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Pediatric Dentistry Procedures

What is pediatric dentistry?

Pediatric dentistry is a specialty that includes providing primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral and dental health care for infants and children. Pediatric dentists provide health care through adolescence even to children who have special health care needs. Pediatric dentists treat children till they reach adulthood. Read below where many Experts have answered questions regarding pediatric dentistry.

Why is it important to fill a cavity in a 3 year old child?

It is important to fill a cavity in a three year old child for the same reasons as it may be important to fill one in an adult. The reasons are given below:

• Some of the child’s primary teeth may remain till the child is 12 or 13 years old. If the cavity of the tooth is not filled, then by the time the child reaches that age, it can lead to a dental infection or destroy the tooth completely.

• Teeth provide the same benefits and help to the child that they do in adults. If the tooth is not filled and left to degenerate, then the child will be deprived of its benefits.

• It is better to conduct minor procedures like filing of cavities on a child than other major dental procedures that may have to be conducted if the tooth is left untreated. The minor procedures may cause lesser psychological trauma as compared to the other procedures.

How different is pediatric dentistry from adult dentistry as far as repair of tooth is concerned?

The procedures used in repairing teeth for children may not be different from those used to treat adults. The only difference between pediatric dentistry and adult dentistry is how the child needs to be handled psychologically. It is important for a pediatric dentist to build a rapport with the child so that he/she will cooperate during the dental procedures. It may not be very difficult for adult dentists to get the people to cooperate during dental procedures. Pediatric dentists are required to develop certain behavior management skills in order to ensure that the child has a positive dental experience.

A 1 year old child has a protruding growth from their gum line near their upper teeth. All the child’s teeth have almost erupted. What could be the reason for this growth?

If the eruption in the gum line is closer to the tooth, then it could be an eruption cyst. This cyst is caused by the remains of the embryonic tissue that forms the tooth. In most situations, one may not have to treat the cyst as it will disappear once the tooth erupts. If however, it does not go on its own and continues to be there even after the tooth has erupted, then the child may be taken to a pediatric dentist for a checkup.

An 8 year old child’s front tooth has got pushed back and lodged itself behind the adjacent baby teeth. What can the parent do in such a situation till the child is seen by a dentist?

Most dentists would feel that the tooth has not been fractured since it got pushed in. Also, since the tooth is young, there may be a good chance that it may survive the injury as its root is not completely developed and the blood supply to the tooth is higher. However, if the child’s tooth has got pushed back, then the parents should take the child to a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. The dentist will check the tooth and try to put it back in place. If the parents are unable to reach a dentist and need to wait for some time, then they may do the things mentioned below till they get to visit the dentist:
• Keep the area around the injury clean. Help the child to brush his/her teeth
• Give the child soft foods. It should not be very hot or cold. Avoid food that requires a lot of chewing.
• If required, the child may be given ibuprofen to help with the pain
• If there is swelling around the lip, the parents may place some ice on it to reduce the swelling
• The child may be made to sleep with a few extra pillows. This will also help to reduce the swelling.

Though most of the procedures that are followed to treat dental problems in children may be the same as those followed to treat adults, it is important for children to be treated by pediatric dentists. Young children may be very sensitive and sometimes may not be able to take the trauma that some of the dental procedures may cause. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to deal with children and make sure that the dental procedures cause as little psychological and physical trauma to them as possible.

Doctors trained in pediatric dentistry will also know how to get children to cooperate with them during dental procedures so that they experience as little pain as possible. Many parents may not be aware of this specialization in the field of dentistry and will take their children to adult dentists. Though these dentists may also be able to treat the child, in most of the cases, they may not be able to handle the child as sensitively as a pediatric dentist may be able to. You may ask an Expert if you have any questions or need any information about pediatric dentistry.
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