Pedodontics or Pediatric Dentistry is a specialized field of dentistry which focuses on the dental care of children right from their birth to adolescence. Pediatric dentists work towards the maintenance of the primary teeth until they are lost. This is because primary teeth help children to chew properly and therefore maintain their good health.
At Nagem Dental Centre
The Pedodontic services offered by Nagem Dental Centre are:
1. Space maintainers
2. Fissure sealants
Sometimes a child loses a tooth early or has to get it removed due to decay, so a space is created. This space is to be maintained, because if it gets filled by the surrounding teeth, it will hamper the eruption of a permanent tooth. This space is maintained by a space maintainer.
A space maintainer is an appliance which is used to maintain the space created by the premature loss of a primary tooth. It helps minimize future complex orthodontic treatments. A space maintainer can be either removable or cemented permanently into a child’s mouth.
Fixed space maintainer: Fixed space maintainers are fixed and cannot be removed by the patient himself. These do not need any pre- dental preparations and the permanent teeth are free to erupt in the empty space.
Types of fixed space maintainers:
1. Unilateral (band and loop): this appliance consists of a band placed on the molar and a wire loop spread on the empty space, so that neither of the teeth can move. It is used when only one tooth has fallen.
2. Bilateral (lingual arch): this appliance is used when more than one tooth is missing. It is cemented to the molar teeth and is connected by a wire on the inside of the lower front teeth. Arch length is also saved by using this appliance.
On the upper arch, a Nance button as a bilateral space maintainer is preferred. It is placed on the first molars. An acrylic button is made in the palate to prevent the molars from drifting forward. This is usually not preferred because the food can get stuck under the acrylic or the tissue of the palate can become irritated. So a transpalatal space maintainer is used instead.
1. Removable space maintainer: These space maintainers look like a denture as they consist of artificial teeth like structures to fill the empty spaces. These are recommended for the children who are mature enough to take care of these appliances.
Patients should come for regular check-ups and dentist should take x rays which will reveal the progress of the incoming permanent tooth. The space maintainer is removed when the permanent tooth is ready to erupt.
Some teeth contain deep pits and fissures which can attract bacteria and tooth decay due to food accumulation in them. So fissure sealants (also called pit sealants) are placed onto the tooth’s surface. This is not painful and does not need anaesthesia.
Pits in the teeth are filled by phosphoric acid (in a process called etching) which makes the surface of the teeth rough microscopically. So a sealant (which is a resin or a glass ionomer material) is applied into the pits to make the surface match the colour of the teeth as well as smoothen the rough surface. Later, blue light is applied to the sealant to harden it.
Sealants do not protect your child’s teeth completely. So a good oral hygiene is required. Brushing the teeth properly, flossing at least once daily, avoiding too much sugar and regular visits to the dentist can save your child’s beautiful smile.