There are several common pediatric dental procedures that we provide at Canyon Ridge Pediatric Dentistry. Below is a brief description and picture of each procedure. Please feel free to ask Dr. Thomas any further questions you have about pediatric dental procedures.
Sealants are commonly recommended on the permanent molars. They are a thin coating that is placed in the groves of the biting surfaces of the teeth. They have been shown to significantly reduce the number of cavities and are a very cost-effective way to protect the teeth.
Fillings are used to treat dental cavities. Before a cavity is fixed the area is numbed by the dentist. The cavity, which is a dark, soft area in the tooth is removed with a dental drill. After the cavity is out, several medications are used to clean and prepare the surface of the tooth. The filling is a soft white or silver material that is designed to take on the hardness of a tooth. After the tooth is filled we polish and adjust the filling to make it the identical shape and feel of a natural tooth.
A pulpotomy is used when a cavity has become very deep on a baby tooth. If the cavity is into the nerve of the tooth, the top part of the tooth nerve is removed. A medication is placed into the tooth to kill the bacteria and desensitize the nerve. White material is then placed into the tooth and then either a filling or a crown is placed over the tooth. This procedure only takes a few minutes and is a safe way to prevent future toothaches and infections.
For baby teeth crowns are either silver or tooth colored. Usually white crowns are used on the front teeth and silver crowns are placed on the back teeth. Crowns are used when the tooth has a large cavity or is badly broken. After getting numb, the cavity is removed and the top and sides of the tooth are made slightly smaller with a dental drill. Crowns come is several sizes and the correct size is found and placed on the tooth. Once the size is correct and the crown has been reshaped and tightened it is glued onto the tooth. The crown is now connected to the baby tooth and will fall out with the baby tooth.
There are some common reasons to have a tooth extracted. The first is that the tooth has a large cavity, is infected or is painful to the point of making it hard to eat or sleep. Another reason for taking out baby teeth is if the new tooth is starting to come in and is getting pushed into a bad position by the baby tooth. Finally, healthy baby teeth are removed sometimes if the orthodontist feels like this will help the new teeth come in straighter.
Teeth whitening is something to consider as patients enter high school or prepare to leave for college. At this age all of the baby teeth have fallen out and whitening can be effective for many years. When we whiten teeth professionally we take molds of the mouth and custom make whitening trays that will snugly fit your teeth. Prescription-strength whitening gel is given along with detailed instructions on how to use it. Whitening helps make your smile appear brighter and you to look younger. It is very safe and the most common side-effect is that the teeth may be a little for a couple days.
Braces may be placed anytime between the ages of 7 through adulthood. Typically, orthodontic treatment starts earlier if there is a medical need to do so. Braces can be done in either one or two phases and they help improve the function and esthetics of the teeth. There are many good orthodontists in Parker and Castle Rock and we are very happy to help you find one for your needs.
Wisdom teeth are generally recommended for extraction in the late teenage years. Girls usually have their wisdom teeth develop 1-2 years before boys. The reason to consider having wisdom teeth out at this age is that they are closer to the surface for easy removal and the roots are still not fully developed and long. Not everyone has wisdom teeth and some people are missing 1, 2, 3 and even all of the wisdom teeth. Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth extracted and sometimes the teeth can fully erupt into the mouth and be used for chewing. Usually though, if wisdom teeth are left in the mouth too long they tend to develop deep cavities, cause irritation around the gums, dissolve the other molars or develop cysts. We are happy to refer you to one of the excellent oral and maxillofacial surgeons in our area for a consultation regarding the wisdom teeth.
When an infected tooth is removed early in the mouth the teeth around it tend to shift and lean into where the tooth used to be. A spacer is a metal ring attached around a tooth with a wire touching the next tooth forward to prevent the teeth from moving. This helps maintain the space for the new tooth to come in straight. Spacers are custom made to a mouth after a mold of the mouth is made. Usually they are removed in 2-3 years or when we can see the new tooth coming into the mouth.