Restorative dentistry is the prevention and treatment of diseases of the teeth in order to restore or bring them back to their best health. It also includes repair of damaged or broken tooth. Following treatments generally form part of restorative dentistry:
- pulpotomy, or treatment of the nerve
- Stainless steel crowns
- Silver diamine fillings
All these procedures can be done while your child is awake, these are painless, children can go back home after the procedure and sometimes sedation may be required to calm the child. Most of these procedures can be completed in 30-45 minutes
Before starting treatment a thorough examination is done and additional x rays may be taken. As a first step a little quantity of numbing gel is applied at the area of interest and after that a local anesthetic injection may or may not be given. once the area is numb the procedure is done. Additional sedations or anesthetics if required will be discussed prior to the commencement of the treatment.
A pulpotomy, or nerve treatment, is done when there is a large amount of decay (such as a deep cavity), when there is pain from an infected tooth, or when the decay is very close to touching the pulp, or nerve, of the tooth. If not treated properly and promptly, your child could develop a serious infection or lose the tooth. A special drill is used to clean out the cavity and the top part of the nerve. The pulp is then sterilized, and medicine is put over the empty space to control bleeding. The entire nerve or a part of it may be removed, depending upon the amount of decay. Likely, a stainless steel crown will be fitted over the remaining part of the tooth. The crown will be placed over the tooth at the same appointment.
Stainless Steel Crowns
Primary (baby teeth) molars that are not formed properly, have a lot of decay or fractures (cracks), or have undergone a pulpotomy may require a silver stainless steel crown in order to cover the remaining tooth. Crowns also are used when a very wide and/or deep cavity has done so much damage to the tooth that it needs to be protected in order to save it. The procedure can be done right after a pulpotomy, at the same appointment. Prefabricated steel crowns from 3M ESPE are used for this procedure. If your child received a stainless steel crown, he or she should avoid sticky foods and candy until the crowns fall out naturally, usually around the age of 10 to 12 years old.
A filling is used to fill in an area of a tooth that has been drilled out to remove decay (a cavity). Cavities that require a filling usually are not cavities with deep decay. To fill a cavity, the dentist will begin by using a special dental drill to clean out the decayed area of the tooth. The decay then is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned. White fillings called “composite” can be used to fill the area.
A child might need an extraction (pulling a tooth) for several reasons. An extraction might be needed if your child has a severe infection or a very large cavity. Extractions also may be done if your child has spacing problems, such as crowding, or if space needs to be made for orthodontics (braces). An extraction usually takes about 20 minutes. If your child received a stainless steel crown, he or she should avoid sticky foods and candy until the crowns fall out naturally, usually around the age of 10 to 12 years old.