Here at Sycamore Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, our goal is to prevent oral health problems from arising in your child’s smile from the very beginning. However, sometimes cavities and other issues occur — and when they come, pain and discomfort can frequently follow. Luckily, Dr. Sarah is here to properly diagnose the problem, speak with you about the best restorative treatment options, and restore your child’s smile back to health. With your child’s wellbeing in mind, we’re committed to providing the highest standard of pediatric dental care in a fun and positive environment!
Did you know that tooth decay is very common in children?
In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases. When kids develop cavities, they must be addressed, even if they are just baby teeth.
Why fix cavities in Baby Teeth? Aren’t they just going to fall out?
It’s very important to maintain your child’s oral health and to take care of baby teeth before they fall out naturally on their own. Neglected cavities that are hanging around until they “fall out” can and frequently do lead to detrimental effects to the developing permanent teeth. While the four front teeth come out around 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (canines and molars) aren’t replaced until your child reaches 10-13 years old!
Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for:
Promoting good nutrition through proper chewing and eating
Providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position
Encouraging normal development of jaw bones and muscles
Assisting in development of speech
Building self-esteem by providing a beautiful smile
Enabling your child to pay attention and learn in school without the distraction of dental pain
At Sycamore Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry
We use a comprehensive and personalized approach to address your child’s cavities and to maintain a healthy smile 😁
Our Personalized Care
- Dr. Sarah utilizes the latest minimally-invasive techniques available in restorative dentistry for children
- Our child-friendly office, behavior guidance techniques, and use of “laughing gas” when needed will help keep your child calm and comfortable before, during, and after treatment
- We offer a personalized and communicative approach, as every family and child’s needs are unique
- We keep you well-informed every step of the way while discussing all options available, presenting honest advice, and helping you make the best informed decision when it comes to your child’s oral health
We offer esthetic, BPA-free white fillings for teeth that suffer from cracks, chips, and tooth decay. This is a great option for teeth that have smaller cavities and sometimes to repair areas for esthetic reasons. Our composite fillings match the natural color of teeth, which is especially important in the esthetic zone of your child’s smile. White fillings can last longer if your child keeps up with his or her oral hygiene, implements a healthy diet, and gets regular cleanings and dental checkups every six months
When a baby tooth has extensive damage or decay, a crown may be needed to replace the missing tooth structure to keep it in place until the permanent tooth grows in. For back teeth, stainless steel crowns offer the most protection because of their strength and durability, and usually last until the baby tooth falls out. Esthetic, or tooth-colored, crowns are a great option for front teeth when the cavity is too large for a traditional filling. Tooth-colored crowns are available for back teeth, however, they do not usually last as long or perform as well as stainless steel crowns and may require a longer appointment and better cooperation for the best results
A pulpotomy, or a “baby root canal,” is not as scary as it sounds. Sometimes this procedure is needed to save baby teeth when the pulp tissue is inflamed because there is trauma or the cavity is extensive enough to cause damage to the core of the tooth. All this means is that part of the diseased pulp is removed to expose healthy tissue, replacing it with a medicine that will promote healing from within. It’s always best to save baby teeth when possible to avoid an extraction and maintain space for the permanent tooth to grown in. Don’t worry, this is much quicker and easier than a traditional adult root canal. Pulpotomies are a routine procedure and Dr. Sarah will ensure your child is comfortable throughout the process
There are times when it’s necessary to remove a tooth. This can happen when baby teeth become infected, when misshapen or long roots prevent the permanent tooth from erupting or growing in properly, or when there is severe trauma or decay. If this is the case, extractions are the best option to prevent further damage to your child’s mouth and to maintain the health of their permanent teeth and smile. In some cases, a space maintainer may be recommended to keep teeth from shifting and to save space for the permanent tooth to grow in. Don’t worry, most baby tooth extractions are simple and easy compared to their adult counterparts. Dr. Sarah will go over all the steps involved and make sure your child is completely numb and comfortable for the procedure
If a baby tooth comes out too soon due to an accident or tooth decay, problems may occur. The neighboring teeth may crowd out the space where the permanent tooth should come in or cause the tooth to come in the wrong place. A space maintainer may be recommended to reduce the risk of these problems. This is especially true if a baby molar is extracted at an early age. In some cases, a space maintainer may not be necessary, especially for the front four teeth or if the permanent tooth is ready to come in. Dr. Sarah will discuss what the best options are if your child’s baby tooth falls out too soon
Silver Modified Atraumatic Restorative Technique (SMART) features the use of Silver Diamine Fluoride. This is a great option for kids who are either too young or unable to handle traditional fillings due to poor cooperation. It can also be used for teeth with hypersensitivity to desensitize the area. Lastly, it is a great tool to avoid or delay heavier sedation methods, like general anesthesia. This technique allows us to halt tooth decay with the use of Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF). SDF uses a special blend of compounds, including silver and fluoride, to destroy bacteria in a cavity and help slow down and even stop its progression. This treatment is non-invasive and can be performed relatively quickly and painlessly. In most cases, a filling or crown may be placed on top at a separate appointment, once Dr. Sarah can confirm it has done its job. Where was this stuff when we were kids?