Treatments

At Hersch Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we’re here to do all we can to make sure that your child’s primary (baby) teeth remain strong and healthy. Unfortunately, many people don’t recognize how crucial it is to maintain healthy primary teeth, thinking that they’ll just fall out anyway so it’s not a big deal. However, primary teeth play a vital role for children for several reasons:

  • They guide the eruption of permanent teeth.
  • They allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition.
  • They allow for clear pronunciation and good speech habits.
  • They can even give a child a great self-image.

By coming in to visit your Newport Beach children’s dentist and orthodontist, we’re capable of making sure that your child’s teeth will stay in great shape with our following dental treatments.


One of the most common places for a child to develop cavities is on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. This is because these chewing surfaces contain grooves that can trap food in them. If this food isn’t removed, it will begin to cause tooth decay. Sealants will prevent this problem by smoothing out these grooves and preventing food from getting stuck in them.

Getting a sealant is a simple procedure where a tooth-colored sealant made of a resin-based plastic material is painted onto the chewing surfaces of a child’s permanent back teeth to seal their grooves. While effective, sealants generally won’t last for more than about five years.

The Problem

Protect normal pits and grooves on the chewing surface of back teeth.
Stop small amounts of decay from growing larger.

The Solution

A clear or tooth colored sealants is painted onto the tooth surface to "seal" the pits and grooves and protect against decay. They are generally applied to children's permanent back teeth.

Advantages

Sealants are an excellent way to protect chewing surfaces of teeth from decay. They are a much better financial investment than treating decay after it has started.

Disadvantages

Sealants are not permanent. They generally last about five years with normal wear, but can wear off or chip off earlier in certain instances. Also, sealants do not prevent decay between teeth or the onset of gum disease, so regular home care and dental visits are important.

Alternatives

There are no appropriate alternatives to sealants. If a tooth has decay, it will need a filling or other restoration.

Primary teeth are important for several reasons. Foremost, good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth allow for clear pronunciation and speech habits. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. Primary teeth also guide eruption of the permanent teeth.

An inexpensive way to restore a small amount of tooth decay.

The Problem

Decay on a small portion of any tooth.

The Solution

A composite filling is a tooth colored material. After tooth decay is removed and cleaned, this tooth colored material is layered into the tooth. Each layer is hardened or cured with an intense visibly blue light, and the final surface is shaped and polished to match the tooth. The final restoration is virtually invisible.

Advantages of White Fillings

Composite fillings are more than just attractive. They require minimal tooth preparation and are therefore considered a minimally invasive procedure. Less healthy tooth structure is removed to restore the tooth. Also, a sealant can be placed over the remaining exposed grooves of the tooth to minimize the risk of decay on another area of the tooth.

Disadvantages of White Fillings

Composite fillings can be subject to wear and tear from tooth grinding and from biting into or chewing on hard objects etc.

Alternatives

In cases of extensive decay or if the baby tooth required a pulpotomy, a crown is the best option. If the decay is not treated, it will most likely increase in size and become a larger problem.

Protect and keep badly decayed or fractured teeth.

The Problem

  • Badly decayed teeth.
  • Fractured teeth.
  • Need to protect and strengthen teeth.
  • Tooth has had a baby root canal "pulpotomy".

The Solution

A crown (often called a cap) covers the tooth and restores it to its original shape and size. Decay is removed and cleaned from the tooth and a preformed crown is placed over the tooth. Unlike adult crowns, in which the crown is made to fit the tooth, which require 2 appointments, baby crowns are placed in one visit, because the tooth is prepared to fit the crown.

Advantages

Crowns are incredibly strong due to the fact that they are cover the entire tooth. This protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure. They are the best chance for survival of a tooth that has had a baby root canal.

Disadvantages of White Fillings

Crowns are excellent restorations and have few disadvantages, however most children's crowns are silver in color.

Alternatives

Typically there are no good alternatives to crowns. If the tooth has sustained enough damage to require a crown then the best prognosis for the tooth is to receive the crown. Placing a filling on a tooth that should have a crown will likely result in fracture, recurrent decay, and loss of that tooth.

Premature loss of your child's baby tooth.

The Solution

Space maintainer -- a combination of bands and wires designed to hold the remaining teeth in a position that will allow the future permanent tooth to erupt in the proper location.

Advantages

Prompt placement of a space maintainer will give the permanent tooth the best chance of erupting in the mouth in the correct location. This will minimize orthodontic problems caused by premature loss of a baby tooth.

Disadvantages of White Fillings

Your child will need to wear the appliance until the permanent tooth erupts. If not kept clean, decay can occur under the bands.

Alternatives

If a space maintainer is not placed, the teeth will shift into the open area, making it difficult or in some cases impossible for the permanent tooth to erupt. This requires more extensive orthodontic treatment to remedy.

The Problem

Decay that has reached the nerve/pulp of the baby tooth.

The Solution

Like adult root canals, the dentist will access the nerve chamber of the tooth, and remove some of the nerve/pulp of the tooth. Unlike adult root canals, this is a very short procedure, as only part of the pulp needs to be removed, and does not require the time consuming filing of adult root canals.

Advantages

  • If the tooth has been symptomatic this procedure will likely alleviate the pain.
  • Allows for the tooth to be preserved until it is ready to fall out naturally.

Disadvantages of White Fillings

Pulpotomies have a 90% success rate. Occasionally, the nerve of the tooth is so badly damaged that it does not respond to pulp therapy, resulting in the need for extraction of the offending tooth.

Alternatives

The only alternative to a pulpotomy is extraction, and placement of a space maintainer. However, if it is possible to save the baby tooth, this is the best alternative because it preserves the appropriate spacing for the adult dentition.

Contact Your Newport Beach Children’s Dentist and Orthodontist Today!

If you have any further questions about our dental treatments, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know. If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment with your Newport Beach orthodontist and pediatric dentist, feel free to give us a call at (949) 644-0611. We can’t wait to hear from you and help give your child a healthier smile!

Newport Beach, California

400 Newport Center Drive
Suite 701
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949-644-0611
​info@herschsmiles.com

©2017 Hersch Pediatric Dentristy and Orthodontics