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The use of sealants does not eliminate the need for regular attention to dental care. Dentists recommend regular brushing and flossing, attention to the amount of sugary foods consumed, and to the frequency which they are eaten. The teeth are subjected to a 20 minute acid attack every time sugary foods are eaten, causing an erosive action that can break down healthy enamel.
The pit and fissure sealant is applied to the chewing surface of the back teeth, to indentations, and nicks in the teeth’s surfaces. It is used by dentists as a preventive measure to ward off decay that tends to settle into hidden crevices in the teeth.
To apply the sealant, the dentist first cleans the tops and grooves of selected teeth. The tooth enamel is then treated with an acid solution that etches the surface of the tooth. This allows the sealant to bond to the teeth.
Within a few days, the excess wears off, leaving the sealant only in the pits and fissures. Sealants will be checked at each period exam and replaced as needed.
Numb Mouth (Local Anesthetic)
When your child receives local anesthetic his mouth will be numb. Along with blocking sensation from the teeth, the lips, cheeks, and tongue will be numb in the area of treatment. This numbing sensation may be puzzling to your child.
Care must be taken that your child does not bite or his lips or tongue. Therefore, please watch your child closely for approximately one and a half hours.
Avoid eating or drinking until the anesthetic is no longer numbing mouth. If your child needs something before then, he may carefully have something to drink, and he may carefully eat soft solids, such as, ice cream, popsicles, or jello.
Happy Gas (Nitrous Oxide)
It may be recommended for your child to use nitrous during his operative appointment.
Nitrous oxide allows your child to breath from the air while enjoying a remarkable depth of relaxation.
It virtually eliminates the apprehension, nervousness, and tension associated with dental procedures; and it allows for a cooperative, well-,managed pediatric patient.
It usually induces a feeling of warmth and security, as well as, a pleasant “floating” sensation.
It permits needed injections of local anesthetic (Xylocaine) with less discomfort, with more profound results in most instances.
Nitrous oxide in no way resembles general anesthesia because your child is always awake.
In some case, nitrous oxide can cause nausea.
Effect of nitrous are no longer present with in two to five minutes after the gas is stopped.
Stainless Steel Crowns
When decay destroys a tooth to the extent there is little support for a filling, it is best to surround the tooth with a stainless steel crown. Otherwise, the remaining portion of the severely weakened tooth may fracture, making necessary the tooth be extracted.
Stainless Steel Crowns are used primarily on back teeth. However, occasionally are used on front teeth where a white filling is not easily retained.
To avoid the cost and time of replacement, please avoid sticky foods such as hard candy, caramel, and taffy.
The crowned tooth will usually fall out when the permanent successor is ready to come in.
Pulpotomy (Nerve Removal)
When bacteria is involved in the pulp (nerve) chamber of your child’s tooth, it is necessary to surgically remove the nerve in the pulp chamber, and place a medicated filling.
The success of a pulpotomy depends on the severity of the infection, and the body’s reaction to the infection and this treatment. If the pulpotomy and the tooth abscesses, it must usually be extracted (removed), and a space maintainer placed to the space for the permanent successor.
A tooth may abscess with or without pain; therefore, it is recommended that six-month checkups be made to keep the teeth under observation.
When the local anesthetic wears off, your child may be in some pain. If this pain is not relieved with in a day with some Children’s Tylenol or Ibupropen, then please contact our office.
Tooth Removed (Extraction)
To protect the blood clot, maintain gentle pressure by biting on cotton roll or gauze until bleeding has stopped. Slight oozing of blood is to be expected. If bleeding does not stop continue pressure with cotton or a moistened tea bag, and call our office.
Do Not Rinse or use mouthwash for 24 hours. After 24 hours you may rinse with warm salt water (one half teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water) a few times a day. Stay away from commercial mouth washes during the healing process.
Discomfort is normal following dental surgery. Children’s ibuprofen or Tylenol will relieve the discomfort.
After 24 hours a toothbrush may be gently used in the surgical area. A clean mouth heals faster.
Adequate food and fluid intake following surgery of extractions is most important. If your child wants something immediately after the surgery, then cold liquids work best, such as a milkshake (do not drink through a straw). Later, liquids and soft food may be taken until your child is able to resume the normal diet.
Avoid excessive physical activity the day of surgery. Do not pick at the surgical area and do not drink out of a straw, as this may dislodge the clot.
When back baby teeth (molars) are lost prematurely, it is usually necessary to hold the space open so teeth on either side do not close it. If the space is not maintained, it will be lost and the permanent teeth will be unable to come in properly.
Maintaining space is usually not required front upper and lower teeth. However, artificial teeth may be needed to aid in speech or for cosmetic purposes.
If a tooth is lost on one side of the jaw, a unilateral (one sided) spacer is used. They are usually described as band loops.
If a tooth or teeth is lost on both sides of the upper or lower arch, then a bilateral (two-sided) space is used. These are described as a nance holding arch for the upper teeth, or a lower lingual holding arch for the lower teeth.
To avoid the cost and time of replacement, please avoid sticky foods, such as, hard candy, caramel, and taffy. Also, remind your child not to play with the new appliance with his or her fingers or tongue.
Regular six month checkups are recommended to make sure the appliance is still fitting properly, that the cement has not washed out, or the band has become loose. If you notice the new tooth erupting improperly under, or going around the space maintainer, please call our office for an appointment.