Preventive and Diagnostic
An oral evaluation is generally recommended every six (6) months; however, different children have different oral needs and your dentist will customize the intervals between oral evaluations based on your child’s needs. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states that it is important to establish a comprehensive and accessible ongoing relationship between the dentist and patient. This is because early oral examination aids in the detection of the early stages of tooth decay. Early detection is essential to maintain oral health, modify aberrant habits, and treat as needed and as simply as possible. Additionally, parents are given a program of preventative home care (brushing/flossing/fluorides), a caries risk assessment, information on finger, thumb, and pacifier habits, advice on preventing injuries to the mouth and teeth of children, diet counseling, and information on growth and development.
Regular cleanings help keep gums healthy and teeth cavity-free. A dental cleaning includes removal of tartar and plaque and having the polished to remove stains and further buildups of plaque that are not removed when regular tooth brushing is performed.
Fluoride is a natural substance that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay. Fluoride treatments are administered at this office as an important component of pediatric dental treatment. The fluoride is applied to the teeth in a varnish form.
Dental X-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool used to identify decay, extra teeth, bone defects, tumors, cysts and check the progress of previous procedures. Advances in technology now allow for digital X-rays, which reduce radiation exposure more than 50 percent, and produce instant, high-quality images that can be viewed immediately by the dentist and the patient.
During a regular check-up, oral hygiene instructions are given to both patient and parent. Good home care can reduce the risk of plaque and tartar build-up which can lead to cavities. Instructions include proper techniques for brushing, flossing, and using mouth rinses.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that, “Excellent oral hygiene and optimal fluoride exposure have minimal effect in preventing dental caries in the pits and fissures on the occlusal(biting) surfaces of the posterior teeth. The use of sealants has been shown to be effective in preventing pit and fissure caries. Sealants are coatings that are applied professionally to the occlusal surfaces of the posterior teeth.”
Mouth guards can help prevent many dental injuries and are required by many sports to protect children’s teeth while they are playing. Using impressions of your child’s mouth, we will create a unique mouth guard for your child to use during activities. Our custom made mouth guards provide superior protection and the most comfortable fit for your child’s mouth.
Tooth-colored fillings are the most lifelike material used to fill cavities. Composite fillings can be done in one visit. Once the decay is removed, the tooth is filled with this composite material that hardens immediately after placement.
If the inside of the tooth, known as the dental pulp, is damaged it will gradually decay if left within the tooth. The pulpotomy involves removing the pulp, cleaning out the root canals, and packing the canals with material that will help restore the tooth until it is time for it to exfoliate (or fall out on its own naturally).
A dental crown is a restoration that covers or caps a tooth, restoring it to its normal size and shape. Crowns are used to restore a tooth when a filling won’t be effective.
A dental extraction is the removal of extremely decayed or broken teeth. During an extraction, the area is anesthetized to minimize discomfort and the tooth is then rocked back and forth until it is removed from its socket.
Oraverse® is the only product on the market that reverses the effects of local dental anesthetic. It allows the normal sensation and function of the mouth to return in about half the time. This is very beneficial for children because it greatly reduces the chance for injury due to accidental biting of the lip and/or tongue.
A habit appliance is useful to help stop a thumb or finger habit and/or to help re-train an improper tongue position or swallowing pattern. It is sometimes necessary to place an appliance to minimize the harm and distortion the habits or tongue posture can have on teeth.
Space maintainers are used to keep teeth from drifting into an empty tooth space due to early loss of primary (baby) teeth. Baby teeth act as a guide for the eruption of the permanent teeth. A space maintainer is made of stainless steel and/or plastic. It can be removable or fixed to the teeth.
Molar adjustment can be accomplished prior to full orthodontic treatment through the use of a Distalizer. This treatment technique can effectively position molars for bracketing and significantly shorten the patient’s full orthodontic treatment time.
Cosmetic bonding is the process of filling or restoring teeth with a tooth-colored material in order to maintain a natural appearance.
Whitening is the procedure used to brighten teeth. In-Office Whitening usually requires only one office visit. A protective gel or a rubber shield is placed over the gums to protect the soft tissue. A whitening gel is then applied to the teeth and a laser light is then used to enhance the action of the whitening agent.
This technique can minimize or eliminate stains, yellowing or spots by removing a very thin layer of the tooth’s enamel.
Conscious oral sedation is an alternative minimal sedation that allows your child to remain awake but relaxed. Usually reserved for longer dental procedures, conscious sedation may take away some of the anxiety and assist in keeping your child still for an extended period of time. The doctor will combine the use of oral sedation along with a local anesthetic so your child have little to no discomfort.
Nitrous oxide, sometimes referred to as “laughing gas,” is an effective and safe sedation agent that is inhaled through a mask that fits over your child’s nose to help them relax. The effects of nitrous oxide wear of quickly after the small mask is removed. Talk to the doctor about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for your child.
In conjunction with an an anesthesiologist, we also offer both IV sedation and general anesthesia if necessary. So that both you and your child are comfortable, the anesthesiologist will be happy to meet with you prior to this type of sedation and answer any questions you may have.