Pedodontics, or pediatric dentistry, is a specialized branch of dentistry for the treatment of children. Pedodontics or Pediatric Dentistry refers to a branch of dentistry that specializes in dental care for children under the age of 16.
Pedodontics or paediatric dentistry as it is known at a lot of places is one of the most chellenging aspects of dentistry as it sometimes involves taking care of patients who are below the age of reason and don't necessarily always know what is best for them. Therefore we at Lakshmi dental care take our children seriously and provide dental care by a team of pedodontists.
Differentiating itself from regular dentistry, pediatric dentistry emphasizes the establishment of trust and confidence in children with their dentists. Consequently, one of the main components of pediatric training is child psychology. This manifests itself in special office designs, different communication style, and an emphasis on teaching preventative dental habits to children in an effort to make dental visits enjoyable.
For children, pedodontics place special importance in preventing tooth decay. Studies show that poor oral health care in children lead to decrease school performance and poor social relationships. Therefore, pediatric dentists give advice on how to make teeth strong, the importance of developing healthy eating habits, and other ways to prevent cavities from occurring.
Additionally, pediatric dentists work towards the maintenance of primary teeth (baby teeth) until they are naturally lost. This is due to the importance they serve in permitting children to chew properly and therefore maintain good nutrition, its role in speech development, and the way it aids permanent teeth by saving space for them.
We should not ignore cavities in milk teeth:
Milk teeth with cavities should be filled. Milk teeth, being very small in size, decay reach the nerve of the tooth very fast and cause pain and premature exfoliation.
What happens to teeth with deep decay?
A baby tooth is smaller than an adult tooth, so decay can spread quickly. Where the decay is deep and involves the nerve of the tooth a pulpotomy is needed. This is where the infected nerve tissue is removed and a medicament placed directly over the nerve tissue of the roots. A protective stainless steel crown is then placed over this.
If the decay has involved the nerve tissue in the roots, then this infected tissue is removed. A pulpectomy ( root canal therapy) may be needed. Again a medicament is placed and the tooth protected with a stainless steel crown.
Can milk tooth decay be prevented ?
Yes using Pit and fissure sealants.In some children the grinding surface of the teeth tends to have very deep pits and grooves which predispose to stagnation of food and microbes. For such teeth the dentist may use appropriate sealants to reduce their depth. These are called pit and fissure sealants
What happens if a child tooth is lost too early due to tooth decay or injury:
Using Space maintainers
Sometimes a milk tooth may have to be extracted (due to dental decay or some other cause) much before the permanent tooth is ready to replace it. In such cases the early extraction of the milk tooth may cause the neighboring teeth to move into the space and thus prevent the underlying permanent tooth from erupting into its correct position. To avoid this dentist may give the child a device called space maintainer that maintains the space till the permanent teeth that replace the milk teeth are ready to erupt.