Pedodontics – A Brief Overview
Pedodontics, better known as pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry that specialized in examination, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and care of teeth in children below the age group of 16. The dentist or specialist who deals in this field is called a Pedodontist. They have to undergo formal education in the field of dentistry, knowing about their subject, that is children and they receive 2-3 years of extensive training in the field of child psychology, development and growth. Only after completing these spheres of study, a dentist finally becomes a certified pedodontist.
What is Pedodontics?
Pedodontics involves the maintenance of teeth in infants and children, including milk teeth until children lose it naturally.
Children have a totally different and unique dental set up that differs from adults in every possible ways. Therefore, their requirements are also significantly different that has to be taken into consideration while dealing with them.
Usually, visiting a Pedodontist causes anxiety and stress in children. It is the same for adults as well. In order to help children in coping up with the environment, Pedodontists are now trained to understand the psychology of a child and their ways of dealing with problems. They must understand the ways of handling children and dealing with them, so that their fears are gone.
Why children need Pedodontic treatment?
Pedodontic treatment is often required for children for various causes. For instance, decayed deciduous teeth are one of the common problems in children.
Deciduous Teeth or Baby Teeth
Deciduous teeth are not similar to permanent teeth. They differ in size, anatomy and functionality. Though the difference might not be apparent, the underlying pulp chambers of deciduous teeth are shorter and they have curved crowns and roots. The enamel of these teeth is thinner than the permanent teeth.
Deciduous teeth develop decays very easily and quickly, and diet has a direct effect. Basic cavities of deciduous teeth are treated as any ordinary teeth at the earlier stages. However, if the teeth are decayed to the extent to cause pain, a pedodontist might recommend a filling. If the lifespan of the affected teeth is shorter, filling will help in retaining the functionality, eating and chewing functions.
However, there are some cases when the decay reaches the root proceeding towards the pulp chamber and making it very difficult for the baby. In such cases, a root canal becomes inevitable. In case of deciduous teeth, however, parents prefer an extraction.
Through pulpotomy, the superficial nerve that has been affected will be removed with the use of a sterilized diamond bur and some medications. Restorative material is also used for the purpose. Permanent restoration may be needed in some cases.
Pulpectomy is a procedure in which the nerve in pulp chamber has to be removed completely and the remaining nerve present in cabals will be sealed and medicated. The tooth will be restored.
Apexification is a procedure that is performed on a newly developed root of a tooth. The pulp chamber and the nerve within the canals of roots will be removed completely in this procedure. This is done for severely decayed tooth. Since it takes more than 3 years for the root to form completely, it would take time for teeth to erupt as well.
When the nerve of deciduous teeth is damaged to form an abscess, an extraction is required. In this process, the entire tooth is extracted from its root.