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Why is this service important?
Humans as we know, have two sets of teeth-primary (Milk teeth) and permanent (adult teeth).
The Child starts erupting his first milk tooth at the 5-6 mo. Although the first eruption takes place 5-‐6 months after birth tooth formation starts within the womb. Similarly, the eruption of the first permanent tooth occurs at 6 yrs but the formation of permanent teeth begins at birth inside the jaw bone of the child. Milk teeth are not given much importance by parents because they are eventually going to shed, but it’s important to note that the health of primary teeth can greatly affect the formation, eruption and health of the permanent teeth.
The Jaw of a pediatric patient is very different from that of an adult. A 3-year-old child will not only have his 20 primary teeth but will also have permanent successor teeth in different stages of development below these primary teeth in the jaw bone. Any dental infection will not only cause a behavioural pattern change in the child but will directly affect the formative process of his permanent enamel.
Tips to Handle these little patients
Dental Treatment instils fear even in the strongest of adults. The origin of this fear is usually associated with an extremely painful tooth which was a neglected or painful dental experience from their childhood.
It is really very important that we understand the behavioural pattern of the child and then administer any treatment.
One Tip that we follow at Coral Dental is a technique called TELL-SHOW-DO!
The first appointment for a pediatric patient should only be about telling him in friendly words about his treatment and showing him the operatory setup. This
The first appointment where we DO NOT DO anything, makes the child trust us for his second visit where we actually carry out the procedure.
An important aspect of treating a child is creating a child-‐friendly atmosphere in the operatory. Fun Toy-Time, attractive and colourful drapes, cartoon characters on their mouthwash tumblers are some basic things that we follow at Coral Dental to make the treatment acceptable. We refer to X-‐rays as a Tooth Picture and decay as bad bugs.
Its also important that a child sees a sibling or their parent (or whoever they follow), sitting on the dental chair and painlessly getting their treatment done. This eliminates anxiety to a great deal. After a good dental experience, the child associates the dentist and the clinic space with predictable care and will not hesitate to return. The conditioning of the child for dental treatment must start as early as 18 months.
Modification of Parent behaviour during treatment is as challenging as a modification of child behaviour. At Coral dental, we encourage the parents to actively participate in the treatment and involve themselves in making the child undergo the treatment.
The child is very receptive to the words being used by the parent such as “pain” “injection” etc.
Fear should not be pre-‐determined by the parent because most children would not show previous experience anxiety.
Rewarding the kids with gifts/stickers/ice cream after the dental appointment serves as a motivation and makes the child confident. Such positive reinforcement should be carried out after the treatment rather than before.
We classify problems in two broad categories:
Dental and orofacial problems find a solution in the domain of our medical education. Most commonly occurring dental problem in children is tooth decay. Frequent snacking, snacking on sweet foods, lack of dexterity in brushing, inability to report any dental pain often contribute to tooth decay.
Other Dental Problems include Teething for an infant, broken or loose teeth due to trauma/fall, jaw abnormalities, neonatal teeth (teeth present at birth), black front teeth which is also a component of tooth decay, cleft lip, cleft palate, irregular teeth, habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip/nail-biting etc.
Best Pediatric Dental Treatment Options
even before the child starts his first solid meal, the parent should get habituated with cleaning the Gum Pads of the child with a soft , clean muslin cloth. This will eliminate the pain and irritation the child has due to the lodgment of bacteria in gums where a new tooth is beginning to erupt. After the first tooth erupts a toothbrush for infants(0 Yrs) should be used to clean the dental hard tissues.
Broken teeth –
it’s important to fix broken teeth for psychosocial development of the child. Tooth coloured restorative materials and zirconia crowns can help us to do the same.
Jaw Abnormalities ‐
Growth Modification can be started well before the child is fit for braces. If upper or lower jaw shows overgrowth or undergrowth, this can be easily corrected non-‐surgically during the growing years of the child. Once the child has a fully matured bone structure , modifications are not possible non-‐ surgically.
Black Front Teeth ‐
The last meal for most children is milk and night-‐time brushing when not followed can lead to this problem. The contact of the milk bottle and milk (which has natural sugars) decays the upper front teeth of a child. This is called as Nursing-‐Bottle caries. By encouraging Night-‐time brushing and avoiding sweetened pacifiers we can prevent this problem. Black teeth can often contribute to feelings of shame in a developing child when adults ridicule their appearance.
Tooth Decay –
most often I find parents approaching me to remove the painful milk tooth of their child. Just like an adult tooth, milk tooth treatment options are the same as adult teeth. We can perform root canals and crowns to save the teeth so they follow the natural shedding pattern. If a tooth that would naturally shed between 9-‐12 years, is taken out before time it can lead to mesial drifting of the next tooth and crowding in the permanent dentition. If due to some reason we have to remove the tooth before time, we must use space maintaining appliances to maintain space for the permanent tooth till it erupts.
Habits (thumb sucking, tongue thrusting) ‐
Usually infants find comfort in sucking their thumbs but a child usually stops the habit on his own before he enters kindergarten. Stressful situations warrant a child to suck on his thumb beyond 3-‐4 years. It’s important that the parent talks to the child regarding this because most children are not aware that they are resorting to the habit. Popping the thumb in the mouth, nail-biting and pressing the tongue against the developing teeth need professional intervention if it cannot be controlled at the home level. Some habit-breaking appliances are custom-‐made for children that aid in not only breaking the habit but also help in an appropriate growth and development of the child.
NeoNatal teeth ‐
Sometimes some children are born with a birth tooth. It is not a premature eruption of their primary tooth but just a ginger-‐like tooth mass loosely attached to the gum without a proper shape and size. This can create feeding problems for both mother and child. This can be removed after 10 days of birth without much pain.
Cost of the treatment
Cost of a Pediatric dental treatment depends mostly on the behaviour management of the patient. The materials used in Pediatric patients might be more friendly to the jaw bone since milk teeth should follow natural shedding pattern. Prices are sometimes lower than adult patients but it totally depends on the case.
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