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70 Main Street Stoneham, MA 02180
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Restorative Dentistry

Restorative Dentistry


Even with careful home hygiene, restorative dental services are sometimes needed. These treatments repair damage to teeth, restoring strength, function, and usually appearance. Restorative services include fillings, pulp treatment, and dental crowns. On occasions when a tooth cannot be saved, extractions may be necessary to restore oral health. If it is your child’s first time receiving restorative dental treatment with us, we always try our best to go over the procedure with them and answer any and all questions they may have or us!

NOTE: Especially for young kids, restorative work can sometimes be overwhelming and scary. Our team will always make our best effort to comfort every patient who is expressing nerves and/or anxiety leading up to treatment. We highly recommend taking advantage of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation to ensure the highest level of comfort for our patients, especially those under the age of 6. Click here to read more about nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation for kids and adults!

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)

Silver diamine fluoride, otherwise referred to as SDF, is an antimicrobial type of fluoride used in restorative dentistry to help slow the progress of existing decay on the teeth. It is applied topically to the tooth to treat mild levels of decay in a non-invasive, fast, and painless manner. Though a very helpful tool in the pediatric dental office, SDF cannot replace traditional restorative treatment such as fillings. It is usually used on pre-cooperative patients who may not be able to sit through more extensive restorative treatment. In other words, SDF buys time for the tooth by slowing the rate of decay until conditions are right for further restorative treatment.

Composite (White) Tooth Fillings

Tooth-colored fillings are the most lifelike material used to fill cavities and can be done in one visit. Once decay is removed, composite material is used to fill the area. This material then hardens immediately after placement allowing for minimal eating restrictions immediately after treatment. Fillings are an easy and common procedure to restore teeth that have mild/moderate levels of decay.

Stainless Steel Crowns

A durable restoration applied to primary/baby teeth that have been deeply decayed, often after the tooth undergoes a pulpotomy/pulp therapy. This provides protection for the tooth and maintains a child’s dentition as he or she develops permanent teeth. Crowns may be made of stainless steel, or other materials such as zirconia, as needed. Click here to check out our Instagram post about stainless steel crowns for kids!

Pulpotomy/Baby Root Canal

The pulp lies at the core of the tooth and contains blood vessels, connective tissue, and cells. Pulp therapy exists to maintain the life of a child’s tooth, often severely damaged by caries/cavities, or traumatic dental injury. The diseased pulp is removed from either the crown portion or entire tooth down into the root canal. A bacteria-preventing and tissue-calming agent is placed in the tooth, then it is often restored with a stainless steel crown. Baby root canals are used to treat and restore teeth that have moderate/severe levels of decay.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a very common and effective method to restore teeth that are moderate/severely decayed, suffering from large fillings, or cracked on the crown of the tooth. The process for receiving dental crowns consists of two separate appointments. The first appointment is typically longer than the first where the doctor reduces the bulk of the tooth and takes negative impressions of the tooth. At the end of this appointment, the patient leaves the office with a temporary crown. The impressions from the first visit are then sent to the dental lab where the permanent crown will be fabricated. The second crown appointment is typically 2-3 weeks after the first. During this visit, the permanent crown which has been received from the lab is permanently cemented.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a form of multiple crowns which are attached to an artificial tooth in the center to replace a missing tooth. The procedure for a dental bridge is very similar to that of a crown; however, it is more time consuming and actually creates the look and function of a real tooth which was previously missing. Just like dental crowns, dental bridges can be made of different materials. Our office most often uses zirconia to create a strong, tooth like crown, but other materials such as gold, or porcelain/ceramic is available at your request.

Progression of Untreated Decay

Below is an example of how a small cavity that could have been treated with just a filling can progress over the years to a larger cavity in need of a baby root canal if not an extraction. It is very important if you or your children are in need of restorative dental work that you make an appointment as soon as possible and DO NOT WAIT for treatment.

April 2015

August 2016
March 2018
Call us at (781) 438-0345 to schedule an appointment with your Stoneham, MA family dentist for kids and adults!

Commonly Asked Questions on Dental Restoration for Kids

Why Do I Need a Filling?

Whenever food particles are allowed to stay on the teeth for an extended period of time due to lack of dental  hygiene, bacteria begin to accumulate and feed on the leftover food. As the bacteria take in the food, they  release a waste product which is very acidic in nature. If left for long periods of time, these acids begin to  dissolve the enamel of the tooth, creating a hole or “cavity” in the tooth. If not resolved with a filling, these  holes will continue to get larger, spreading to the inner layers of the tooth eventually causing pain. 

What causes tooth decay?

In order for cavities to form in the mouth, four things are necessary:  (1) a tooth, (2) bacteria, (3) sugars/carbohydrates, and (4) time. Dental plaque is a sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms in thin layers on everyone’s teeth. Whenever you eat, the bacteria in plaque feed on the sugars in your food and produce an acidic waste that attacks the enamel of the tooth. That is what is known as an acid attach and usually lasts for ~20 minutes after you eat. If this plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth for extended periods of time, the enamel weakens and breaks down and therefore develops cavities.

If My Child Gets a Cavity on a Baby Tooth, Should It Still Be Filled?

Baby teeth (primary teeth) are very important for many reasons. Not only do they allow children to speak clearly and chew naturally, but they also aid in creating a pathway for the permanent teeth to follow when they are ready to erupt. Some baby teeth are in the mouth for longer periods of time, like the baby molars, which are necessary until a child is 12 years old or even older in some cases. When the baby teeth are neglected, they can begin to cause pain, infection in the gums and jaw, impair general health, and even be prematurely lost. It is also important to remember that tooth decay is an infection that is capable of spreading. It is not uncommon to find decay on baby teeth causing decay on permanent teeth.

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