If you are a parent, one of your worst nightmares is seeing your child injured. Unfortunately, children can have injuries to their mouth and teeth. As a cosmetic dentist, it is one area I have had a lot of experience in treating. If there is an injury to the teeth, gums, lip or face an oral surgeon, periodontist or plastic surgeon is usually the first step in treating the soft tissue injuries. During this time the teeth can be temporarily treated until the soft tissues heal. Once that healing takes place I can consult with the patient and parents to determine the next step. For most injuries a bonded filling can restore the tooth back to its original shape. In some extreme cases a stronger restoration may be needed like a partial porcelain veneer to restore the tooth. Typically, bonded fillings are used to treat kids to get them through their growth as well as any necessary orthodontic treatment. Once they have finished growing, a more permanent solution may be needed like a porcelain veneer depending on the extent of the injury to the tooth.
There are also developmental cosmetic issues with children like missing teeth, undersized or irregular shaped teeth. These issues can not only affect the child’s self-confidence about their smile, but it can also affect their facial development and teeth alignment. Managing these issues can help ensure that the proper dental and facial development occurs. Technology has allowed for advancements in this field. I utilize the use of CBCT X-rays and digital smile design to ensure that the teeth are rebuilt according to their true anatomic position. That way if orthodontic treatment is needed in the future the tooth will be moved into its correct position.
After practicing cosmetic dentistry for 27 years I have seen the effects of old dental work from early childhood trauma on my adult patients. Some of the work is good and some is not so good. One of my commitments to you and your child is to stay on the cutting edge of treating pediatric dental emergencies and as well as the most conservative cosmetic treatment required. We are living longer, and our teeth need to last a lifetime. The advancements in dentistry have allowed us to be more conservative and save more of the natural tooth when we repair them. It is kind of like “banking” tooth structure: The new materials allow us so many more possibilities. Save as much of the natural tooth structure and use adhesive bonded dentistry to do more additive work and still create a perfect cosmetic result.