Pediatric Dentistry

Fillings at Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics of Salem in Salem, NH

Cavity Information

What Happens if Your Child Has a Cavity?

If your child does have a cavity, there are many factors that affect the duration of restoration and treatment. Cavity treatment is determined by the filling type, amount of damaged tooth structure, placement of the diseased tooth area, chewing load, and severity of the decay. These factors determine how many visits are needed to treat the cavity. 

The doctor will review all available treatment options with you and your family. The nature of the cavity and its treatment will determine the cost. You will be informed of our estimate before the procedure. 

We are able to offer your child nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia to help them be more relaxed. Most of the time we will be able to restore teeth with a tooth-colored bonded composite material. Teeth with more advanced decay may require a full coverage restoration or stainless steel crown. 

Some Tips for Cavity Prevention

  • Limit the frequency of snacks
  • Encourage brushing, flossing, and rinsing
  • Watch what your kids drink
  • Avoid sticky foods that lay on the teeth for long periods of time
  • Make treats part of meals
  • Choose nutritious snacks

Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction sounds scary, but it’s actually more common than you may think. There are numerous reasons the doctor may deem it necessary to remove one or more of your child’s teeth throughout the course of treatment. For example, sometimes a baby tooth has a misshapen or long root that prevents it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have an infection or is recommended to be removed for orthodontic correction.

While this procedure is typically very quick and easily tolerated, it is important to share with the doctor any concerns or preferences for sedation.

The doctor will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the reason for tooth extraction. Please call our office or schedule an appointment, we are always here to help!

Pulpal Therapy

What is Pulp?

The pulp is a soft tissue found at the center of each tooth. It consists of tissue, nerves, and blood vessels that provide your tooth with oxygen and nutrients and keep it healthy. Poor oral care or traumatic injury to the teeth and gums can lead to pulp exposure, pain, and inflammation. When this occurs the primary objective of pulp therapy is to maintain the integrity and health of the tooth and supporting tissues. This is especially important in young permanent teeth with immature roots because the pulp is integral to the normal development of the apex of the root of a tooth.

What are the Signs of Injured or Damaged Pulp?

The pulp can be exposed when the tooth is damaged by injury or decay. The exposed pulp can swell, cause severe pain, and become infected. Some warning signs of inflamed or infected pulp are:

  • Constant or unexplained pain
  • Nighttime pain
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold food temperatures
  • Swelling around the infected tooth

If your child has any of these symptoms, please call our office.

What is Pulp Therapy?

There are different methods of treatment for infected pulp, but the most common for children is a pulpotomy. If the doctor has decided that the best course of treatment is a pulpotomy, they will describe the process to your family before the procedure. A pulpotomy removes diseased pulp while preserving as much of the healthy pulp and pulp root as possible. 

Once the diseased portion has been removed an agent is placed in the tooth to prevent bacteria growth and infection and calm the nerve of the tooth. Finally, a crown is placed on the tooth. The crown strengthens the tooth and minimizes the risk of future fractures. Pulpotomy can be used as a treatment on the baby or permanent teeth.