If you have a young school-aged son or daughter, then you very likely have many concerns about the way your child is developing. Part of this development process involves the proper formation of the adult teeth and the loss of the baby teeth. Sometimes, accidents, injuries, and poor oral care can cause baby tooth problems that prevent them from properly saving a space for the adult tooth forming below. Fortunately, your child’s pediatric dentist can make sure that the adult teeth are still able to come in strong, healthy, and in the right position. Find out how this happens by reading on.
Placement of Stainless Steel Crowns
In some cases, children brush their teeth quickly or forget to brush the back teeth. When this happens, food bits force their way into the fine, but deep crevices that line the flat edges of the molars. When food is not removed, cavities form. Unfortunately, the teeth as a whole will retain over 5,000 pounds per square inch of pressure as you bite. Around 160 pounds of pressure is placed on each of the molars alone. This kind of pressure can easily crack a tooth that is already weak.
To prevent a cavity-ridden molar from breaking or to strengthen one that has already cracked, your child’s dentist will secure a stainless steel dental crown.
The Crown Process
As previously stated, the baby teeth are meant to be placeholders for the adult teeth that will emerge later on. This means that your child’s dentist does not need to think about aesthetics when saving a tooth, and thus an inexpensive metal version is created. First, your child is treated for cavities. In most cases, lidocaine will need to be injected beforehand if the tooth also need to to be shaped. If the tooth is broken, then the dentist may use a shot-free laser removal process to release decay. This will minimize pain and reduce the need for a local anesthetic shot that can be frightening to a child.
After the cavity is removed, enamel is removed if there is a need. The dentist will use a pre-fabricated metal cap, and the smallest possible crown will be used that just touches the teeth on the right and left sides of the molar to retain space. The crown is shaped to fit the tooth and bite properly, dental cement is spread on the underside, and it is slipped on the tooth.
After the crown is secured, the pediatric dentist may also use plastic sealants on the other molars to protect them from cavities for up to 10 years, or until the adult teeth come in. This helps to prevent future cavity and crown issues.
Space Maintaining Devices
If your child has endured a serious accident and one of the baby teeth has been knocked out completely, then it is possible that the baby or adult teeth near the gap will migrate into the space. The teeth do this as biting pressure and stress force the teeth to move little by little to the side. Eventually, the hole fills in and the adult tooth in the gums has no opening to emerge. This can cause the tooth to slip either in front or behind the other teeth where tissue resistance is minimal. Your son or daughter’s dentist may decide to place a space saver or maintainer in the mouth to stop this from happening.
Space maintainers can be made and used for many different purposes and reasons. In the case of a missing baby tooth, a fixed or cemented device is needed. If only a single tooth is missing, then a crown and loop device will be used. A connector or crown is placed on the tooth next to the space and a metal ring, circle, or rounded-oval is attached to the connector. The ring sits close to the gums and butts up against the tooth on the other side of the gap. An open space in the middle allows the adult tooth to come in.
If your child is missing one of the first molars, then added support is needed to make sure the space does not close. In this instance, a distal shoe is utilized where a metal prong is stuck directly into the gums. The ring and metal connector will look much the same as the crown and loop device.Read More