Pediatric dentist and cavities in kids

Cavities are common tooth problems among children and adolescents which are due to piled up bacteria that owe its presence to plaque. The food consumed is converted to acid by the plaque that sticks on the teeth which erodes tooth enamel leading to cavities. Pediatric dentist might recommend fillings or dental crowns to treat cavities as the severity of situation might demand.

Dental filling is common for toddlers where tooth decay is removed and replaced with composite with a view to preserve the tooth and avert improper development of permanent tooth. Pediatric dentist may also execute fluoride treatment in early stages to control erosion of enamel before it is too late. Children require two to four fluoride treatments per year and the frequency depends upon oral health condition and susceptibility to develop cavities.

The fluoride treatment includes highly concentrated rinse, foam and gel which are applied with swab, brush and mouthwash. Flouride restores minerals lost during erosion of enamel and prevents further cavities.

Plastic dental fillings or bonding is done for kids by the pediatric dentist to solve issues like cavities, discolouration, broken teeth and to close gaps between teeth. Dental bonding is a non invasive approach for many dental issues in kids which is also cheaper than crowns and veneers and requires just a single visit. It does not require local anaesthesia and does not require exclusive care after bonding except for good oral hygiene.

However dental bonding is not advisable if the fallen tooth is likely to be replaced by adult tooth. It is a temporary solution and not a permanent one.

Pulp capping is done by the pediatric dentist when the decay is severe and reached proximity to the nerve before filling is done. The pulp comprises tissue, nerves and blood vessels when exposed leads to pain and inflammation. Pulp capping is done to preserve the supporting tissue and preserve health and integrity of the tooth. The pulp treatment might be pulpotomy or pulpectomy.

The affected pulp is removed in pulpotomy, given that the pulp root is healthy and unaffected. Pulpectomy is performed when entire crown and root canals are affected leading to removal of entire diseased pulp. After cleansing and disinfecting the canals, the crown is placed to give support to the tooth.

Placing porcelain or stainless steel crowns, root canal treatment and dental extraction are other treatments employed on kids to treat cavities and tooth decay. Children need crowns since they enable permanent teeth to grow in right place and besides filling the place, they ensure oral health and promote speech development. Stainless steel crowns are easily customized, strong and durable and are cost effective.

Defying the myth that root canal is only for adults, the procedure is also performed for kids when the tooth is damaged by accident or due to infection. When tooth loss threatens speech, eating and functionality of jaws, root canal is executed.

While executing treatment for kids, one must be aware of the numbness that local anaesthesia might cause and should cautiously prevent children from sucking or chewing numb area which in turn might result in laceration.

Challenges faced by orthodontist in solving orthodontic problems

Most people are aware that an orthodontist treats problems like overbite, underbite, openbite, crossbite, upper front teeth protrusion and difficulty breathing, speech impairment, abnormal wearing of teeth and enamel for instances.

While toothache in such conditions is treated with over the counter medications, scratches and ulcer occurring due to braces are treated during initial phase with orthodontic wax.

As with intervention in any other body parts, orthodontic treatments pose risks which the dentist deals with diligently owing to experience. The dentist has a thorough discussion with patients about the complications in the treatment before going ahead with it.

While oral hygiene is advisable for any normal person, it is mandatory for those seeking orthodontic treatment. Lack of hygiene may lead to gingivitis which while wearing orthodontic equipment causes infection and ends up in irreversible consequences.

Brace in presence of sugar demineralises tooth enamel and initiates decay which develops as cavities and stains the teeth in yellow shades. Besides minimizing sugary food, the patient is advised to brush and rinse with fluoride paste and mouthwash respectively.

While through the procedure, the dentist faces many problems like debonding of orthodontic braces. The dentist removes modules and archwire, grips the debonded bracket and eliminates excess composite from the mesh and bonds the bracket back on tooth surface.

While the patient is expected to maintain oral hygiene, material alba is around the brackets encourages plaque content due to sticky food and results in debonding. When the patient visits the clinic in such a situation, gingival is in highly inflammatory condition.

While the orthodontist opts to scale tooth thoroughly in order to clean the tooth completely. The gingival blood in the tooth oozes for which Chlorhexdine mouthwash is locally applied to improve oral hygiene. Sometimes Zingisol or Pyosan is applied in case of gingival swelling and offers relief from irritation that occurs due to chemicals like thymol, menthol and iodine.

To stop gingival bleeding and obtain clean operating field without debris, the orthodontist could apply soft tissue lasers. Not only do soft tissue lasers control bleeding but also produce haemostasis and dispose tissue tags and clear the field for dentists.

In another context, children experience difficulty in breathing when jaws reduce size of airway due to improper positioning. This not only leads to lifelong respiratory problems but also affects facial development and ends as long faced syndrome. Rapid Palatal Expander helps the upper jaw to expand properly and increases nasal cavity size so that patient could breathe through the nose.

Disorders in bone, blood and endocrine, habits like smoking and prescription and non prescription medicines, problems in temporomandibular joints (TMJ) influence orthodontic treatment. If time for treatment exceeds estimated time due to faulty appliances and postponed appointments, the lengthened treatment time might affect the quality of treatment.

On a concluding note, orthodontist is prepared for adverse effects like root resorption, pain, pulpal changes, periodontal disease, temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) and all of the above mentioned risk factors as placed before for discussion after which the treatment is executed.