Pediatric DentistryOur practice can provide a wide range of dental services for your children. Our flexibility in our services saves you time and keeps your total dental care within one practice. Our emphasis is on total preventive care for our patients. Total care begins with regular hygiene visits, regular check-ups and continued home oral health routines.

We provide many preventative measures to keep your child’s teeth clean and healthy, including sealants and fluoride treatments. We also educate the parents in early detection of some common problems children may face, including thumb sucking, bruxism and baby bottle tooth decay.

Our primary goal for your children’s dental development is to achieve and maintain optimum oral health through advances in techniques, technologies and by maintaining their scheduled dental exams.

Teeth Cleanings | Fillings | Sealants | Fluoride | Tooth Extractions | Bonding

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Teeth Cleanings

Schedule an annual routine dental cleaning for your child. During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque from their teeth, especially from places where a toothbrush can’t reach, such as underneath the gum line and in-between teeth. We will then clean your child’s teeth and apply fluoride to help protect their teeth once they leave the office.
Fluoride is a relatively recent but important advancement in dental and oral health. Studies consistently show that a moderate but consistent exposure of teeth to fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, and helps prevent future decay.
If your child is due for their annual dental cleaning, please contact us to schedule an appointment.
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Fillings

A “filling” is a material designed to replace and restore tooth structure that is damaged due to decay or fracture. Several types of filling restorations are available. Our doctors will decide which one will work best for your child.

Understanding Fillings

A common question we get is about patients trying to understand the difference between white fillings and silver Amalgam fillings.  Here is what we tell them:

  • White fillings bond to the tooth; they strengthen the tooth by restoring most of its original shape. Silver amalgams, on the other hand, weaken the teeth and make them more susceptible to breaking. Broken teeth can be very expensive to replace; white amalgam can actually save time and money in the long run.
  • White filling composites are preferred by most patients. This is due to the natural color, strength and overall appearance and feel. Composites are naturally more comfortable.
  • Hot and cold sensitivity is greatly reduced with composite material compared to the silver/mercury amalgams.
  • Restorations with composites require less removal of tooth, less structure to place than those with amalgams and especially with new cavities. Dramatically smaller holes are needed with a composite.

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Sealants

Sealants serve as a barrier against tooth decay which often occurs in the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where plaque tends to accumulate.

A sealant is a plastic material (resin) applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth-the premolars and molars. The resin bonds to the depressions and grooves (called pits and fissures) in the back teeth.

Sealants are necessary because the back teeth have uneven pits and fissures that are difficult to keep clean. The pits and fissures hold plaque and food debris that toothbrush bristles cannot reach. Most tooth decay occurs in these hard-to-clean grooves. Sealants form a thin covering to keep out plaque and debris and decrease the risk of decay.

Children and teenagers are primary candidates for sealants because of the likelihood of developing decay begins as soon as the back teeth appear. Sealants are usually placed on the surface of the teeth that have not been previously filled and show no signs of decay.

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Fluoride

Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. Dentists can evaluate the level of fluoride in a primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements (usually in tablets or drops), if necessary.

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Tooth Extractions

General Extractions
An extraction is the complete removal of a tooth. Extractions are sometimes necessary if a primary tooth is preventing the normal eruption of a permanent tooth, if the tooth has suffered extensive tooth decay or trauma that cannot be repaired, if the patient has gum disease, or if the tooth is impacted (usually the wisdom teeth). Depending on the complexity of the case, an extraction can be performed surgically or non-surgically. A mild anesthesia is used to ensure your child is as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.

Wisdom Teeth

The third molars are more commonly called “wisdom teeth.” Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of the jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.
In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.
To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, we have the equipment and training needed to perform such extractions, with an absolute minimum of discomfort.

Ask our staff for more information regarding tooth extractions if you feel your child may need one.

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Bonding

Bonding is a common solution for

  • Fixing or repairing chipped or cracked teeth
  • Reducing unsightly gaps or spaces between teeth
  • Hiding discoloration or faded areas on the tooth’s surface

Bonding is often used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.

Composite bonding has many advantages:

  • It is a quick process, which typically lasts less than one hour.
  • It does not reduce the tooth’s original structure and is relatively inexpensive.
  • Composite resins come in many different shades and provide better matching of shades to the natural color of the teeth.
  • Composite bonds, however, are not as durable and long-lasting as veneers and crowns and may need to be re-touched or replaced in the future.
  • Composite bonds stain more easily and therefore require proper care and regular cleaning. In order to ensure the longest possible duration of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily. Common staining elements include coffee, tea, tobacco, foods and candy.