‘White fillings’ is the common name for Composite/Glass Ionomer (GIC) fillings. We use white fillings for restoring the front and/or back baby and adult teeth. We may need to do this in cases of dental decay or to restore broken-down teeth. We strive hard to ensure that the final result matches the natural shade of the teeth.
Stainless steel crowns
When molar teeth are affected by hypomineralisation (‘chalky teeth’), extensive decay or following a baby tooth root canal, we recommend stainless steel crowns. These are NOT the same as silver amalgam fillings. We often call these special caps ‘iron man’ caps. They are cemented on to protect the teeth until the baby teeth naturally exfoliate.
Pulp treatment (‘baby tooth root canal’)
Sometimes a cavity can be so deep that it affects the nerve of the baby tooth. When this happens, we perform a ‘pulpotomy’ or ‘pulpectomy’ in order to restore the tooth. After we have completed the pulp treatment, we place a stainless steel crown over the tooth.
We perform a ‘pulpotomy’ if the nerve of the tooth is only irritated or inflamed. However, we perform a ‘pulpectomy’ when the nerve of the tooth is dead. After a diagnosis is confirmed, we will advise which form of pulp treatment is appropriate for your child’s tooth or teeth.
We always endeavour to save teeth but sometimes an extraction is the last resort. This is generally when the tooth is infected or badly broken down. If baby teeth are removed prematurely then adult teeth can drift into the spaces. This may result in crooked teeth in the future and the need for orthodontic treatment.
We use a space maintainer to stop these molar teeth from shifting. We will discuss with you if a space maintainer is suitable for your child. The space maintainer will stay fixed until the new tooth starts erupting into the space created after the extraction. We will remove the space maintainer as required and we recommend regular dental visits to monitor the space maintainer and eruption of the new tooth into the space.