Pedodontics is the branch of dentistry that specialises in the care and management of children’s teeth. It treats patients from birth until adolescence. The success of paediatric dentistry lies in early oral examinations that can lead to early detection of dental problems, which can help prevent major and lasting damage to children’s teeth. Patients who should undergo pedodontic treatment include all young children, including infants, toddlers, and adolescents.
Paediatric dentists are also trained in the care and management of dental problems experienced by children with disabilities and special needs and in the treatment of patients who suffer from traumatic oral injuries, such as fractured, displaced, or knocked out teeth as well as injury to the bones surrounding the teeth.
In the course of pedodontic treatment, the dentist may need to perform several procedures, including:
- Fillings - This involves the removal of any decayed or damaged part of a tooth. The resulting hole is then filled with metal, plastic, or other filling materials. The procedure prevents the decay from getting worse and spreading deeper into the tooth.
- Extractions - Tooth extractions are performed in cases of severely damaged or infected tooth or when a child’s teeth are overcrowded.
- Dental crowns - Young children may also require dental crowns to restore badly damaged teeth. The procedure is performed by first removing caries or cavities and reducing the size of the tooth to accommodate the crown.
- Root canals - Root canals are usually performed as a treatment for decayed, infected teeth, as well as for injuries that result in tooth loss.
- Sealants – Once children start getting their molars, dentists may recommend the use of sealants to protect the surface of the teeth from wear and tear.
- Orthodontics - It is most commonly performed during a child’s teenage years, as this is the best time to ensure that the teeth and jawbones are aligned properly. Undergoing orthodontic treatment can help teenagers avoid many potential tooth problems as they grow into adulthood.