Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry is the branch of dentistry dealing with children from birth through adolescence. A dental visit should occur within six months after the presence of the first tooth or by a child's first birthday. This is because early oral examination aids in the detection of the early stages of tooth decay. Early detection is essential to maintain oral health, modify aberrant habits, and treat as needed and as simply as possible. Additionally, parents are given a program of preventative home care   (brushing/flossing/fluorides), a caries risk assessment, information on finger, thumb, and pacifier habits, advice on preventing injuries to the mouth and teeth of children, diet counseling , and information on growth and development. Your pediatric dentist will keep your child's teeth healthy by removing plaque build-up and food debris that may be stuck. This is an important part of dental care because it prevents bacteria from continuing to grow, which may eventually lead to other dental diseases (eg. tooth decay or inflammation of the gum tissue)  

 

Though baby teeth aren’t permanent, they are the only teeth your child will have for several years, until the adult teeth come in. To preserve your child’s oral health, your dentist will opt to drill out the cavities in baby teeth and fill or crown them accordingly. The primary teeth help the adult teeth to come in properly, so losing primary teeth before they’re ready to come out isn’t good for your child’s permanent teeth.

                                                                                                                                                                           

Growth modification treatment is utilized in the first phase of two-stage orthodontic treatment for children with misaligned teeth and bites. Growth modification is used when bones are still in the growing process, and most effective during a child’s growth spurts. As part of the growth modification process, growth modification appliances are used to correct the shape, position or width of the jawbones.

                                                                                                            

Because growth modification is at the center of orthodontic treatment, the younger the patient, the more ideal the treatment outcome. Early mixed dentition, which is marked by the emergence of the secondary teeth at the ages of 6 to 7, is considered the optimum age for most types of malocclusion.             

  • Children 7 to 9 years old with severe crowding.                                                                                                    

  • Narrowed upper jaw with or without crossbite.                                                                                                      

 

Those with habits such as thumb sucking, forward tongue posture (tongue thrust), or mouth breathing cases with large overjet (overbite)

                                                                                                                      

Cases involving overgrowth of the lower jaw or underdevelopment of the upper jaw.  Dental sealants (also termed pit and fissure sealants, or simply fissure sealants) are a dental treatment intended to prevent tooth decay. Teeth have recesses on their biting surfaces; the back teeth have fissures (grooves) and some front teeth have cingulum pits. It is these pits and fissures which are most vulnerable to tooth decay because food and bacteria stick in them and because they are hard-to-clean areas. Dental sealants are materials placed in these pits and fissures to fill them in, creating a smooth surface which is easy to clean. Dental sealants are mainly used in children who are at higher risk of tooth decay, and are usually placed as soon as the adult molar teeth come through.                           

 

Dental space maintenance is essential in cases of premature loss of primary dentition to prevent malposition, supra-eruption, impaction, or crowding of the developing permanent teeth. Many types of space maintainers are available and each type is specifically designated for particular indications. Space maintainers have many classifications according to their design, their fixation pattern, their position, and their site. They can be fixed, semi-fixed, or removable, with or without loops, wires, and/or bands, unilateral or bilateral, and are placed on mandibular or maxillary arches. The most commonly used space maintainers are loops and bands, fixed lingual arches, Nance appliances, and transpalatal arches.