Monthly Archives: August 2015

Happy mother with her little children at home

Pediatric Dentist

A pediatric dentist has two or three years of supplementary training after completing the regular dental course. This additional education includes the detailed anatomical changes that occur in our mouths from birth to adolescence. This affords them the expertise to identify delicate changes occurring now that may lead to serious problems later on.

Prevention and Your Pediatric Dentist

Beginning with early checkups the dentist can identify small, subtle changes in such things as unexpected jaw growth or teeth emerging prematurely. A set of x-rays can provide a base to allow the dentist to identify unwanted patterns quickly as they occur.

When you make an annual appointment with your pediatrician, consider making one with your pediatric dentist too. They have the current information for oral health care in kids. Pediatric dentists prefer to teach parents and children how to care for their teeth. The best way to brush, and floss and what to be aware of is all part of our learning program. We want your child to have healthy teeth, and we can show you how to accomplish that. We also assist with thumb sucking and canker sores and teach you how diet is a major factor in good oral health.

Without strong teeth, your child’s ability to chew is diminished, and chewing is the first step in the digestion process. Decayed or misaligned teeth can also affect the clarity of their speech and lead to more complicated health problems.

Anxiety

Most parents don’t bring their children to a dentist until the harm is done, and their child is in pain. This may be due to financial restrictions or anxiety on the part of the parent. Be aware your child will pick up on your fears before you do. We assure you- our preferred status amongst our young patients is earned, we are gentle and friendly.

You can help make this easy by explaining what will be done. How pictures might be taken and instruments might be placed in their mouth, but they shouldn’t be afraid. You can stay with your child if that helps them. If extensive or complex treatments are needed, we do offer sedation therapy. Once the procedures are complete, you can remain with them while they recover.

After Care

We provide you with clear written instructions listing the dos and don’ts when you are ready to go home. Take a minute to read them and ask any questions. If you are concerned after you return home call us. We will be glad to help.

Special Care

Every employee in the office is specially trained to make children feel comfortable and safe in this environment. In the past, procedures were done without any explanation. They were just told to sit down, open your mouth and don’t move. Recent studies show children tolerate medical or dental processes as well as adults when each step is explained to them, and their parents are either calm or absent.

We not only provide the highest quality dental care we take into consideration the emotional well-being of our patient before during and after each visit.

We want all kids to have proper dental care, for this reason, we offer evening and weekend office visits. We also will assist you with insurance claims and we accept payment plans and Medicaid.

The Friendly Kids Dentistry

The moment you open our door you will see our approach to kids is unique and fun. We have a playroom full of games to keep them entertained while waiting for their appointments. We keep their bodies and minds engaged at all times to lessen anxiety. This no stress tactic continues into our treatment rooms so they won’t even have time to become fearful.

In fact, if your child is especially anxious or had a bad experience previously- we encourage you to bring them in to get acquainted with us. Our family friendly attitude will put them right at ease.

Teaching Starts Today

We have a fun way of teaching kids the proper way to brush their teeth and tongues so they can have sparkling shiny teeth. We strive to make their entire visit comfortable and enjoyable. Children love to learn and are always waiting for that “good job” from their parents. So we include mom and dad in the oral care lessons. We will be glad to answer any questions. If your kids are reluctant to follow the routine or start to lag, bring them in for a booster class on the importance of dental hygiene.

Affordable Kids Dentistry

Our overall goal is to provide quality dental care for all kids. We focus on their needs and work to overcome the common obstacles such as availability and costs. Our office hours were created to increase convenience with evening and weekend options. We gladly accept Medicaid and other insurances as well as cash payments. We will assist you with insurance plans and claims to determine the best possible outcome.

The Contagious Smiles

In our office parents and dentist work together to make the most beautiful smiles last a lifetime. When someone has pretty white teeth, they smile more often, and they look and feel better about themselves. Everyone wants that same feeling- it is contagious.

Year round dental hygiene is paramount in protecting your teeth and preventing the development of serious diseases. Reducing costs is an added benefit for now and in your children’s future.

Our pediatric experts consistently seek out the latest techniques available in child dentistry. We provide the most advanced care for our patients whether it’s a more cost effective approach or the latest in available equipment. Treatments for cavities and misaligned teeth have changed dramatically to give kids better results with faster and easier procedures. New methods of management include such things as guards to prevent grinding of the teeth, which may only be spotted by a dentist. This one visit could prevent TMJ from developing. Your dentist may offer other suggestions too.

