Unfortunately, most of us will experience a cavity or tooth decay at some point in our life. We can reduce the chance of this from occurring by diligently brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily, and by eating a healthy and nutritious diet that is low in refined sugars or sweet drinks. However, cavities can sometimes still occur even when it seems like we do everything right. In fact, dental infection, or dental caries, is the most common chronic disease found in children.
Fortunately, even if your child’s teeth experience decay or damage, we have treatments that can help. At Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville, we offer a complete suite of children’s restorative dentistry treatments to make sure your child remains healthy and their mouth is set up for success.
“This dentist office is truly a blessing if your child has had bad precious experiences with the dentist or just a fear in general. My 5 year old had a terrifying experience at a younger age and I took her here yesterday and they where so awesome with her. The dental assistants are so outgoing and go above and beyond with the patients. This will forever be our new dentist.”
— Heather M.
Most restorative dentistry treatments are diagnosed during a dental cleaning & exam
We work with all children to ensure that their teeth are healthy and developing properly. If your child hasn’t been to the dentist recently, get in touch to schedule a dental cleaning and exam.
Restorative dental treatments to fight off tooth decay
Be it genetics, diet, inconsistent or poor dental hygiene, or a combination of other factors, your child might be facing tooth decay. This decay may lead to an infection, which can cause serious systemic health problems if left untreated.
Restorative dental procedures work by removing tooth decay from the affected tooth and replacing it with a biocompatible dental material. Unfortunately, there will always be a little bit of healthy tooth structure removed along with the tooth decay. This is unavoidable, but we are always as conservative as we can be when performing tooth preparations during restorative procedures. No matter what your child is experiencing, we can help them feel better. Depending on the extent of your child’s decay and the stage of tooth development they are currently in, we’ll offer one of the following treatments.
Composite fillings are usually our first choice when repairing small cavities. Because they are bonded directly to the tooth, they require the least amount of healthy tooth structure to be removed before placing the filling, and they can be colored to match the color of your child’s tooth.
For certain patients, amalgam (silver-colored) fillings are a better choice than composite fillings. This is because they are extremely durable, generally last longer, and are not as sensitive to poor diet and hygiene habits.
Stainless Steel Crowns
For larger cavities or young patients where a filling might not last until the adult teeth are ready to grow in, we might recommend a stainless steel crown. Crowns fit over a tooth by restoring the tooth to its original shape and size, all while protecting the tooth.
If decay becomes advanced enough to reach the nerve of your child’s tooth, the infected portion of the tooth must be removed to prevent a dental abscess. Pulpotomies are less invasive than root canals, and are generally covered with a stainless steel crown once completed.
Extractions may be necessary when a tooth is too infected to restore with any other method or if there is an abscess in the surrounding tissue. We believe that this is always the absolute last resort, and will never pull the tooth unless absolutely necessary.
If a tooth must be removed from the back of the mouth, a space maintenance device may be placed in order to preserve enough space for the adult teeth to come in in the future.
Permanent Crowns & Bridges
If your child’s permanent teeth become severely decayed, a permanent crown or bridge might be needed. Generally this takes 2 visits in order to:
Clean out the decay and prepare the tooth for the crown or bridge; obtain an impression to send to a laboratory for production of the custom restoration; and placement of a temporary restoration to protect the tooth while the final restoration is being fabricated.
Delivery of the custom restoration.
A root canal is placed when the decay has advanced to the nerve of the tooth. All the infected tissue is removed and replaced with a biocompatible material and then a crown or composite filling will be placed on the tooth to protect it.
We Accept Most Insurance & Medicaid
We believe every child should have access to the best restorative dental care possible. We proudly accept Medicaid and many other insurance plans, including those from:
Meet Our Doctors & Staff
Our restorative dentists are compassionate, caring, gentle, empathetic, and sensitive to the needs of every child.
Are restorative dentistry treatments covered by insurance?
Exact coverage will always depend on your specific plan. That said, most dental insurance plans cover some part of most restorative procedures. Contact us to learn how much of the treatment your insurance plan will cover.
How often does a child need to be checked for tooth decay?
We recommend 2 dental exams every year, about 6 months apart for most children. At dental exams, we’ll check for signs of decay and recommend treatments as needed, always explaining our reasoning and answering all of your questions.
My child has special needs and has trouble at the dentist. Can you still perform restorative treatments?
Our dental team has extensive experience with and enjoys working with children who have special needs, including kids with down syndrome, cerebral palsy, children on the autism spectrum, or those who suffer from dental anxiety.
Learn More About Our Complete Offering of Dental Services