Common Paediatric Dental Procedures And Their Benefits
A branch of medicine that deals with medical and health care of people aged 0 to 18 is called paediatrics. This age group includes infants, children and adolescents. The literal meaning of paediatrician is healer of children. Paediatrics developed in mid 19th century.
A paediatrician looks after all medical care that a baby, a child, or an adolescent requires. His/her duties include providing medical care for acutely or chronically ill children as well as work towards preventive health care. Providing actual and Preventive dental care is included Among the aims of a paediatrician who also looks after the dental health of all age groups of children.
Paediatric dentists are dentists who specialise in oral health of all children. They are trained in the branch of oral health after completing four years of dentistry school and then continuing their education for 2 more years for caring for children below the age of 18 and also children with special needs. They are also trained in dealing with emergencies in children’s dental health issues, in hospitals and nursing home settings and use of anaesthesia during dental work for children, in the office. Dental paediatricians also have training to provide dental care for children with many medical conditions.
Since the needs of all age groups of children differ widely, the paediatric dental profession uses different approaches according to the developmental stage a child is going through. They are specially trained to approach children in a friendly and pleasant way so that there is no fear of sitting on the dentist’s chair which is quite intimidating to most people. They prevent and detect dental problems early enough to stop them from becoming acute.
According to most dental experts it is advisable to introduce your child to the paediatric dentist when he is one year old or when a first tooth has emerged. It is no more than a friendly visit to introduce the dentist and the surroundings. Checking regularly for any teething problems helps in prevention of big dental issues. Also early visit to paediatric dentist will form a lifetime of sound dental care habits.
There are individual differences in children of all ages. The paediatric dentist is trained in dealing with these differences.
For very young children and for children who are boisterous and strong willed, the dentist will use various methods after discussing them with you to keep your child safe.
Radiography for X-Rays
Usually children need more x rays than adults, because they are growing and their mouth changes very fast. X rays are used to find out any problems in tooth structures. For x rays radiography is used which cuts 75 % of rays, and gives good results.
Caries or cavities
One common disease that begins in children early in life is tooth decay. Children eat sugary foods which sticks around in the mouth long enough for bacteria to react with them and produce acid, which eats away the teeth enamel, and may damage gum tissues. These result in cavities and if not treated can cause irreversible damage to child’s teeth. Your paediatric dentist can repair the cavity by doing pulpotomy treatment. Then filling it with suitable materials. If needed the dentist may cap the tooth with stainless steel crown.
Prophylaxis or dental cleaning
During a dental visit the assistant may review the dental and medical history of the child with you to get the up to date with the current dental situation of your child. After this an oral examination, the paediatric dentist will cleanse your child’s teeth to remove plaque and other hard deposits. After the cleaning fluoride in any form will be applied on the teeth to guard against decay. This procedure should be followed at least once in 6 months.
Orthodontic care for young children
The paediatric dentist will ensure that there is no malocclusion that is crowding of teeth which may result in crooked teeth developing in your child’s mouth. While you bring the child to the dentist, he will intervene at this point and guide the teeth as they cut through in the mouth. This interceptive orthodontic treatment will ease the later long and extensive procedure to correct crooked teeth.
Fluoride is very important for teeth as they provide needed mineral which stops cavities from forming. Municipalities add fluoride to their water supplies to people but in certain areas, fluoride is less than required by our bodies. Your child’s paediatric dentist will prescribe fluoride products if needed to your child.
Usually extractions are not done for any individual and used as a last option for children. When the decay is severe extraction is required. Sometimes for orthodontic reason like make space for a permanent tooth in crowded teeth position, a tooth needs to be extracted.
Pulp treatment or pulpotomy is needed for the child as a treatment for infections in the tooth where nerves and blood vessels are affected. Most of the time deep cavities in the tooth are responsible for performing pulpotomy on children. Sometimes injury to the teeth also necessitate this procedure. Only the damaged nerves will be removed leaving the healthy nerves and vessels intact and treated with medicine. Performing this procedure will save the child in preserving his future permanent teeth from getting damaged.
Space maintenance is used when baby tooth is lost for some reason and the space has to be preserved for permanent tooth. If the space of the lost tooth is not held secure, it will be occupied by neighbouring teeth and it will prevent the erupting new permanent tooth in its proper position. A device will put in this space to safeguard the space and it will be removed when permanent tooth starts to cut through.
Sealants are applied to your child’s tooth to protect them from decay. They are applied on chewing surfaces. The sealants will occupy small grooves and cracks which is usually the sites where plaque accumulates in children and teenagers. These sealants are highly effective in prevention of plaque forming and hence stop the tooth decay.
There are other common procedures also that your paediatric dentist will perform on your child, which will help your child’s dental health for years to come.
Categorised in: Childrens Dentistry
This post was written by Letooth