Restorative Dentistry - Kirkland, Washington
Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While some children are more prone to them, cavities are preventable and treatable! At Kirkland Kids Dentistry, our board-certified pediatric dentists use modern technology and child-safe materials to restore teeth. Our entire team is dedicated to the health and happiness of your child, so we also devote our practice to educating our patients on the proper care and maintenance of their teeth.
Saving Teeth With Restorative Dentistry
Composite Dental Fillings
Fillings are used to fill the holes caused by decay. They can be made from a variety of materials, but composite resin has a few advantages for pediatric dental fillings. Composite dental fillings are tooth-colored, so they are invisible when your child smiles or opens their mouth. They are also completely safe for use in children.
Tooth-colored fillings also have these advantages over traditional fillings:
- They don’t make the tooth more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
- They are easy and economical to replace if needed.
- They form a strong bond with the surface of the tooth, so bacteria can’t infiltrate the cracks as the fillings age.
Just like all other kinds of dental fillings for kids, composite needs to be replaced. Make sure your child is attending their regular check-ups, so if their fillings are getting less effective, we can replace them.
Pediatric Dental Crowns
When your child’s tooth decay has progressed to the point that the overall tooth strength is compromised, we may recommend a dental crown. Unlike a dental filling which fills and covers small areas of decay, a crown covers the entire surface of a tooth. At Kirkland Kids Dentistry, we use stainless steel crowns to repair primary teeth because they are durable, low-cost, and reliable.
When we place a stainless-steel crown, we remove the damaged tooth material and cement on a crown which closely fits the existing tooth. Dental crowns add strength and protect the primary tooth until it is ready to naturally exfoliate. Crowns can be used:
- After pulp therapy, to support and strengthen weakened teeth
- To restore a tooth with cavities on multiple surfaces
- To protect teeth with defects, such as insufficient enamel development
- To fortify teeth with cracks, chips, and injuries
If your child needs a dental crown, we can discuss what that process might look like, so you both are prepared and comfortable during the procedure.
After bacteria has infiltrated the inside of the tooth, it infects the pulp. The pulp is made of sensitive nerve endings and living tissue, so your child may be complaining of significant tooth pain when a cavity has reached this point.
Pediatric pulp therapy involves removing infected or damaged pulp, then filling and sealing the tooth to prevent future infection. Depending on how deep the infection is, we may perform a pulpotomy (removing only part of the pulp) or a pulpectomy (removing all of the pulp). In either case, a dental crown may be required to keep the tooth strong until an adult tooth moves in to replace it.
We may perform an extraction for one of several reasons. Sometimes, children need teeth removed to make room for all of their adult teeth, or to make orthodontic treatment easier to implement. Other times, damaged teeth cannot be saved with pulp therapy or dental crowns and need to be removed. In most cases, pediatric tooth extractions are relatively easy and painless. If the tooth isn’t already loose, we may use a tool to lift the tooth from the gums and then remove it from the socket.
Having a tooth pulled can be a stressful experience for children, so we want to do our best to ease that stress and reduce discomfort during the process. We offer sedation dentistry for children who may need help relaxing during extractions.
If your child loses a tooth prematurely, we may need to use space maintainers. Space maintainers are usually metal appliances that fit onto neighboring teeth and “maintain” that space for the adult tooth in the case that it won’t naturally erupt for a while. There’s no way to speed up the process of an adult tooth growing in, so if it won’t erupt for another year, space maintainers keep that area clear so the permanent tooth knows where to go when it’s ready.
Creating a Healthy Foundation for Kids in Kirkland, Washington
Restoring your child’s teeth when they are damaged or injured helps to create a healthy foundation for their future smile. We restore and protect baby teeth, so your child can enjoy all the benefits of their natural teeth for as long as possible. We hope to foster healthy habits and healthy mouths that last long into the future. Such a sensitive and important aspect of your child’s health deserves the expertise and skill of qualified pediatric dentists. Schedule an appointment and talk with our team about expert restorative care for your child.