What Procedures Do Pediatric Dentists Do?
Pediatric dentists specialize in taking care of younger patients such as infants, young children, and teenagers. Pediatric Dentistry involves providing expert care to children and adolescents to ensure they have a healthy set of teeth while keeping a lookout for potential health concerns that may cause them problems in the future. In addition, these dentists educate their patients and their parents about how important oral health is by providing dental examinations, consultations, and treatments for at-risk teeth.
Oral Health Exams
Your first visit to your local pediatric dentist may involve a consultation appointment or an oral health examination of your child. Dental scanning technologies such as X-rays and computer imaging allow pediatric dentists to evaluate and correct oral health problems in young children and follow up with the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
As infants and young children chew their food, bacteria and food deposits can build up in the mouth if proper oral hygiene is not followed. Foods and drinks with a lot of sugar can slowly deteriorate a child’s teeth, lead to loss of enamel, and create cavities that can lead to nerve damage and potential early tooth extraction.
When a pediatric dentist identifies a cavity, they can repair the affected tooth using tooth-colored fillings. Still, if the cavity is too deep, a pulpotomy nerve treatment may be necessary. To prevent cavities from forming in the first place, pediatric dentists highly recommend brushing and flossing twice a day.
Pediatric dentists also use fluoride to treat cavities that form from the weakening of the enamel’s mineral composition. These fluoride treatments aid in the re-mineralization of teeth helping to prevent future cavities. For at-home remedies, pediatric dentists highly recommend children’s anti-cavity toothpaste and mouth rinses.
A complete mouth cleaning is also a service many pediatric dentists provide. During a typical dental visit, the dentist assistant or hygienist usually reviews a child’s medical history followed by a mouth examination. The cleaning itself includes the removal of plaque and calculus, which can cause cavities and gum disease. After the cleaning is complete, the hygienist applies fluoride to the teeth to help protect and strengthen them against decay. Pediatric dentists recommend visiting your local dental office at least every six months for proper oral health and tooth development for a child to have a healthy set of teeth.
To have an in-depth view of the mouth, pediatric dentists rely on x-rays to examine each tooth to ensure they grow normally and identify irregularities. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends X-ray examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. On the other hand, children with a low risk of tooth decay require X-rays less frequently. What a person cannot see with the naked eye, an x-ray examination is an ideal method to observe what is under the teeth and the gums. This allows pediatric dentists to identify tooth abscesses, tooth decay, and crooked tooth roots.