Treatment Options

Our pediatric dentists and team of professionals specialize in all types of treatment options and would be happy to help you find the right one for your child. We have a wide variety of services to choose from, and our team of experts are here to help you find the best options including regular checkups, exams, restorative care, and specialty treatments.

If after we have performed a thorough exam on your child’s oral health and determined treatment is necessary, one of our pediatric dentists will discuss a plan with you that may include any of the following options:

Local Anesthetic (Numbing)

Local anesthesia for children is the same as it is for adults in that it is a common and safe anesthetic used to numb the surrounding teeth and gums. We start with a topical jelly to first numb the surface area before we discreetly apply the local anesthesia. This can sometimes be a delicate process so we try to use humor or ask a lot questions about the child’s life in order to distract them which in most cases is effective. This procedure and effective numbing application allows our pediatric dentist in Indianapolis and West Lafayette to perform a number of dental procedures, such as tooth extractions and crowning with less pain and shorter recovery times.

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Depending on the anxiety level of your child and their prescribed treatments, the combination of inhaled nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen is a safe and effective means of managing both pain and anxiety. There is an inherent safety margin for the proper administration of nitrous oxide-oxygen sedation with well over 10 delivery system audio and visual safety features have been developed to help avoid adverse events during nitrous oxide-oxygen administration. Rest assured our pediatric dentists take all precautions necessary and will discuss all options with you to determine the best course of action.

Resin (white) and Amalgam (silver) Fillings

If your child has a cavity, our pediatric dentists in Indianapolis and West Lafayette may recommend either a white or a silver filling. Their decision will be largely based on where the tooth is located and/or how large the cavity is. Resin fillings are typically the material of choice unless the decay is too large and a stronger material (such as amalgam) is needed to withstand biting forces. Our children’s dentist and specialists value your opinion in the selection of filling material and encourage parents to discuss the options with us. Our treatment philosophy is to work together to determine the best option to fit your kid’s specific needs.

Resin (white) Crowns

If your kid had large decay or a fracture on a front tooth, our pediatric dentists may recommend a resin crown to cover the entire tooth structure. Resin is a moldable material and is available in many shades allowing us to custom match the natural tooth color. While resin crowns are aesthetically pleasing, they do have the tendency to stain and discolor and can fracture or break over time. For this reason, our children’s dentists in Indianapolis and West Lafayette recommended this only for the front teeth when special care is recommended to prolong the longevity of the filling.

Stainless Steel (silver) Crowns

A stainless steel crown is a prefabricated silver crown that covers the entire visible portion of the tooth. Stainless steel crowns (silver caps) are incredibly durable and the favored choice for restoring back teeth when a large portion of the tooth is lost due to extensive decay or a fracture. These crowns are durable enough to sustain normal biting forces and are usually well hidden as they are located in the back of the mouth.


A pulpotomy, often referred to as a “baby root canal”, is a procedure used to restore infected baby (primary) teeth in kids. Baby teeth most commonly become infected due to untreated tooth decay specifically known as cavities. This happens when cavities destroy the outer layer of the tooth, and attack the soft pulp inside your child’s tooth. This pulp is full of nerves which usually causes a lot of discomfort and pain.

Your child’s teeth can also become infected due to oral trauma. If your child breaks or cracks a tooth, oral bacteria can enter the inside of the tooth and cause an infection. If this happens our pediatric dentists highly recommend seeking emergency care in the event your kid experiences an oral injury. Regardless of how the infection begins, the results are always the same as the bacteria in your child’s mouth will begin to attack the pulp inside the tooth, killing the nerves and blood vessels. Without treatment your child’s tooth will eventually die and fall out.

A pulpotomy is a procedure performed by our pediatric dentists which involves the partial removal of the nerve tissue, followed by placing a sedative material to help soothe the tooth and seal the remaining exposed nerve. The tooth is then restored with a crown, covering the remaining tooth structure and providing strength to withhold biting forces.

The main difference between a pulpotomy and a root canal also known as a “pulpectomy”, is that a “pulpectomy” removes all of the pulp as well as the nerves instead of just a partial removal. Sometimes a pulpectomy is necessary for some children but in most cases it is not.


If a tooth has an abscess, certain traumatic injuries, or too much decay, an extraction may be recommended. In some cases we may recommend the extraction of a permanent tooth prior to orthodontic treatment. We perform both baby tooth extractions and simple extractions of permanent teeth if needed. Our pediatric dentists will determine if your child’s extraction can be done with local anesthesia, nitrous oxide or if general anesthesia is recommended.

Space Maintainers

Pediatric dental space maintainers, also known as “spacers”, are devices used for children who have lost some baby teeth but their permanent teeth still have not grown in. Space maintainers hold space for the appropriate adult teeth to grow in as well as prevent the remaining adjacent baby teeth from moving into the open space. If your child loses their baby teeth early, our pediatric dentists in Indianapolis and West Lafayette highly recommend the use of space maintainers, especially in the back of the mouth where there is often less room for permanent teeth to develop and erupt.