Oh no! The cavity bugs have been having a party again, and now a little decay is showing up. Let’s just stop that in its tracks! Yes, we can be party poopers here at Growing Great Grins, but only when it comes to catching cavities before they really get started. It is one of the reasons we recommend regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings. When we can’t reverse a cavity with cleanings and sealants, we offer a couple of cavity-repair options. We have both tooth-colored fillings and traditional amalgam fillings.
Tooth-colored fillings are made of a biocompatible composite material that is shaded to blend into the tooth being repaired. Amalgam fillings are made of a combination of metals and are what your teeth were probably filled with when you were a kid. While we usually suggest tooth-colored fillings these days, certain circumstances may necessitate an amalgam filling. Either way, we rarely use a drill to prepare a tooth. Instead, we use our incredible laser to numb the tooth and prepare the enamel. Youngsters and parents alike are amazed at how comfortably and quickly even extensive decay can be eradicated!
When a cavity is too big for a filling, a tooth too damaged for bonding, or a baby root canal is necessary, pediatric dental crowns can save the day. Crowns are available in a variety of materials, depending on the location of the repair and your child’s situation.
Sometimes referred to as caps, crowns create a whole new surface for your kiddo’s tooth, strengthening failing teeth, and protecting damaged chompers. We generally prefer to restore teeth with tooth-colored crowns, but if a stainless-steel crown is necessary, we can help your little one feel great about those shiny, silver gems in their smiles. We call them Ironman or Princess teeth and kids are usually delighted, though it may take a few days for them to get used to the way they feel. Talk to us about your options. You are part of your child’s smile team after all and we want you to be part of every decision-making process.
All I want for Christmas… my birthday… Valentine’s Day… Kid’s Day… umm, Halloween…? If your child has lost front teeth earlier than usual through trauma or decay, and no amount of wishing (or singing that silly song) will make them grow in any faster, we offer Pedi Partials to fill in the gap until mother nature takes over. Pedi Partials are a lot like adult partial dentures in that they are custom-created to fill gaps and look as close to natural teeth as possible. The big difference is that Pedi Partials are not removable.
Instead, these nifty partials are affixed to surrounding teeth with bands and then cemented in place for the ultimate in function and comfort. This means your child can smile with confidence, eat more easily, speak without impediment, and learn to brush and floss as usual. We check these appliances every three months to make sure they aren’t broken, that they are staying in place, and that they aren’t irritating those delicate little oral tissues. We also like to remove each Pedi Partial every six months for a thorough cleaning and update. Don’t let your child keep asking for new front teeth! Give them the gift of a smile with Pedi Partials from Growing Great Grins.
It isn’t always easy for parents to know exactly what is happening in their children’s’ mouths. In fact, kids can sometimes live with cavities or infections and never tell their parents. It can be difficult to explain what hurts, especially since tooth pain might be felt in the ear or jaw instead of a specific tooth. Even if your child expresses that they have a toothache, infected teeth may not look different from the surrounding teeth. Keep your eye on your child if they suddenly seem to have trouble with hot or cold foods or simply lose their appetite, and please call us right away if you notice any swelling, discoloration, or bad breath.
Even swollen glands and a fever could be an indicator of a dental infection! When we discover an infection early enough, we can usually clear it up as non-invasively as possible, but when it progresses, or a cavity extends into the pulp of the tooth where all the nerves and blood vessels are, we may have to perform a baby root canal in order to save the tooth. These root canals, also known as pulpotomies and pulpectomies, are endodontic procedures especially designed to remove an infection from little teeth, quickly and effectively stopping the pain and preventing unnecessary extraction.
It’s never easy to say goodbye to friends – especially the friends who help you chew, talk, and smile! But sometimes those baby teeth need to go! That’s when our quick, stress-free tooth extractions come into play.
- If a baby tooth just won’t let go to allow the adult tooth grow in…
- if a cavity has progressed too far or infection in the tooth may cause health problems for your child…
- if a tooth has been severely damaged by trauma, dental extractions are our last resort to solve the problem.
It’s true that this is the procedure tykes feel most anxious about – but it is also true that our gentle approach and highly-effective extraction methods will make having a tooth pulled a cinch. It happens so fast, kids barely have time to notice it happened! Of course, we take plenty of time to help your child manage her anxiety and then celebrate the great job she has done when the surgery is finished! Then it is time to welcome the new friends into the smile – won’t she feel proud of those grown-up teeth?
Do you love technology? We do too! In fact, Growing Great Grins stays on the leading edge of pediatric technology, not just because technology is exciting and makes our lives easier, but because it keeps our patients so much more comfortable and helps support our minimally-invasive/ preventative approach.
Our Magic, Green, Laser Machine
One of the most mind-blowing technologies we use is the laser. Seriously! Lasers offer incredible accuracy (it’s why eye surgeons use them!), and it minimizes discomfort so much, we hardly ever have to numb kids with the dreaded Novocain shot. That means no needles, no numbness, and no drooling!
Icon – Painting Away Early Cavities
Our team at Growing Great Grins also use an amazing new technology, called Icon. Icon is so cool, it was recently featured in Popular Science Magazine and on The Doctors TV show!
What is it? Icon is the very first product that allows us to treat the teeniest, tiniest caries lesions completely non-invasively, bridging the gap between prevention and restoration. Icon is “a resin infiltration technology that fills, reinforces, and stabilizes demineralized enamel for the purpose of arresting the progression of incipient carious lesions and removing cariogenic white spots.” In other words, Icon’s resin technology lets us paint resin over baby cavities to stop the progression of decay without drilling, anesthesia, or sacrificing any healthy tooth structure. Now that’s the perfect combination of art and science!