When children have lots of very large cavities and they are too young to hold still while hours are spent fixing the cavites, what do you do? A child from Molalla came to the Oregon City office recently with just such a problem.
This little boy had cavities on almost every one of his baby teeth and most of the decay was very close to the pulp nerve tissue and probably needing baby root canals (pulpotomies).
Recently published articles recommend an Alternative Restorative Treatment (ART) to removing all the decay and filling with permanent restorations.
They strongly recommend trying to stop the decay from progressing into the nerves by scooping out some of the rotten tooth material on every tooth during one short appointment and filling the holes with glass ionomer.
There are several advantages to this technique:
The filling provides fluoride to strengthen the tooth and keep germs from growing the decay deeper.
All the cavities are stabilized so fewer germs are spreading around the mouth and infecting other teeth.
Leaving some of the rotten tooth under the filling provides a separation that permits the nerve to heal and back away from the decay.
It costs less at our office through a special Glass Ionomer Caries Control program we have developed that caps out of pocket expenses.
We used this ART with the little boy from Molalla. He now can grow older without pain and then replace the ART with definitive restorations as his patience, and parent finances, allow.
I would call this a win-win-win situation.
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Specializing in dentistry for infants, children, adolescents and special needs patients