Cavities. It’s a dreaded word for a child who, until now, has had impeccable dental health. And as a parent, you’re likely to worry, too. What will this mean for your little one’s long-term oral health? And will it affect that charming grin you love so much?
At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, we offer complete restorative services for children. Dr. Matt will assess your child’s oral health using our state-of-the-art x-rays. Then he can determine which of the three most common treatments is most suitable for your child. He always begins with the most conservative option and will work meticulously to provide beautiful cosmetic results.
If your child is experiencing dental pain, or if he has been diagnosed with a cavity, contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Cavities: An Overview
Ultimately, bacteria cause tooth decay. If harmful microbes accumulate, they will form a film of plaque. Over time, the plaque will harden into tartar, and acid will start to erode the tooth enamel. Bacteria can then access the underlying layers of dental tissue, and a cavity will form.
Sadly, cavities frequently appear in children’s teeth. Surveys show that nearly a quarter of all children between the ages of 2 and 5 have developed at least one cavity. Over half of all children between the ages of 6 and 8 have tooth decay.
Option 1: Fillings
Fillings are the most common treatment for cavities, as well as the most conservative solution. Today’s tooth-colored fillings are an almost perfect match to teeth, so your child’s smile should look as good as new after treatment. Even more importantly, composite fillings do not pose the same health risks as older silver amalgam fillings, which contain about 50% mercury.
Before treatment, Dr. Matt will numb the tooth. If your child is especially young or feeling particularly anxious, we can also offer IV sedation. To place a filling, Dr. Matt will clean out the damaged tissue and bacteria. Then he will apply the composite filling in layers.
Option 2: Dental Crowns
If a cavity is very large, a filling may not be enough to restore the tooth. In these cases, Dr. Matt will often recommend dental crowns. Tooth-shaped restorations, crowns go right on top of teeth and can strengthen even very weakened teeth.
Dr. Matt will place a crown in two stages. During the first stage, he will reshape the tooth and remove any decayed tissue. Then he will make impressions. After the dental lab creates a custom crown to match the nearby teeth, Dr. Matt will attach the restoration with composite.
Option 3: Extraction
Only as a last resort will Dr. Matt recommend extraction. Even if your child has cavities in his or her baby teeth, these teeth play an important role. They help to keep the other teeth in their proper places, and they ensure that the permanent teeth come in properly spaced. Therefore, if your child does need extraction, Dr. Matt will also attach spacers, which will keep the other teeth from shifting and will maintain proper bite alignment.
Schedule an Appointment for Your Child
If your child is suffering from cavities, visiting a dentist who specifically treats children can give you greater peace of mind.
Contact us online to make an appointment or call us at (913) 685-9990.