The Importance of Fixing Baby Teeth
In this article you will learn about the importance of caring for your child’s baby teeth, why you need to kep baby teen in heathly condition, the types of treatment offered at Young Dentistry for Children, and the different types of restorations that are available.
The Critical Functions Of Baby (Primary) Teeth:
- Allow proper chewing of food for adequate nutrition
- Prepare the way for the adult teeth by maintaining space in the mouth
- Contribute to the normal jaw and facial development
Why Do We Need To Fix Baby Teeth?
The baby molars (8 total) and the baby canines (4 total) are not shed from the mouth until approximately 10-12 years old. In general, the standard is to restore a baby tooth if it is expected to be in the mouth for at least one more year. Fixing the tooth helps reduce the risk of pain and infection, which can damage the permanent tooth that is developing in the jaw at the base of the baby tooth roots.
Types of Treatment
Depending on the child’s age, level of cooperation and extent of needed dental treatment, there are different treatment approaches to help create a positive experience for the child where the dental work can is completed safely. The most routine technique is to restore the teeth in the office utilizing local anesthetic and nitrous oxide and oxygen (“laughing gas”). For pre-cooperative children or those with more extensive needs, treatment using general anesthesia in a hospital surgical center, with an anesthesiologist, is usually recommended. In those cases, all the dental work is completed at once, while the child is asleep. Your dentist will review indications, risk/benefit, and other treatment alternatives when devising a treatment plan.
Types of Restorations
- White (composite) fillings
- White or stainless steel (silver) crowns (esthetic white crowns are placed on front teeth when needed).
- Extractions (removal) of infected or non-restorable teeth, often accompanied by a space maintainer to preserve the space for the permanent tooth.
- Other less invasive techniques, such as Interim Therapeutic Restorations and Silver Diamine Fluoride, are sometimes alternatives for temporary treatment until a child can tolerate treatment in the office. Your dentist can review the risk/benefit of such options.