Milk teeth fall anyway, do we still need to fill them?
The front milk teeth fall off between 6-9 years of age. The back milk teeth fall off between 10-12 years of age. Milk teeth get easily decayed owing to the improper eating and brushing habits of children. Not filling milk teeth at an early stage can result in pain and swelling which can sometimes be very severe. In addition, if milk teeth get badly decayed or are removed early, the permanent teeth may come out overlapped or crowded. On the other hand if the milk teeth are well taken care off, filled early when necessary and fall off on their own at the right time, then the permanent teeth will take their right place resulting in a beautiful dentition.
Are fillings in children similar to adult fillings?
Yes, the filling materials used in children are the same as adult filling materials. Primarily in modern dentistry, there are two broad categories of filling materials available, composites and glass ionomer cements (GIC). For front teeth, composites are used both for adults and children. For the back teeth in children, GIC’s are preferred because they are more quicker to work with. This is important owing to the short attention span of children. GICs also release fluoride which helps prevent reinfection of cavities. At Tiny Teeth , we use a very high quality GIC called as Resin modified GIC (light cured GIC) for filling back teeth.
What is Root Canal Treatment and why do Dentists advise it so often???
Cavities on teeth are initially small. If ignored at this early stage, they become deeper and eat into the nerve of the tooth resulting in pain. At this stage a simple filling won’t help. Your Pediatric Dentist will clean the roots of your tooth and then fill the roots of the tooth with a root filling material. Root canal treatment on the back tooth has to be followed with a Crown (see details below) most of the times because removing tooth structure to reach the roots would have weakened the tooth. Placing a crown over the root canal treated tooth makes the tooth strong, enabling the child to eat properly.
Will a root canal treated milk tooth shed on its own?
The primary purpose of a root canal treated milk tooth is to serve as a space maintainer (see details below), till the eruption of the underlying permanent tooth. It will also help retain the tooth to aid the child chew food efficiently, so that the nutrition of the child is not compromised at the growing age.
Parents are commonly concerned if a root canal treated tooth will shed on its own. So, please be informed that the filling material used in a root canal treatment for a milk tooth, is a special material which resorbs as the permanent tooth erupts. So basically, a root canal treated milk tooth follows the same shedding time table as any other untreated milk tooth.
Are “Permanent Teeth” root canal treatments in children, the same as adult root canal treatments?
Permanent teeth in children below 10 years are called as “Young Permanent Teeth”. They are different to adult permanent teeth in that the root formation is still not complete in these teeth. So in case of infection, a conventional root canal treatment cannot be done. Pediatric Dentists are specially trained to handle this delicate situation wherein he/she will use special medications (Mineral Trioxide Aggregate/Biodentine) on these infected teeth to help guide the roots into completion. These procedures are technically termed Apexogenesis (Pulpotomy), Apexification (Apical Barrier Technique) and Revascularization (Reparative Endodontic Procedures)
Will my child require an injection for removal of a tooth?
A very mobile milk tooth can be removed using a local anesthetic spray, without requiring an injection. Other milk teeth which are partially mobile or non mobile, should ideally be removed under local anesthesia (dental injection/ numbing medicines). But the good news is that, Pediatric Dentists are specially trained to administer painless injections.
At Tiny Teeth in addition to our expertise and training in delivering painless injections, we also make use of a novel distraction method with a TV mounted on the ceiling playing animations.
You would have heard about children being treated under laughing gas/ happy gas. Very soon, for the first time in a clinic in Mangaluru, this facility will be available at out practice, which will eliminate any anxiety or pain which the child feels towards an injection.
What happens if a milk tooth is removed early?
The front milk teeth fall off between 6-9 years of age. The back milk teeth fall off between 10-12 years of age. Milk teeth have two important roles. One, they help a child chew and eat nutritious food. Second, they serve as a natural space maintainer for the permanent tooth developing under the milk tooth. If milk teeth get badly decayed or are removed early, in addition to the suffering caused to the child’s nutrition, the space between adjacent milk teeth also closes and the permanent teeth may come out overlapped or crowded. On the other hand if the milk teeth are well taken care off, filled early when necessary and fall off on their own at the right time, then the permanent teeth will take their right place resulting in a beautiful dentition.
Why crowns (caps) for milk teeth? Aren’t fillings adequate?
Owing to the small size of milk teeth, multiple surfaces get rapidly involved making a filling unfeasible and undurable. Hence preformed/ready made crowns, specially manufactured for children, are internationally recommended, when more than one surface of the milk tooth is involved in the dental decay. These crowns can be steel crowns or tooth colored crowns (White), depending on the choice of the parents.
Are crowns (caps) used in children’s teeth similar to the crowns used for adult teeth?
No, the crowns used for children are totally different to adult crowns. In adults, the crowns are custom made in the dental laboratory and require two visits to the dentist. But, a child won’t sit through long and multiple procedures required for adult crowns. Hence for children we have ready made crowns in various sizes which we fit onto the tooth in a single appointment. These reliably serve their purpose of helping the child eat and the good news is that they fall off along with the milk tooth, when the permanent tooth erupts into the child’s mouth.