Common problems can now be avoided if they are discovered early, and treatment begins as soon as possible. Medications for controlling kid’s pain or offering sedation are improving all the time, and we want to provide safest and most efficient options.

Just give us a call to set up the most opportune time for your checkup.

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Tooth extraction for kids

A tooth extraction is a procedure where the tooth is removed completely from the bone socket beneath. There are a number of different reasons why a tooth might need to be extracted, including as a result of tooth decay, in conjunction with another orthodontics treatment, or because of the growth of problematic wisdom teeth. For some children – and even parents of young children – a tooth extraction can seem like a scary procedure, particularly if you don’t know what to expect.

To ease your worry, it is important to educate both yourself and your child to relieve some anxiety around the entire tooth extraction experience.

What to expect

First appointment:

During your first appointment, an x-ray will be taken of the area to assess the severity of damage to the tooth to see if it is in need of a tooth extraction. If your dentist has determined that your child’s tooth is beyond repair and needs to be removed, another appointment for the tooth extraction will be scheduled.

Before the procedure:

On the day of your child’s tooth extraction, an antibiotic may be prescribed to get rid of any infection that might have caused damage to the tooth to begin with. Even though the tooth will be removed, it is important to treat this infection before the extraction to prevent the spread of the infection to surrounding teeth.

If needed, an anti-anxiety medication may be taken on the night before the tooth extraction, and an additional pill can be taken before the procedure for children who are extremely nervous about it.

The procedure:

Before the tooth is extracted, the site around the tooth will be numbed with a local anesthetic like Novocain. This numbing should help put your child at ease and make sure they feel no pain during the procedure. Once the area is completely numbed, your dentist will wiggle the tooth out of its socket using dental forceps.

If the tooth is located beneath the surface of the gum line, your dentist may need to also remove some gum tissue to get to the tooth. In this case, your child might receive a stronger sedative before the extraction, such as nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”, to relax your them during the procedure.

Care after the procedure:

After the tooth extraction is complete, your child will need to bite on a gauze pad until a blood clot forms around the site to stem the bleeding. Once the clot has formed, it is important not to dislodge it, as it can expose the bone, causing dry socket.

If any pain or swelling is experienced after the Novocain wears off, an ice pack can be applied to the area, and an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as Ibuprofen, may be used. Your child will only be able to eat soft foods for 24 hours after the extraction and is discouraged from drinking from straws or spitting forcefully. After each meal, your child should rinse his or her mouth with saltwater. If stiches were placed after the extraction, they will dissolve within a couple weeks.

 

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Tooth colored composite fillings

Tooth colored composite fillings can be an inexpensive and attractive way to restore a small amount of tooth decay on a child’s tooth. If your child is in need of a filling, the type of material used for the filling will depend on a number of factors, including:

The position and visibility of the affected tooth
The extent of damage to the tooth
Budgetary constraints
Allergies to certain materials, such as metals

When are tooth colored composite fillings used for children?

Dental fillings are used to treat cavities on a child’s tooth and protect the tooth from further damage, infection or decay. Even baby teeth should be salvaged whenever possible to avoid problems with permanent teeth filling in correctly. These cavities may be identified during your child’s next routine dental exam by sight or by a digital x-ray. Your dentist will let you know what options are available to fill a tooth that has been decayed. If the decay is extensive, a root canal may be needed before a filling is placed. Because of its natural, tooth colored appearance, composite fillings are typically used for visible or front-facing teeth; however, they may also be used on non-visible teeth and molars as well.

What are the benefits of tooth colored composite fillings?

There are a number of advantages of tooth colored fillings over alternatives such as gold or silver amalgam, including a more natural appearance and minimal tooth preparation in advance of the filling placement.

Natural looking:

Composite fillings are considered to be a more attractive filling alternative to gold or amalgam because the material hardens into the shade of one’s natural tooth. Therefore, tooth colored composite fillings are typically used for visible or front-facing teeth.

Minimal tooth preparation:

Composite fillings require less healthy tooth structure to be removed into order to restore the tooth compared to alternatives.

