Maintaining regular exams is a crucial aspect of preserving your child’s oral health. During a typical exam, we will:
A regular exam usually lasts approximately 30 minutes, and it encompasses a detailed teeth cleaning procedure to ensure optimal oral hygiene.
Visiting our office every six months offers an opportunity to discuss any concerns or queries you may have about your child’s oral health with the doctor. Please note that regular exams are available by appointment only, so we kindly request that you contact our practice today to schedule your child’s next dental exam and teeth cleaning.
Dental bonding is a conservative and effective method used to enhance the appearance of slightly chipped, discolored, or misaligned teeth. During the bonding procedure, a tooth-colored filling material is applied to the affected tooth, improving its aesthetics. The filling material bonds with the natural tooth structure and is available in various shades to closely match the color of your existing teeth.
In addition to cosmetic enhancements, dental bonding can also be utilized for tooth fillings as an alternative to amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings due to their less noticeable appearance compared to silver amalgam fillings. Bonding fillings can be used on both front and back teeth, depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.
One of the advantages of dental bonding is its affordability compared to other cosmetic treatments. Furthermore, bonding can usually be completed in a single visit to our office. However, it is important to note that bonded teeth can be more prone to staining and are not as durable as treatments such as porcelain veneers. If any breakage or chipping occurs, please inform your dentist. In most cases, the bonding can be easily repaired or patched during a single visit.
Overall, dental bonding is a cost-effective and efficient cosmetic treatment option that can significantly enhance the appearance of your teeth and restore their natural beauty.
In situations where a baby tooth has extensive decay that has compromised a significant portion of its structure, a traditional filling may not be the ideal solution for restoration. In such cases, stainless steel crowns have been proven to be highly effective. Specifically designed for baby teeth, these crowns, provided by 3M, offer a durable and long-lasting restoration option.
Stainless steel crowns have shown great success in treating large cavities in primary teeth, with a low failure rate. They can preserve the remaining lifespan of the affected primary tooth, ensuring proper function and aesthetics.
For cases where an anterior primary tooth requires a crown, we understand the importance of maintaining a natural appearance. Therefore, we offer esthetic alternatives such as Nu-Smile Pediatric Crowns. These crowns address concerns about the social and psychological impact of having a “stainless steel smile,” providing a more aesthetically pleasing outcome.
By utilizing stainless steel crowns and esthetic alternatives, we aim to restore the functionality and appearance of primary teeth while considering the emotional well-being of our patients.
Our commitment to providing the safest and most convenient treatment options for your child extends to the use of advanced dental technology. In our practice, we employ state-of-the-art digital X-ray technology. Digital X-rays offer numerous advantages over traditional film X-rays, including reduced radiation exposure, immediate results, and enhanced image quality. These benefits contribute to accurate diagnosis and efficient treatment planning, ensuring your child receives the highest quality dental care possible.
At our practice, we prioritize the overall health and well-being of your child, which includes minimizing their exposure to radiation. While the amount of radiation used in dental X-rays is already minimal, we recognize the cumulative effect it can have on the body. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of reducing radiation exposure whenever possible.
One way we achieve this is by utilizing digital X-ray technology. Digital X-rays can significantly reduce your child’s radiation exposure by up to 80% compared to traditional film X-rays. By adopting this advanced technology, we can maintain high-quality diagnostic imaging while prioritizing your child’s safety and minimizing their overall radiation exposure.
By choosing digital X-rays, we demonstrate our commitment to providing the best possible care for your child, encompassing both their dental health and their overall well-being.
We prioritize your child’s comfort during their appointment, and digital X-rays eliminate the need to bite down on a sharp film enclosed in plastic. Waiting for X-ray film development is unnecessary, resulting in shorter checkup times. The digital images can be enlarged and adjusted, providing the dentist with a clear, detailed view of your child’s teeth. By seeing the enlarged image on a screen, your child gains a better understanding of the importance of dental care. Moreover, digital X-rays are environmentally friendly, eliminating the need for chemical film processing. Our practice strives to create a comfortable dental experience for your child, and we look forward to addressing any questions at their next appointment.
There are situations where tooth extraction becomes necessary. For example, a baby tooth may have roots that are misshapen or long, hindering its natural exfoliation and requiring removal to accommodate the eruption of the permanent tooth. In other cases, severe tooth decay may jeopardize the surrounding teeth and jaw, prompting your doctor to suggest extraction and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infections, orthodontic corrections, or issues with wisdom teeth can also necessitate tooth removal.
When it is determined that a tooth needs to be extracted, your dentist may perform the procedure during a routine checkup or schedule a separate visit. Each tooth’s root is encased within a “tooth socket” in the jawbone, held in place by a ligament. To extract a tooth, the dentist expands the socket and separates the tooth from the ligament. Although the procedure is typically swift, it is important to discuss any concerns or sedation preferences with your dentist.
