Cavity Treatment Methods In Children’s Dentistry

Written by on July 26, 2013 in Health - No comments | Print this page


Parents should begin caring for their child’s oral health even as a baby by thoroughly wiping down their gums and then moving on to brushing when they start to develop teeth.

dental-clinicIt’s not uncommon for tooth decay to form at an early age as a result of a poor, sugary diet or letting milk saturate the gums.

Both of these circumstances can get in the way of children growing healthy teeth, but parents can prevent future problems by implementing good and consistent oral health care at home and getting their offspring established with a children’s dentistry practice early on.

There may be some confusion as to why dentists would be so concerned about tooth decay in baby teeth since they’re destined to fall out anyway, however, they serve a very important purpose in the meantime.

Baby teeth are actually saving the space that adult teeth will eventually grow into. If a tooth is lost prematurely, it can cause the rest of the teeth to shift and inhibit the development of the permanent tooth.

Cavities are also painful for children and can set the tone for a lifetime of dental difficulties. After considering the severity of decay, dentists may opt to use one of the following remedial methods.


When tooth decay is caught in its beginning stages, dentists can often treat the child by simply performing a thorough cleaning and removal of plaque.

Teeth can remineralize on their own with the help of things like fluoride or mouthwash, which kill the demineralizing bacteria that causes cavities in the first place.

An improvement in diet is also necessary for minerals to be restored to teeth and for preventing future decay.


If the tooth decay has advanced beyond the help of remineralization, a dentist will probably need to take the next step to save the child’s teeth and fill the cavity.

Fillings in children’s dentistry are much like those you would experience as an adult, however, the dentist should take into consideration the age and cooperation of the child, as well as the seriousness of the cavity, before making a decision as to which material will be used.

Fillings are commonly created from amalgam, composite resin, porcelain and gold alloys, with each having their own benefits.


Some dentists and parents may be hesitant to place filling materials inside a child’s mouth, or the cavity may need a more progressive treatment, and that’s when a crown might be put into place over the affected tooth.

Stainless steel crowns are typically used on baby teeth, especially if the decay is in the back where appearance will be of little concern. Tooth-colored crowns are also available and present a better option when decay is on a front tooth that will easily be noticed.


Extreme situations of tooth decay may call for either a pulpotomy or pulpectomy procedure in an effort to save the tooth.

If the decay only involves the crown of the tooth, a pulpotomy will be performed to remove all of the infection from the area. Much like a root canal, a pulpectomy takes place when it has spread to the root of the tooth and the complete removal of the tooth pulp is required.


It’s not easy to put a child through an extraction process, but there are unfortunate circumstances that will call for it when the tooth has been entirely destroyed and there is concern that the infection will cause further problems.

A children’s dentistry office should be fully trained in handling each of these procedures specifically on children and will be able to advise parents on the appropriate treatment based on the severity of the situation.

tiffany olsonTiffany Olson lives in California and blogs regularly about health and wellness topics. Growing up she experienced cavities and has since made a point to educate the public on good dental health for children.


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