Non-metal material:

Composite fillings can be ideal for children who are allergic to metals like silver amalgam. Tooth colored composite fillings can be a great option for children. They offer an effective and natural-looking way to improve your child’s oral health and dental function by preventing the spread of infection or decay from a cavity. If your child has a cavity that needs to be filled, contact our office to see what filling options are available for your child.

Orthodontics for kids

As a child’s permanent teeth come in, they can often come in crooked, crowded or gapped. To correct these issues, orthodontic procedures may be needed. Pediatric orthodontics involves the use of certain dental appliances to straighten teeth or re-align one’s jaw to promote the development of a healthy, functional and attractive smile in adulthood.

Braces for kids

Some orthodontic conditions, such as crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw, are much easier to correct early, while the teeth and jaw are still somewhat moldable. One of the most common orthodontic appliances used for kids are braces. Braces are devices that are used to straighten teeth and correct misaligned bites. They work by gradually applying pressure to teeth that need to be shifted into their desired, permanent position. Braces can be comprised of ceramic, plastic, stainless steel or any combination of other materials, each with its own distinct advantages.

Modern-day braces, however, do not have to look like you are wearing a full mouth of metal. There are a number of alternatives to traditional metal braces, such as clear plastic aligners and braces with brackets that are bonded directly to the surface of each tooth. These more advanced braces for kids are perfect for those who are seeking an attractive form of dental correction.

Invisalign for kids

A popular and attractive option to correct misaligned teeth in kids are Invisalign braces. Invisalign braces are near-invisible plastic trays that straighten teeth without any metal brackets or wires. They work similarly to metal braces in that they apply pressure to align teeth into their correct position. The difference is that they tend to be more visually appealing than metal braces because they are nearly invisible to the naked eye. Another advantage to Invisalign braces is that they are removable, allowing the Invisalign-wearer to eat whatever they want without the fear of getting food particles stuck between the metal crevices and their natural teeth. Keeping your natural teeth healthy tends to also be less of an obstacle with Invisalign braces, since you can simply remove your Invisalign aligners and brush and floss your teeth normally.

If your child has crooked, crowded or gapped teeth, braces might be a good option to correct his or her smile naturally. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with us to see what types of braces and orthodontic treatment options we offer.

Stainless steel crowns for kids

Dental crowns, also known as caps, are typically placed over a tooth to prevent a broken or decayed tooth from further damage or infection. While many people think of dental crowns as just being a solution for cavities in permanent adult teeth, stainless steel crowns for kids and baby teeth may also be used in certain situations.

When are stainless steel crowns for baby teeth used?

It is important to try to salvage baby teeth until they are ready to fall out naturally. Primary teeth are essential for several reasons, including to chew food comfortably — thus getting children the nutrition they require — and to develop normal speech patterns. The proper maintenance of primary teeth is also important for the growth of one’s permanent teeth because baby teeth reserve the right amount of space for the permanent teeth to grow in, as well as guide them into position correctly. When a baby tooth is lost before a permanent tooth is ready to fill in, the permanent tooth may come in crooked or crowd other teeth.

When a primary tooth is decayed or damaged, a stainless steel crown can help protect the tooth from further damage until the tooth is ready to fall out naturally. These caps are also helpful to help stop the spread of infection, which can lead to other health problems in children.

Here are several different instances when a dental crown may be used to save a baby tooth:

  • When a primary tooth has extensive decay and risks falling out before a permanent tooth is ready
  • When a filling would be too large and weaken or break and baby tooth
  • When a baby tooth develops unnaturally
  • When a tooth has been severely broken
  • To fill a cavity

What are the benefits of a stainless steel crown for kids?

Stainless steel is used as the material for dental crowns in babies, toddlers and children because of its durability and biocompatibility. Because of its color, however, stainless steel crowns are typically used on molars, which are less visible in the back of the mouth. Tooth-colored alternatives may be used for front-facing teeth, including incisors and canines.

If your child has experienced tooth damage or decay – even on baby teeth – make sure to schedule an appointment with us so we can assess the extent of the damage and identify the best solution to ensure your child grows up to have a beautiful, healthy and straight smile long into the future!

Root canal for kids: Pulpotomy and Pulpectomy

Root canals are dental procedures that remove all or a portion of one’s nerve pulp, which is found at the center of a tooth. This pulp can become infected for several reasons, including from tooth decay or injury. Pediatric pulp therapy, or root canals for kids, is used in these cases to treat and restore a damaged tooth.

