Cosmetic dentistry can correct crooked teeth, spaces between teeth, stained or discolored teeth, chipped teeth, broken or missing teeth, or a “gummy” smile.
Dr. Thomas can create a customized treatment plan based on your child's age, anticipated outcomes, and that will fall within your financial means.
When considering tooth fillings to repair decay, one of the options available are composite resin fillings, which are similar in color to natural teeth. Because the composite fillings are tooth-colored, they are less noticeable compared to other types of fillings. In this routine procedure Dr. Thomas will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill it with the composite material.
Another benefit of tooth-colored fillings is that they are compatible with sealants and allow Dr. Thomas to perform both procedures in a single sitting, preventing further decay.
Composite, tooth-colored fillings bonding to tooth structure, unlike traditional metal fillings. In many cases they can be repaired by simply adding more composite material.
Dental crowns are used to restore dental function and aesthetics when a tooth has been damaged from physical trauma or decay. Crowns can be used at any age, including during childhood. Pediatric dental crowns are made to reproduce the size, shape, and durability of your child's natural tooth. They may be fabricated out of metal for durability or tooth-colored composite for a natural appearance.
Because most baby molars do not fall out until the ages of 10-12, a crown may be recommended when fillings are insufficient to protect the tooth from further damage until it falls out on its own. The differences between stainless steel and Zirconia (white) crowns are mostly color preference. The pros and cons of each type of crown will be discussed with you to help you make a good decision for your child.
Sometimes your child may require a cosmetic procedure called bonding. Bonding is a tooth-colored resin used to correct chipped and broken teeth, discolored teeth, and in some cases, space between teeth. Fractured permanent teeth are common injuries in adolescent children and may require a simple bonding procedure similar to a filling. With a bonding procedure there is no decayed matter removed during the process. Bonding is generally considered more conservative than veneers or other cosmetic dentistry. The benefits of bonding include the ability to maintain the natural structure of the tooth and the ability to color and sculpt the resin to create natural looking teeth. Like a natural tooth, the resin may stain with the use of coffee or other staining foods.
The “pulp” of a tooth cannot be seen with the naked eye. Pulp is in the center of each tooth, and comprised of nerves, tissue, and blood vessels, which work to channel vital nutrients and oxygen. There are several ways in which pulp can be damaged. Most commonly in children, tooth decay or traumatic injury lead to painful pulp exposure and inflammation. Often, these issues cause discomfort or pain when eating or trying to sleep, and pulp therapy will give your child relief and restore his or her ability to chew without trouble.
Pediatric pulp therapy is known by several other names, including: baby root canal, pulpotomy, pulpectomy, and nerve treatment. The primary goal of pulp therapy is to treat, restore, and maintain the vitality of the affected tooth.
Dr. Thomas performs pulp therapy on both primary (baby) teeth and permanent teeth, as needed. Though primary teeth eventually are replaced by permanent teeth, they are needed for speech production, chewing, and to guide the proper alignment and spacing of permanent teeth.
The most commonly used pulp therapy is called a pulpotomy. During this treatment, the affected nerve tissue in the crown of the tooth is removed. Although used less often, a pulpectomy is done when the entire pulp of the tooth is infected. The pulp from the crown, as well as the roots, is removed. The goal of a pulpectomy is to keep the tooth in the mouth for as long as possible, avoiding or delaying extraction.
In either case, after the pulp is removed, the space is filled with an inert material to maintain the structure of the tooth. Finally, a crown restores the functional shape of the tooth.