Baby teeth or “primary teeth” are vital to your child’s overall growth, development and health. They are not only important for eating, speaking, and appearance they also act as space holders for the developing adult teeth. If they are not looked after, cavities can result. Cavities can cause pain, infections, swelling and damage to the adult teeth.
What is a Cavity?
A cavity is a hole that occurs on the tooth. We all have bacteria present in our mouths. When these bacteria eat sugars and other foods they produce acid. This acid can cause holes in the teeth to form. It is best to catch cavities early, when they are small, as they are much easier and less expensive to treat. It is also easier on your child.
At Atlantis Children’s Dentistry, we make it our goal to keep your child’s smile healthy, which means preventing cavities from developing and treating them early if they do develop.
A Sealant is a protective coating applied to the back adult molars. This coating prevents cavities from forming on the back adult molars. This procedure is straight-forward, safe and non-invasive.
A cavity that is deep may affect the nerve. If this is the case, it could mean that your child will need a form of nerve treatment in order to treat the source of the problem. This is very common in children’s dentistry and is a painless, straight-forward procedure.
This form of treatment may involve:
Pulpotomy: Partial nerve treatment to preserve the tooth and keep the nerve alive.
Root Canal Treatment: Removal of the tooth’s nerve, disinfection, and filling of the root.
Sometimes a tooth cannot be fixed or becomes infected. In cases such as these we may recommend removing the tooth to limit damage.
A filling is material that is used to fill a cavity once all if the tooth decay has been removed. At Atlantis Children’s Dentistry we only use tooth coloured filling materials (composite resins and glass ionomers). Some smaller cavities can be filled without using local anesthetic (freezing).
A cavity that is large, deep or that has an affect on multiple surfaces of the tooth may require a crown to go around the tooth. This crown is very different to a crown that would be placed on a permanent tooth.
These crowns are quick to place and are done in one visit. The location of the tooth will define the type of crown that will be used. In most cases, especially those involving back teeth, stainless steel crowns (metal) are used. Our practice offers a non-metal alternative. For more information on non-metal, white crowns, please click here.
When a baby molar (back tooth) is lost early due to a cavity, infection, or an accident, a space maintainer can be used to hold the space until the adult teeth are ready to erupt, preventing the remaining teeth from shifting. Common space maintainers include band-and-loop, transpalatal arch, nance and lingual arch.