Maintaining the health of your child’s teeth – even baby teeth – is important to ensure proper chewing ability, speech development and growth of permanent teeth. When the area around your child’s tooth becomes inflamed or injured, it may be a sign that your child has experienced damage to his or her pulp on the inner cavity of the tooth.

Here are some signs that a root canal may be needed:

Unexpected pain around a tooth
Unexplained looseness or shifting tooth
Redness or inflammation around a tooth
Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures around a tooth

There are typically two different types of root canal treatments for kids: pulpotomy and pulpectomy treatments. The type of root canal treatment for your child will depend on several different factors, such as the position of the tooth, amount of damage to the nerve root, and general health of the child. Here are the details about each treatment type:

Pulpotomy

If the pulp root remains healthy and only the pulp tip is damaged, your dentist may keep the healthy pulp root intact. A pulpotomy treatment is a versatile treatment that leaves the healthy portion of one’s nerve root alone, while treating only the affected pulp area and surrounding decay. The damaged portion that is removed is then filled with a biocompatible material, which stops the spread of infection and soothes the damaged pulp area. Often, a dental crown is placed atop the entire tooth after the root canal treatment, which minimizes the risk of fracture and strengthens the existing tooth structure beneath.

Pulpectomy

When a child’s tooth is severely decayed and the entire pulp area, including both the root and tip, is damaged, a pulpectomy may be required. A pulpectomy treatment cleanses the entire root canal which is then filled to prevent further damage. In children with primary teeth, the material used for filling is reabsorbed into the natural tooth structure, while a non-reabsorbable material is used for permanent teeth. Once the cavity is filled, a crown may be placed atop the tooth to provide extra structural support for the impacted tooth. Pulpectomy procedures are more extensive than pulpotomy procedures and may require several office visits to complete.

If your child is complaining about swelling, sensitivity or pain around a tooth, contact our office to schedule an appointment with us today so we can get to the root of the problem quickly and effectively!

Portrait of beautiful young woman with perfect smile. Isolated on white.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a teeth replacement option that can help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. If you suffer from a missing tooth, several missing teeth or a full set of missing teeth, dental implants might be the ideal solution for you to help restore the look, feel and function of your teeth naturally and beautifully.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are small titanium posts that are inserted through your tooth root into the jawbone. These small biocompatible posts actually bond with the jawbone, creating a strong and sturdy foundation for replacement teeth. Unlike removable dentures, these permanent replacement teeth, which are anchored to your dental implants, look and function just like your natural teeth, allowing you to eat, speak, smile and laugh with ease and confidence.

How Are They Placed?

Most patients will need at least two dental appointments to have their dental implants placed. During your first visit, the implant is placed into your jawbone by way of your existing tooth root. Over the next three to six months, the implant will fuse to the jawbone, creating a strong bond. Temporary dentures can be used while your dental implants heal, so you never have to worry about leaving our dentist office without a full set of teeth.

Once the dental implant has sufficiently bonded with the jawbone, you are ready to get fitted for your new custom-designed permanent replacement teeth. During this second visit, your dental implants will be uncovered and small abutments will be attached, which serve as the anchor for your new replacement teeth. After a few adjustments to ensure a secure fit and feel, you are equipped with a beautiful, beaming and permanent new smile!

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants Over Other Restorations?

There are many reasons why dental implants are the preferred tooth replacement method over other types of techniques, including:

Improved Appearance: Your custom dental restorations are designed specifically to fit your unique facial structure, tooth shade and shape to ensure the most aesthetic look on each individual.

Permanent: Unlike temporary or removable teeth replacement solutions, dental implants are permanent and do not require any special or additional care.

Better Oral Health: Unlike dental bridges, which use adjacent teeth as anchors for a prosthetic tooth, there is no need to sacrifice any of your natural teeth with dental implants.

Convenient: With dental implants, there is no need to remove your teeth at night, clean them with special solutions or purchase messy adhesives. Simply brush and floss them just like your natural teeth.

How Do I Care for My Dental Implants?

After your dental implants are placed, they should last a lifetime with the right care. Daily brushing and flossing, as well as scheduling regular dental exams, will keep your mouth healthy and your implants beautiful and functional for many years to come.