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- A sealant is a clear or shaded resin material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where 4 out of 5 cavities in children are found. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque, and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of teeth.
Fillings (Metal or White):
- Amalgam fillings (also known as silver fillings) have been used for many years and are considered strong, durable and relatively inexpensive compared to other materials. Although strong and effective, many patients do not choose to use amalgam fillings because of esthetics (the silver color can be visible while eating, speaking, or smiling).
- Composite fillings (also known as white fillings) are made of a glass or quartz filler within a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored material, the shade of composite filling material is made to closely match the patientís actual teeth, so that other people will not be aware that dental work has been done. They are an excellent choice of restoration material, for not only do they match the color of the tooth, but they also require less tooth structure to be removed when placing, as compared to an amalgam (mercury or silver) filling. Also, the composite material is bonded (or glued) to the tooth.
Baby Root Canals (formally known as Pulptomies or pulpectomies):
- A root canal involves treating the nerve of a tooth, better known as the dental pulp, which is found in the core of a tooth. Dental pulp is a soft-tissue found inside the tooth from the top all the way down to the end of the root. The dental pulp contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that provide nutrients to a tooth as it grows and continues this process of nourishment even once the tooth is fully developed and formed. If the pulp is damaged by a cavity or trauma, it will gradually cause an infection of the nerve tissue if the cause of the infection is not treated. Most commonly, an untreated cavity allows bacteria to eat through the enamel of a tooth and eventually through to the dental pulp, which causes infection. The pulp can also be damaged by trauma to a tooth that cuts off the blood supply and causes the pulpal tissues to die. If left untreated, pus may build up within the root tip and form an abscess that can damage the bone around a tooth, the permanent teeth, and cause pain with potential for permanent damage. Baby teeth may not be designed to remain in the mouth forever, but they are essential. They help children to speak and chew properly. They also retain space for the permanent teeth and affect the shape of the face and overall appearance. Therefore, it is essential to perform a root canal on a baby tooth in which the pulp tissue is infected or has died.
Stainless Steel Dental Crowns (also known as Metal Caps):
- A dental crown is a restoration that covers or caps the top of a tooth, restoring it to its normal size and shape while strengthening it and protecting it from further cracking or breakage. Crowns are indicated when there is not enough tooth structure to place a filling and the tooth requires more strength and coverage; a filling simply would not be effective. Stainless steel crowns can preserve more of the tooth structure than other types of crowns. They withstand biting and chewing forces well and rarely chip or break. The biggest drawback of stainless steel crowns is the metallic color. They are ideal for rear teeth that are not entirely visible, but can also be necessary for a tooth that is visible. In these circumstances, the stainless steel crowns can be made with a white facing that will allow the tooth to look more natural.
White Dental Crowns (also known as White Caps):
- White crowns made of resin or zirconia can be used to strengthen decayed tooth at the front of the mouth. They are close to the color of natural teeth, so they are more esthetically pleasing. Depending on the length of time it takes for the treated baby tooth to naturally fall out, a white crown may potentially need to be replaced over time.