaxis is recommended for children. Tooth brush, rubber cup, and other mechanical instruments are used for professional dental cleaning. The dentist studies the medical history, history of caries and prevalence in the family and other local factors which can influence the accumulation of plaque when performing the professional cleaning.
When a primary tooth or premature permanent tooth is lost because of severe tooth decay the after effects are quite serious. Root canal treatment is performed when the pulp of the tooth which supplies nutrition to the tooth becomes infected. Unlike the root canal process for adults, the procedure is quite complex with children. For ex: in indirect pulp treatment only the decayed soft portion of the pulp should be carefully removed by the pediatric dentist. Since the pulp aids in growth of the child's tooth the process is quite crucial. Therefore a dentist thoroughly examines the condition of the tooth before finalizing on the type of treatment.