When baby teeth are broken or damaged beyond repair, it may become necessary to remove them. If an extraction leaves a space between two teeth and we feel it is necessary, we may insert a space maintainer to make sure the adult teeth erupt in their proper space.
Our office understands the special needs of our little patients and that this procedure may be scary! Our office is uniquely tailored to make sure our little patients are comfortable during all procedures.
What is a frenum?
A frenum is a small membrane that attaches the lips, cheeks, or tongue to the bone in the mouth. The labial frenums are attached to the top and bottom lips and the lingual frenum is located underneath the tongue. A frenum is a part of the normal oral anatomy but a large or wide frenum may inhibit normal function. When a frenum is too large or wide it can restrict movement of the lip, cheek or tongue or may impinge on the gums and causes recession.
Frenums can cause problems during all phases of life. Infants with a large frenum can have difficulty breast-feeding and it can cause pain for the mothers. Toddlers just learning to speak may get tongue-tied due to a large frenum on the underside of the tongue. Ankyglossia or tongue-tied is a common oral anomaly where a thick frenum on the floor of the mouth decreases the mobility of the tongue. A frenectomy is often recommended to restore chewing and speech function to the tongue.
A thick labial frenum is a band of muscles from the lip that may attach to the gingiva, contributing to a space between the teeth. This is often seen between the top or bottom front teeth. A frenectomy, in combination with braces, may be recommended to help stabilize the position of the teeth.
A large labial frenum that attaches to the lip can constantly pull and tug on the gums. The gums will begin to recede and the bone will begin to resorb. This often leads to serious recession, root exposure and periodontal disease in the localized area.
What is a frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes or loosens a band of tissue (frenum) that is connected to the lip, cheek or tongue. With innovative technology, most patients are back to complete normal function within a few days.
Please contact your dentist if you think you may be in need of a frenectomy.
How long do sealants last?
Sealants are typically long lasting, but need to be evaluated by your dentist. The sealant can remain on the tooth for many years if proper care is taken. Some hard foods, such as hard candy, chewing ice, or sticky foods, such as taffy, may dislodge a sealant and should be avoided. If the sealant becomes dislodged, your dental professional will make sure the tooth is cavity free and re-apply the sealant.
How effective are sealants?
Sealants are effective in preventing cavities on the chewing surface of a tooth as long as they are intact. Keeping all of your maintenance appointments with your dentist can ensure the longevity of the dental sealants.
Remember, cavities commonly occur on other surfaces of the tooth as well, that aren’t covered by a sealant, such as in between the teeth! Proper brushing and flossing is imperative to protect the entire tooth from bacteria and cavities.
Does insurance cover the cost of sealants?
Many insurance companies cover the cost of dental sealants. Check with your dental insurance carrier to determine if you have dental sealant coverage.
Fillings are used to replace tooth structure that has been lost due to a cavity or trauma. The filling material that our office uses is safe and can sometimes be matched to the color of the tooth.
Many parents have questions regarding why it is necessary to fill a cavity on a baby tooth. Baby teeth help children speak clearly and learn how to chew healthy foods in a normal manner. They form the path that adult teeth tend to follow as they begin to come in. Baby teeth need to be intact and in good condition for your child’s overall health. We must remember the very important functions of baby teeth!