Paediatric dentistry – children’s dentistry

Every child deserves to feel comfortable and confident during dental appointments. We strive to provide the finest dental care possible for each of our paediatric and adolescent patients in a gentle and caring environment. We realise that a child’s future attitude towards dentistry is influenced by today’s experiences and no patient, young or old, should be afraid of the dentist.

We are committed to education and prevention, so that every child has the opportunity for a cavity-free smile. With early and regular care, all children can have a life-time of good dental health.

Children’s dentistry (Paediatric Dentistry) is the practice, teaching and research into the comprehensive and therapeutic oral health care for children from birth to adolescence, including care for children who demonstrate intellectual, medical, physical, psychological and/or emotional problems.

What do Paediatric Dentists do?

  • Provide a full range of oral health care to anxious children and children with special needs
  • Specialised management of children with oral and dental developmental problems
  • Manage the damage sustained to teeth and the mouth following traumatic injury
  • Contribute to multidisciplinary care of children with complex problems e.g. hypodontia (missing teeth) and those with medical conditions which may impact on oral health.

Why Are Primary (baby) Teeth Important?

It is very important to maintain the health of primary teeth. Neglected cavities or untreated tooth decay frequently leads to problems which affect developing permanent teeth.

Primary teeth - or baby teeth - are important for (1) proper chewing and eating, (2) providing space for permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and (3) permitting normal development of jaw bones and muscles.

Restorative Treatment

Even with the best of intentions, children sometimes experience dental problems that need treatment. Getting this care as soon as they are detected can help prevent future, more serious problems.

While dental work can be scary for some children, our Specialist Paediatric Dentist is committed to discussing all options and answering any questions you may have. Our priority is helping all children have healthy smiles and putting them at ease during the process.

Restorative Care Services:

  • Fillings
  • Crowns (a cap that fits over a tooth)
  • Bridges (a false tooth to replace a missing tooth, attaching to one or more of the teeth either side)
  • Pulpotomy (removal of the inner pulp of the tooth, when infected or damaged)
  • Space maintainers (to stop teeth moving where you require space for a permanent tooth to erupt)
  • Extractions (removal of a tooth under local anaesthetic or sedation)

Thumb Sucking

Sucking is a natural reflex in infants and young children. They may use thumbs, fingers and dummies. It makes them feel secure and happy, or provides a sense of security during difficult periods. Since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may induce sleep.

Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and tooth alignment, and the intensity at which a child sucks on fingers or thumbs will determine whether or not dental problems may result. Usually, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4. Peer pressure causes many school-aged children to stop.

If your child is struggling to stop their thumb sucking, then please book an appointment to discuss strategies for preventing further dental problems with us.

What Is Pulp Therapy?

Inside the tooth, under the enamel and a hard layer called the dentine, is a soft tissue called pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the hard tissues surrounding the tooth during development. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots - where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth's growth and development. The purpose of pulp therapy in Paediatric Dentistry is to maintain the vitality of the affected tooth so that the tooth is not lost.

Dental caries (cavities) and traumatic injury are the main reasons for a tooth to require pulp therapy. Pulp therapy is often referred to as a "pulpectomy" or "pulpotomy".

A pulpotomy removes the diseased pulp tissue within the crown portion of the tooth. Next, an agent is placed to prevent bacterial growth and to calm the remaining nerve tissue. This is followed by a final restoration, which is usually a stainless-steel crown (a cap that fits over the tooth).

A pulpectomy is required when the entire pulp is affected into the root canal of the tooth. During this treatment, the diseased pulp tissue is completely removed from both the crown and root. The canals are cleansed, disinfected and, in the case of first teeth, filled with a resorbable material. A final restoration is then placed.

Adult Teeth Growing Behind Baby Teeth

This occurs very commonly in children and is usually the result of a lower baby tooth not falling out when the permanent tooth is erupting. In most cases, the baby tooth will fall out on its own within two months, but if it doesn’t happen, then your general dentist may ask our specialist to assess whether removing the baby tooth would be appropriate to reduce the complexity of future treatment.

Is Your Child Scared Of Visiting The Dentist? 

Is your child scared or anxious when visiting the dentist? Have you considered sedation options for your child’s next dental visit?

Completing necessary dental work can be difficult if you have a child who is fearful or anxious.

Fortunately, our trained paediatric dental specialist offers a sedation option that will help put children at ease and make it easier for them to get the dental care they need.

Sedation option:

  • Nitrous Oxide – relative analgesia