How Prosthodontics Can Benefit Your Child's Smile

Prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the restoration and replacement of teeth, including crowns, bridges, and dentures. When most people think of prosthodontics, they think of dental implants or cosmetic dentistry for adults. However, prosthodontics improve the appearance and function of children's teeth. 

Why Would a Child Need Dentures? 

Pediatric dentistry includes care teaching children to brush carefully after every meal to prevent cavities. Unfortunately, cavities still occur due to excessive bottle usage, particularly in the front teeth. Tooth decay and tooth loss can dramatically affect anyone, but in children especially, it can be highly detrimental to their future development.

What Problems Does Prosthodontics Address?

Tooth loss in children not related to normal adult tooth eruption is problematic. It can have dramatic consequences, including:

  • Function. In pediatric dentistry, the worry regarding tooth loss is that it can disrupt the normal function of the mouth, including eating and speaking. In addition, without proper treatment, the muscles surrounding the jaw, lips, and cheeks may develop abnormally to accommodate the missing teeth.
  • Phonetics. Children with missing teeth may have difficulty developing normal speech patterns due to the gaps. Children learning to speak need to place their tongues in various positions that may not exist due to missing teeth.
  • Nutrition. Tooth loss can make eating difficult. The front teeth are designed to tear food, and the back teeth are meant to grind it up for proper digestion. If teeth are missing in either area, it can inhibit good nutrition, which is particularly important to young children.
  • Oral habits. The National Institutes of Health warn that children can develop "deleterious oral habits" when missing teeth are not addressed. Deleterious oral habits are repetitive, like thumb sucking, mouth breathing, jaw shifting, and even nail biting. These types of habits can disrupt normal oral development.
  • Aesthetics. Prosthodontics can restore chipped or discolored teeth to their original condition. While it is true that 'baby' teeth will fall out and soon be replaced with adult teeth, some children may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth. Crowns and veneers can solve this temporary problem.

The temporary use of dentures until a child's adult teeth come in can eliminate the above issues. 

What Do Parents Need to Know About Pediatric Dentistry?

Prosthodontics in pediatric dentistry can be beneficial for children. However, if you're considering prosthodontic treatment for your child, there are a few things you need to know.

  • Specialist. You should consult a qualified pediatric dentist or prosthodontist to see if treatment is right for your child.
  • Insurance. Be aware that treatment can be expensive and may not be covered by insurance.
  • Multiple visits. Finally, you should know that treatment usually requires multiple visits to the dentist or prosthodontist over several months.

The benefits of prosthodontic treatment can be significant and well worth the time and effort involved.

For more info, contact a company such as New England Dental Specialists of Norwood.