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Severe Pediatric Fluorosis: Treatment Options

Fluoride is an excellent supplement for protecting enamel and preventing tooth decay, but high exposure to fluoride is not always a good thing. Children who are exposed to excessive fluoride during their first eight years of life are at increased risk of developing fluorosis, a cosmetic dental condition that typically involves tooth discoloration. Although most cases of fluorosis are mild and do not require any treatment whatsoever, some children may develop severe discoloration and even pitting as a result of excessive fluoride consumption. Fortunately, these kids are not doomed to having damaged smiles for good; by visiting a pediatric dentist in Azusa and pursuing one of the options detailed below, these children and adolescents can finally experience the joy of having bright, healthy smiles.

Composite Bonding

Composite bonding is frequently used to treat smiles affected by fluorosis -- especially those with moderate to severe discoloration. During the bonding process, the affected teeth are mildly roughened and then covered with a hard resin, which is designed to bond to the enamel and hide any problematic fluorosis stains. Although better at covering stains than the whitening kits and micro-abrasion treatments typically used to address mild fluorosis, bonding may not be sufficient for the obscuring of heavy pitting. Additionally, teeth that have been treated with composite bonding remain vulnerable to future staining. However, the less extensive nature of this process makes it ideal for school-age children who are currently in the midst of losing their baby teeth.

Porcelain Veneers

A popular alternative to composite bonding, porcelain veneers consists of ceramic shells that cover the surface of the affected teeth. They offer a long-lasting and more durable solution for severe fluorosis, especially for children who already have their adult teeth. Porcelain veneers are ideal for children with severe discoloration and pitting of the enamel, in part because the procedure minimizes the removal of tooth structure. Thus, if the potential loss of enamel during the composite bonding process is of concern, porcelain veneers may be advised.

Whitening strips, in-house whitening treatments or micro-abrasion may be sufficient for the treatment of mild to moderate fluorosis, but for those with more severe tooth damage, a more extensive treatment option may be required. No one treatment approach is ideal for all fluorosis patients, so it is important to consult with a denstist in Covina before carefully selecting a fitting solution.

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