As your child's teeth develop, his or her dental care will become increasingly important. Most children are ready for their first dental appointment as soon as their teeth present. Here are four dental procedures that are common for pediatric dental patients:
Due to the rapid growth of your child's teeth, he or she may receive dental X-rays more frequently than an adult. These noninvasive procedures provide the dentist with snapshots of the internal structure of the young teeth. Damage or structural problems that would not be revealed during a general dental exam are displayed on the X-rays. Nevertheless, there is little reason for concern about radiation exposure. Pediatric dentists often use digital radiography, which exposes your child to as little as 10 percent of the radiation associated with a standard dental X-ray.
Stainless Steel Crowns
Stainless steel crowns are routinely used for pediatric teeth that are severely damaged by decay. If the damage is too substantial to be corrected by a filling, a stainless steel crown may be used to protect the tooth from further harm. If your child's teeth are left in a decaying state, the damage can eventually reach the dentin and nerves. At that point, extraction could be the only feasible option.
Your child may be scheduled for a routine dental visit twice a year. At each visit, you can expect your child's teeth to be cleaned. The cleaning process is basically the same as it would be for an adult patient. A dental tool is used to gently scrape plaque and tartar deposits from the tooth enamel. However, at the end of the cleaning, a fluoride treatment may be applied to help strengthen any weak spots in your child's teeth.
Sealants are frequently applied to the teeth of pediatric dental patients to protect the teeth from decay. The sealants, which are made of plastic, are used to create a barrier between the chewing surfaces of young molars and the food or drink consumed by your youngster. The horizontal chewing surface is more susceptible to decay than other areas of the tooth due to the tendency of food and plaque to settle in its grooves. A sealant can last up to 10 years, so frequent reapplication is usually unnecessary.
Visits to a pediatric dentist are important to the health of your child's teeth. During the visits, your child will undergo dental procedures to protect his or her teeth from decay. Once your child's first tooth presents, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist like Kids First Pediatric Dentistry as soon as possible.