Pediatric Restorative Dentistry
Dentistry has changed significantly over the years, from dental materials to behavior management to even the way dentistry is practiced. One of the things Valleau, VanDeven, and Massie Dentistry for Children prides itself on is staying current with the latest research and guidelines regarding evidenced-based dentistry. The prevention of cavities is one of the most important services we can provide our patients and their families, however cavities do happen and sometimes even very young children require restorative dentistry.
Restorative dentistry refers to treatment that restores health back to a tooth that has been diagnosed with a problem. A dental restoration may mean a filling, a crown, treatment of the tooth’s nerve, or utilizing an appliance to maintain space in a growing child’s mouth. It is our goal to provide high quality restorative care in a positive and comfortable environment using the most up to date techniques available. Kids love coming to our office and parents trust us to care for their children’s teeth. All of our doctors are parents themselves and understand and empathize with your concerns. You can be sure our doctors will thoroughly explain problems, discuss options, and provide their professional recommendation.
Early Detection and Deciding When to Restore a Tooth
There is no denying that kids love sugar and so does the cavity causing bacteria in our mouths. No matter how flawless your oral hygiene routine, your child may get a cavity. Cavities are common among younger patients and may be the result of any or all of the following: a diet high in sugar, a genetic history of cavities, or a tooth anatomy that favors the growth of bacteria on the teeth.
A cavity is actually the result of a bacterial process that breaks down the tooth structure. When exposed to carbohydrates, the bacteria cause an acidic environment in the mouth, which breaks down tooth enamel and eventually causes a cavity. The earlier a cavity is detected the better and this is why each of our doctors will do a visual exam on your child as well as utilize dental radiographs (x-rays) to examine in between the teeth. If we diagnose a cavity, the next decision is whether or not to restore the tooth. Some very small cavities can be monitored and treated with preventive care. If a cavity requires restoration, our doctors will discuss with you the treatment options for each cavity.
Pediatric Dental Crowns
In the case of extensive decay or tooth compromise, your child may require a crown or cap that fully covers the remaining tooth structure. Crowns restore the tooth back to their original shape and form and protect it from additional damage. It is one of the strongest and longest lasting dental materials available.
Pediatric Nerve Treatment
Sometimes, a tooth’s nerve is injured or exposed due to cavities or trauma. The goal of nerve treatment is to prevent the loss of a tooth, the spread of infection, and sometimes to relieve a patient of pain. Drs. Valleau, VanDeven, and Massie are all trained to surgically treat the nerve of a tooth in a gentle and highly skilled manner.
Maintaining baby teeth is very important as they act as guides for the developing permanent dentition. However, despite our best efforts, sometimes teeth may be lost early due to infection or trauma. If a tooth is lost earlier than naturally expected, the surrounding teeth may shift. If space loss is anticipated, a space maintainer will be recommended. A space maintainer is fixed retainer that holds space in a child’s mouth until the permanent tooth/teeth are ready to erupt.
Contact Us to Experience Highly Skilled Restorative Dentistry with a Gentle Touch
Grand Rapids and Rockford pediatric dentists, Drs. Valleau, VanDeven, and Massie do everything possible to ensure a safe, positive, and gentle restorative experience for your child. Regular check-ups will help us catch any problems so they can be treated using the most conservative method so call now to schedule an appointment. We look forward to providing you and your child with an outstanding dental experience.