Fillings and Crowns
Restoring Your Child's Smile: Dental Filling Choices
Advances in modern dental materials and techniques have provided new ways to create more pleasing, natural-looking smiles. As a result, dentists and patients have several choices when it comes to selecting materials used to repair decayed, worn, or damaged teeth. Traditional dental restoratives include silver amalgam and composite. The strength and durability of traditional dental materials continue to make them useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, such as in the back of the mouth. Newer dental restoratives include plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are often used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important. They can be used on the back teeth as well depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay. Composite resins are usually more costly than the amalgam fillings. Another popular restorative option for children’s teeth are stainless steel crowns. A stainless steel crown is used to cover a tooth and restores it to its normal shape and size. It can make a tooth stronger and more durable. It can cover and support a tooth that has root canal treatment or has a large filling. Stainless steel crowns can be prepared and inserted in the mouth in one visit.
What's right for my child?
Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity and expense of dental restorations. These factors include the filling material, the amount of health tooth structure, where and how the filling is placed and the forces that the tooth will have to bear during chewing.
With so many choices, how do you know what's right for your child?
The ultimate decision about what type of restoration to use is best determined by the pediatric dentist in consultation with the parent. Before treatment begins, we will discuss the treatment options with you.
Root Canal (Endodontic) Treatment
The type of pulp treatment your child might need depends on the extent of the decay and the presence of any infection in the surrounding structures. The goal of pulp treatment is to eliminate decay, bacteria and infection from the pulp, which includes the blood vessels and nerve tissue within the tooth.
Pulpotomy is the treatment of the crown portion of the pulp. Nerve tissue and blood vessels inside the tooth are removed leaving the unaffected root portion of the nerve intact. A successful pulpotomy relieves pain and discomfort and prevents any infection from spreading to the healthy part of the tooth.
Pulpectomy (or root canal therapy) is the complete removal of pulp tissue leaving no residual tissue. This is indicated when the nerve tissue is completely dead.
Following the placement of a suitable medicament, teeth that have undergone pulp treatment are restored with a long-lasting material such as a stainless steel crown.