TechnoparkToday.com (Dec, 2014): Pediatric dentistry , a comparatively recently emerged branch of dentistry ,by definition is a specialty that provides comprehensive oral health care to children and adolescence including those with special health care needs. As the term implies, a Pediatric Dentist takes care of the overall management of the dental problems as well as the growth and development of the oro-facial development.
Deciduous teeth ,commonly designated the “milk teeth” are twenty in number with a life span ranging from six to ten years and spreads through six months to twelve years of age. Due to this temporary or exfoliating nature of these teeth they are often looked upon with least importance and consideration by a majority of parents, if not all. This may lead them to go for repeated courses of antibiotic drugs to manage a sore or infected milk tooth, rather than consult a pediatric dentist and get the definitive treatment done.
Once a milk tooth gets infected and it has a couple of years to complete its life span,the treatment of choice is treating the infected root canals by a procedure referred to as pulpectomy. This is a term used for the root canal treatment (RCT) of a milk tooth, and differs considerably from the one performed on a permanent tooth mainly in the filling material used , even though the procedure remains almost the same. A pulpectomized tooth usually requires a crown for ensuring the retention of the restoration. But there may be instances when extraction of the offending tooth becomes inevitable, if it has been grossly decayed or damaged. In such a case extraction should be followed by space maintenance as and when required.
All these elaborate and complicated treatment procedures can be avoided, if due care and attention is given in maintaining proper oral hygiene by various preventive measures. These include both self and professional efforts which can range from tooth brushing, flossing etc done by the child or the parent to topical fluoride and pit and fissure sealant application undertaken by a pediatric dentist. Either the carelessness on the part of the parents or the uncooperative behavior of the child may be the cause for avoiding these simple preventive measures and will ultimately necessitate more extensive treatment procedures. This becomes more important in the case of children with varying degrees of physical or mental disability.
Though meant to be exfoliated at a certain age, the untimely or premature loss of a milk tooth can cause a number of direct and indirect side effects on the overall health of a child. It can be a potential focus of infection which is certainly to be eliminated by either extraction or pulp therapy. There may be negative interferences on the growth and development of the jaw bones, loss of available arch length leading to crowding in the permanent dentition and so on.
The scope and diversity of pediatric dentistry does not end here. But in a nut shell, it can be concluded that almost all the dental problems are avoidable or atleast controllable if detected at earlier stages. So visiting a pediatric dentist atleast once in six months will help your child to have a healthy permanent dentition!!!!!!
Author Info:- This article is exclusively written by Dr.Reshmi J MDS, Pediartric Dentist, Bluesprings Dental Clinic, Pongumood, Trivandrum – to educate the readers of TechnoparkToday.com. You can reach Dr.Reshmi for any of your dental related queries & questions. Reach the author- Ph :9497878762. 0471 6453131