No matter how much parents try, it can always be a battle to get children to brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Teenagers can also be difficult when it comes to dental hygiene. Parents will try setting a timer for two minutes, playing a video, playing a song or even brushing with the child to promote brushing a full two minutes. Eventually, the child grows up enough to not remain under constant supervision while brushing. However, many children do not brush every area of their teeth properly.
In other cases, children may only brush once a day and never floss. The danger is that most do not brush or floss after lunch or at school, increasing the risk for tooth decay and gum disease. People falsely assume that the teeth are a single solid substance and do not contain anything inside them. In reality, the teeth have layers.
The inner workings of teeth
The outer layer is known as the enamel, which acts as a shield. Beneath the enamel is the dentin and beneath that is the dental pulp. The dental pulp contains the nerves, tissues and blood vessels of the tooth. If the dental pulp faces exposure from a crack in the tooth or is infected, then the patient will experience intense pain. Since dentistry works best as a preventive treatment, it is crucial to seek regular appointments and checkups.
At a regular checkup at least once every six months, we can search for and remove an early signs of infection. In the early stages, most forms of infection require a professional cleaning at our practice. In the advanced stages, the infection will require more serious treatment. Even when the infection begins on the crown of the tooth or the biting surface, we can perform a pulpotomy that is also known as pulp therapy.
While an extraction is necessary for teeth that are beyond treatment, pediatric dentists do everything possible to keep the teeth in the mouth. Even with baby teeth, we will try to help the patient keep those teeth until it is time for them to fall out. The reason is that the teeth help with speech development, eating and the overall growth of the child. Removing baby teeth unnecessarily will cause the other teeth to grow in crooked. Thus, we recommend procedures that save as much of the tooth as possible.
When to call us for a pulpotomy
Signs that a child needs a pulpotomy include:
- Unexplainable pain that does not go away
- Abnormal teeth sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Swelling or redness around the tooth
- Sudden looseness of a tooth
If the child continues to struggle with pain in the tooth that does not go away in a day, then we recommend scheduling an appointment. While there are other conditions that can cause pain in the teeth, it is crucial to seek professional treatment so the child can continue to have healthy oral health and development.
When the root of the pulp in the tooth does not have an infection but does have an infection in the tip of the pulp, we will conduct a pulpotomy. During a pulpotomy, we will treat the infected tip of the pulp and any infection that surrounds the tooth. However, we will leave as much of the tooth intact as possible. After we remove the infected pulp, we will then fill the gap with a type of dental cement that is not harmful to the body and is biocompatible.
This material prevents further infection of the root and soothes the root of the pulp. We will usually cover the tooth with a dental crown to protect the tooth even further. We will make sure the child is comfortable during the treatment and ensure the child does not feel pain. While a child may not like the idea of a metal crown covering the teeth and being noticeable, we can recommend tooth-colored crowns. These crowns will blend in with the surrounding teeth and be less noticeable unless the individual tells someone else about the crown.
Schedule an appointment today
It is important to follow any aftercare instructions that we give, as the child may experience some soreness following the treatment. We will schedule follow-up appointments if necessary to ensure the child’s teeth remain free of infection. If your child is struggling with dental pain that lasts more than a day, give us a call as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. We will examine the child and identify the issue before determining the most effective form of treatment.
If you would like to learn more about oral health diet and the various treatments we provide, call (813) 518-0641 to schedule a consultation.
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