Are baby teeth really important?
Absolutely! Though baby teeth will eventually fall out, the front baby teeth do not start to fall out, on average, until around age 6. The last of the baby teeth will not fall out until around age 12. Your child needs their baby teeth in order to eat properly. They also need their baby teeth to help maintain the space for their permanent teeth and to help guide their permanent teeth into the proper place. Children who are experiencing pain cannot concentrate in school and can have difficulty maintaining proper nutrition.
How can I prevent my child from developing cavities?
- Bring your child for a dental check up and cleaning every six months.
- Brush your child’s teeth 2 times per day for 2 minutes and floss 1 time per day.
- Reduce your child’s intake of sweet and acidic drinks.
- Reduce your child’s intake of sugary, sticky foods.
- Dental sealants.
My child has cavities. What happens now?
A treatment plan has been proposed and reviewed with you by the dentist and staff. We recommend seeking treatment as soon as possible to prevent the cavities from progressing.
What happens if I don’t seek dental treatment?
If you choose not to seek treatment according to the plan your dentist has reviewed with you, please be aware that leaving dental decay untreated can have serious consequences. If dental decay is not treated, your child may experience one or more of the following:
- Worsening of decay, which will require more extensive treatment
- Tooth pain and sensitivity
- Inability to concentrate at school or sleep well
- Inability to chew food and eat properly
- Dental abscess (if untreated, can lead to external swelling, hospitalization, brain abscess, and death)
- Dental cleanings
- Fluoride treatment
- Digital x-rays – We follow AAPD guidelines for minimal radiation exposure
- Sealant – A dental sealant is a thin coating of paint, much like a thin filling material, which fills in the pits and grooves of the molars. This coating prevents food particles from becoming lodged in the teeth, therefore helping to prevent cavity formation. Sealant application is a quick and simple procedure which can help protect the teeth for several years.
- Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas): A very mild form of sedative that may help your child to relax during the dental procedure.
- Conscious Sedation: Oral medication which will allow for a more profound relaxation than can be obtained with nitrous oxide alone.
- Intravenous Sedation (IV): Medication is given via IV by an anesthesiologist to allow your child to be asleep for their procedure.
- General Anesthesia: Your child will be completely asleep for their procedure in the hospital setting.
- Composite (filling): A composite is a white filling material used to restore areas of dental decay. Composites are typically not recommended on large areas of decay or on primary teeth that will not fall out for several years in order to avoid re-treatment of the teeth.
- Stainless Steel Crown: A stainless steel crown, or “silver cap”, is a strong restoration that covers the entire tooth and typically lasts until the tooth falls out. Once the decay has been removed from your child’s tooth, the remaining tooth is reshaped to allow the placement of the stainless steel crown. The crown will be placed on the day of treatment and does not require a separate appointment for placement like adult crowns.
- NuSmile Crown: A NuSmile crown is a stainless steel crown with a white, plastic coating adhered to the outside to give the restoration a more natural look. Once the decay has been removed from your child’s tooth, the remaining tooth is reshaped to allow the placement of the NuSmile crown. The crown will be placed on the day of treatment and does not require a separate appointment for placement like adult crowns. NuSmile crowns require special care. See provided “NuSmile Consent” for more details.
- Zirconia Crown: Dr. Kuba is EZPEDO Zirconia Crown certified
Zirconia crowns are a completely white, natural looking crown that may be placed on any primary tooth. These crowns require a more technique-sensitive tooth preparation and therefore take more time to place than a stainless steel crown. For this reason, children who require more than 1 Zirconia crown will need to be completely asleep for their treatment. Once the decay has been removed from your child’s tooth, the remaining tooth is reshaped to allow the placement of the Zirconia crown. The crown will be placed on the day of treatment and does not require a separate appointment for placement like adult crowns. In the case that a Zirconia crown does not fit the tooth, a NuSmile crown or stainless steel crown will need to be placed. See the provided “Zirconia Consent” for details.
- Pulpotomy: A pulpotomy is a nerve treatment that is required when decay is very extensive and extends into the nerve of the tooth. Once the nerve of the tooth is accessed, the top portion of the nerve is removed and replaced with a temporizing medicine. A crown will be placed on the tooth to complete the restoration
- Indirect Pulp Cap: An indirect pulp cap is a nerve treatment used on permanent teeth with extensive decay. An indirect pulp cap is recommended for large decay on permanent teeth to help postpone root canal therapy. With an indirect pulp cap, the soft part of the decay is removed from the tooth and a layer of medicine is placed over the remaining portion of decay. Depending on the location and severity of the decay, either a composite filling or a stainless steel crown will be placed to complete the restoration. The tooth will still require root canal therapy in the future.
- Extraction: An extraction, or removal of the tooth, is required when the extent of decay is so great that the tooth can no longer be restored or if the tooth is abscessed (infected). We will send your child’s tooth home with you in a special treasure box so that it can be given to the tooth fairy!
- Space Maintainer: A space maintainer may be recommended when your child has had a back tooth removed and the permanent tooth will still not erupt for several years. The space maintainer will stay in place until the new permanent tooth begins to erupt. At that time, the space maintainer will need to be removed by your dentist to allow the new tooth to grow in properly.