At Desert Kids Dentistry, we offer a variety of restorative options and materials. Decayed areas are often referred to as cavities because they create a hole or “cavity” in the tooth. If left untreated, cavities can cause pain or infection. It is important to restore baby teeth as large amounts of bacteria can cause decay in adult teeth. If a baby tooth is lost too early it can affect the way permanent teeth come in causing a need for orthodontics. There are multiple options to restore teeth to prevent future complications due to decay.
Fillings are done at Desert Kids Dentistry to restore mild to moderate decay. Tooth colored fillings are used as they require less drilling, don’t contain any mercury, and mimic the natural appearance of the tooth. If larger decay is present a filling may not be sufficient. In this circumstance, a crown may be indicated. A crown covers the entire visible portion of the tooth and protects it from fracture and future decay. It restores the size and shape of the tooth and is strong and durable. At Desert Kids Dentistry, we use both white and silver crowns and we will discuss the benefits to each. Sometimes if the decay is very deep and close to the nerve or pulp then a pulpotomy (baby tooth root canal) may be indicated. Unlike an adult tooth root canal, only a portion of the nerve is removed and is a much easier process than a traditional root canal. A tooth with a pulpotomy usually needs a crown over it to maintain the form and function of the tooth.
If the tooth is infected or too badly decayed to be restored, an extraction is indicated. Often times to prevent future space loss a space maintainer is needed. A space maintainer can be thought of as cemented on retainer. It doesn’t move teeth like orthodontics but rather prevents teeth from moving into the space created by the extracted tooth. This allows the permanent tooth to erupt in the same place it would if the baby tooth was still there and not be “crowded out”.