The Smile Spot team loves working with children! We’re passionate about helping kids learn great oral hygiene habits that will create a healthy foundation for a lifetime of smiles.
Kids are encouraged to enjoy the games and toys in our adorable playroom. We would like nothing more than for our younger patients to feel at home here and leave with a smile.
Infant and Toddler Dental Exams (First Dental Home Visits)
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that the first dental visit should occur within 6 months after the baby’s first tooth appears, but no later than the child’s first birthday. The first dental visit is usually quick and involves very little treatment. This visit gives your child an opportunity to meet the dentist in a non-threatening and friendly way.
During the examination, the dentist will check all of your child’s existing teeth for decay, examine your child’s bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues. The dentist can show you how to properly clean your child’s teeth, discuss diet and fluoride needs, and recommend oral care products. He or she will answer all your questions concerning your baby’s teeth, similar to a well-baby visit with your pediatrician.
Stainless Steel Crowns
Stainless steel crowns are metal caps that are indicated for the restoration of primary anterior or posterior teeth that meets one or more of the following criteria:
Extensive carious lesions which undermine cusps and expand beyond line angles
Developmental defects such as hypoplasia and hypocalcification
Failure of other available restorative materials is likely
Following pulpotomy or pulpectomy
For restoring a primary molar tooth to be used as an abutment for a space maintainer
The intermediate restoration of fractured teeth
Stainless steel crowns are made to fit the exact size and shape of a child's tooth and will typically exfoliate naturally with the primary dentition. For permanent molar dentition, stainless steel crowns are a useful semi-permanent restoration that can be used until the tooth fully erupts and a more permanent and aesthetic coronal restorations can be selected. Stainless steel crowns provide full coronal coverage, virtually ensuring that recurrent decay will not occur and, furthermore, their smooth surfaces renders the tooth easier to clean using routine oral hygiene procedures.
Pulpotomy “Baby tooth root canal”
A pulpotomy is the removal of an inflamed pulp chamber in a child’s tooth that has been compromised due to untreated cavities. Bacteria must be removed from the pulp chamber inside the child’s tooth in order to prevent or alleviate an abscess or infection. A pulpotomy is commonly referred to as a “baby tooth root canal.”
A healthy tooth has a space inside it called the “pulp space” which is filled with soft tissues – nerves, blood vessels, and pink connective tissue. If a tooth gets a large cavity, the bacteria in the decay can damage the pulp, which is often what causes a toothache.
Baby teeth are not as hard and strong as adult teeth and the nerve inside a baby tooth is more prominent, which is why children are often more sensitive and susceptible to decay and tooth pain.
Children may need space maintainers if they lose a primary (baby) tooth early or the tooth has been extracted due to significant dental decay. If either is the case, it is important to understand the benefits of using a space maintainer and how it can help support your child's dental health.
A space maintainer is an appliance that is custom-made by a dental laboratory using metal material and is cemented in a child's mouth. Its purpose is to keep the space open to allow the permanent successor to erupt and come into its proper place. Baby teeth are important to the development of the teeth, jaw bones and muscles and help to guide permanent teeth into position when the baby teeth are lost. If a space is not adequately maintained, then teeth can shift into the open space and orthodontic treatment may be required. Not every child who loses a baby tooth early or to dental decay requires a space maintainer; however, a professional consultation with your dentist or orthodontist should be conducted to determine if using a space maintainer is necessary.