Salem Pediatric Restorative Dentistry
White filings, crowns, extractions, root canals, etc.
Even with careful home hygiene, Salem restorative dental services are sometimes needed. Restorative dentistry treatments repair damage to teeth, restoring strength, function, and usually appearance. Restorative services include fillings, pulp treatment, and dental crowns. On occasions when a tooth cannot be saved, extractions may be necessary to restore oral health. If it is your child’s first time receiving restorative dental treatment with us, we always try our best to go over the procedure with them and answer any and all questions they may have or us!
NOTE: Especially for young kids, restorative work can sometimes be overwhelming and scary. Our team will always make our best effort to comfort every patient who is expressing nerves and/or anxiety leading up to treatment. We highly recommend taking advantage of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation to ensure the highest level of comfort for our patients, especially those under the age of 6. Click here to read more about nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation for kids and adults!
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)
Silver diamine fluoride, otherwise referred to as SDF, is an antimicrobial type of fluoride used in restorative dentistry to help slow the progress of existing decay on the teeth. It is applied topically to the tooth to treat mild levels of decay in a non-invasive, fast, and painless manner. Though a very helpful tool in the pediatric dental office, SDF cannot replace traditional restorative treatment such as fillings. It is usually used on pre-cooperative patients who may not be able to sit through more extensive restorative treatment. In other words, SDF buys time for the tooth by slowing the rate of decay until conditions are right for further restorative treatment.
Composite (White) Tooth Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings are the most lifelike material used to fill cavities and can be done in one visit. Once decay is removed, composite material is used to fill the area. This material then hardens immediately after placement allowing for minimal eating restrictions immediately after treatment. Fillings are an easy and common procedure to restore teeth that have mild/moderate levels of decay.
Stainless Steel Crowns
A durable restoration applied to primary/baby teeth that have been deeply decayed, often after the tooth undergoes a pulpotomy/pulp therapy. This provides protection for the tooth and maintains a child’s dentition as he or she develops permanent teeth. Crowns may be made of stainless steel, or other materials such as zirconia, as needed. Click here to check out our Instagram post about stainless steel crowns for kids!
Pulpotomy/Baby Root Canal
The pulp lies at the core of the tooth and contains blood vessels, connective tissue, and cells. Pulp therapy exists to maintain the life of a child’s tooth, often severely damaged by caries/cavities, or traumatic dental injury. The diseased pulp is removed from either the crown portion or entire tooth down into the root canal. A bacteria-preventing and tissue-calming agent is placed in the tooth, then it is often restored with a stainless steel crown. Baby root canals are used to treat and restore teeth that have moderate/severe levels of decay.
A tooth that cannot be saved using restorative materials may need to be removed. The area will first be numbed with local anesthesia, then the tooth is wiggled using dental instruments. Once the tooth is loosened from the socket, it is removed. In the case that a baby tooth is in need of an extraction, we will gladly send you home with your tooth in a box prepared for the tooth fairy at your request.
Progression of Untreated Decay
Below is an example of how a small cavity that could have been treated with just a filling can progress over the years to a larger cavity in need of a baby root canal if not an extraction. It is very important if you or your children are in need of restorative dental work that you make an appointment as soon as possible and DO NOT WAIT for treatment.