When preventive care is not enough, restorative dental treatments can bring your child’s smile back to exceptional oral health. From repairing cavities with simple fillings to gentle extraction of problem teeth, restorative treatment from our dental office can help your child’s smile stay healthy. Whether you live in Columbia, Ellicott City or Elkridge, make an appointment for restorative care with us today.
Children have a set of 20 baby teeth. Adults have 32.
First, Dr. Kim will need to perform a comprehensive visual exam. X-rays will be taken and used to assess your child’s oral health and determine the extent of the issue.
Once an accurate diagnosis is made, your child’s dentist will recommend a treatment plan to address the issues. Your dentist takes pride in treating very conservatively and believes in minimally invasive treatment where possible.
Dr. Kim may provide a few options for treatment, discuss the pros and cons of each, and explain their top choice to resolve the issue.
The doctor will discuss sedation options for your child if they feel sedation is necessary, or if it will make the child more comfortable during their treatment. These treatments can help your child feel a lot less nervous and anxious about their appointment, and get the restorative care they need. Our office has all levels of sedation options from Nitrous oxide "laughing gas" to oral conscious sedation to General anesthesia at the hospital.
After you and the dentist have decided on the right treatment for your child, you’ll schedule a follow-up with our Columbia office. In some cases, treatment may begin immediately, but you’ll usually have to schedule a separate appointment for restorative care unless your child has a serious dental emergency.
Composite "white" fillings are made of a dental resin and are matched to the color of your child’s tooth. Unlike metal fillings, they do not contain any mercury. In addition, composite fillings require the removal of less enamel during tooth preparation and have a very tight hold, so they help keep your child’s tooth healthy and strong.
Pediatric dental crowns are typically recommended for kids who have large cavities, or who have a tooth that has been damaged or broken by dental trauma. Dr. Kim will clean and prepare their tooth, and then choose a pre-fitted dental crown that can be placed directly over the damaged tooth structure to cover and protect it, restoring your child’s smile and bite.
Pediatric dental crowns have historically been limited to stainless steal, leaving your child with silver teeth that may make them feel self-conscious about their smiles.
EZ Crowns offer the same protection as stainless steal crowns, but they are white, matching the color of your child's natural teeth. Similarly to traditional stainless steal, these white crowns help seal a tooth after it has been damaged or broken. This option just leaves little patients with a seamless, confident smile.
After your child’s dentist determines which option is best for them, they will proceed in the same way, cleaning and preparing the tooth, and then choosing a pre-fitted dental crown to be placed directly over the damaged tooth structure to cover and protect it.
If your child loses a baby tooth before they’re supposed to, their dentist may recommend a “space maintainer.” This dental prosthetic fits in the gap where the tooth used to be, preventing the other teeth from shifting and ensuring your child’s permanent or adult tooth erupts properly.
Frenectomies are used to treat Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) such as tongue ties and lip ties. TOTs occur when the “frenulum,” a band of connective tissue, is overdeveloped and impairs the natural movement of the lips, tongue, or both. During a frenectomy procedure, this band of tissue is released in order to improve function - breastfeeding, bottle feeding, speech, and nasal breathing.
Also called a “baby root canal,” a pulpotomy is used to restore infected baby teeth. Your child’s dentist will clean the tooth, create an opening in the tooth structure, and extract decayed pulp from the inside of the tooth. Next, a healing dressing is applied, and the tooth is cleaned and sealed with a crown or filling. The dressing helps the remaining tooth pulp heal, ensuring your child’s baby tooth can recover from infection.
Extractions are typically a last-resort option for pediatric dentists. But occasionally, a tooth may simply be too damaged to save, and extraction may be the best way for your child to get relief from pain and discomfort. Using special tools and sedation, Dr. Kim can extract troublesome teeth quickly and without pain or discomfort.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) arrests tooth decay in baby teeth. It uses a blend of silver, ammonia, water, and fluoride that kills bacteria and prevents further decay, keeping your child’s tooth healthy until it falls out naturally. It is possible that your child's tooth may still need a filling or crown in the future, and it’s only used in baby teeth because it will permanently stain the treated area black.
Tooth enamel is the hardest structure in the human body; even harder than the femur bone!
Restorative dentistry is used to treat damaged or decayed teeth. This includes cavities and infections, as well as teeth that have been chipped, broken, loosened, or knocked-out prematurely due to oral trauma. Restorative treatments from our Columbia dental office can help prevent oral development issues after tooth loss, and resolve other oral health problems like tongue and lip ties.
Baby teeth are essential to your child’s ability to eat and chew properly as they grow up. And, even though they do fall out naturally as your child ages, premature baby tooth loss can cause oral development issues. This is because your child’s adult teeth follow the “paths” provided by their baby teeth when they begin to erupt. If your child loses one or more baby teeth too early, their permanent teeth may not emerge properly, leading to developmental issues that may require orthodontic intervention in the future.
Dr. Kim is an expert in working with kids of all ages, and uses a patient, kind, and informative approach to children’s dentistry that will help keep your child feeling safe and calm throughout their appointments. Beyond this, we also offer a variety of sedation methods that can help your child feel more comfortable during their treatment.
In most cases, treatments for children like pulpotomies, extractions, crowns, and fillings are covered in some capacity by insurance. However, each plan is different and has different coverage, deductibles, and yearly maximums. Consult with your insurer and your Columbia dentist to learn more and ensure that your child’s procedures are covered.
Most baby or primary teeth will have fallen out by the age of 12.