Following a tooth extraction, neighboring teeth may shift, impacting chewing or jaw joint function. To prevent these complications, your dentist may recommend replacing the extracted tooth.
Traditional dental restoratives, such as gold, porcelain, and composite materials, have long been relied upon for their strength and durability. They are particularly useful in situations where restored teeth need to withstand the significant forces generated during chewing, particularly in the posterior region of the mouth.
In recent years, advancements in dental technology have introduced newer filling materials that offer improved aesthetics. Ceramic and plastic compounds, known as composite resins, are now available as dental fillings. These materials closely mimic the natural appearance of teeth and are commonly used in anterior teeth, where a natural look is of utmost importance. Depending on the location and extent of tooth decay, composite resins may also be used for restorations in posterior teeth.
The selection of dental filling material is based on various factors, including the functional requirements of the tooth, its location, and the desired aesthetic outcome. Your dentist will carefully consider these factors to determine the most suitable filling material for your specific dental needs.
The performance, durability, longevity, and cost of dental restorations are influenced by various factors, including:
Before initiating your child’s treatment, the dentist will discuss all available options and help you select the most suitable filling material for their specific case. To facilitate this discussion, it may be beneficial to understand the two primary types of dental fillings: direct and indirect.
Direct fillings are placed directly into a prepared cavity during a single visit. This category includes glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings. The dentist prepares the tooth, places the filling, and adjusts it, all in one appointment.
On the other hand, indirect fillings generally necessitate multiple visits. This category comprises inlays, onlays, veneers, crowns, and bridges made from materials like gold, base metal alloys, ceramics, or composites. During the initial visit, the dentist prepares the tooth, takes an impression of the affected area, and places a temporary covering. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory, where the restoration is fabricated. In the subsequent appointment, the dentist cements the restoration into the prepared cavity, making necessary adjustments as needed.
By understanding the differences between direct and indirect fillings, you can better prepare for discussions with the dentist and make informed decisions regarding your child’s dental treatment.
Fluoride plays a crucial role in preventing cavities, tooth decay, and the formation of hardened plaque on the tooth’s surface. In the dentist’s office, a fluoride treatment is a quick procedure that typically takes just a few minutes. Following the treatment, patients may be advised to refrain from rinsing, eating, or drinking for at least 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride effectively.
The frequency of fluoride treatments may vary based on your oral health condition and your dentist’s recommendation. Depending on these factors, you may be required to undergo a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months. Your dentist will assess your individual needs and design a fluoride treatment schedule that best suits your oral health requirements.
Regardless of whether your child wears braces or not, safeguarding their smile during sports activities is crucial. Mouth and jaw injuries resulting from sports are unfortunately quite common. Our primary objective is to minimize the risk of sports-related injuries for your child.
Mouthguards play a vital role in protecting the teeth and gums from potential harm. The American Dental Association strongly recommends the use of a mouthguard for children involved in various sports such as basketball, boxing, hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, track and field, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding, skydiving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, or wrestling.
By wearing a mouthguard, your child significantly reduces the risk of dental injuries and ensures the safety of their smile. We are committed to providing comprehensive dental care, including protective measures to keep your child’s oral health intact during sports activities.
The selection of the appropriate mouthguard is crucial to ensure effective protection. Generally, there are three primary types of mouthguards available: pre-made mouthguards, “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguards, and custom-made mouthguards provided by your dentist.
When choosing a mouthguard, it is important to consider several factors. Look for a mouthguard that is tear-resistant, ensuring its durability over time. It should be comfortable and well-fitted to your child’s mouth, allowing for proper function and ease of wear. Additionally, the mouthguard should be easy to clean and maintain hygiene. It is crucial that the mouthguard does not hinder your child’s ability to breathe properly while wearing it. If your child wears braces or a retainer, wearing a mouthguard becomes even more imperative.
Your dentist can guide your child on the proper usage of a mouthguard, including how to wear it correctly and select the most suitable type. They will ensure that the mouthguard provides optimal protection for your child’s smile. By working closely with your dentist, you can ensure that your child’s mouthguard is well-fitting, comfortable, and provides the necessary safeguard for their oral health during sports activities.
Similar to other dental appliances like retainers or braces, proper care of your child’s mouthguard is essential to maintain its effectiveness and hygiene. Here are some simple ways to ensure your child’s mouthguard remains clean and functional:
By following these practices, you can help maintain the cleanliness, functionality, and longevity of your child’s mouthguard, providing them with optimal protection during sports activities.
There are areas in your child’s mouth that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush, especially the small cracks and grooves on the teeth. These areas can become susceptible to tooth decay if left untreated. Dental sealants offer additional protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants consist of a plastic resin that bonds and hardens within the deep grooves on the tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the once tiny grooves become smoother, reducing the likelihood of plaque buildup. With sealants in place, brushing becomes more effective in combating tooth decay.
Typically, sealants are applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure once their permanent teeth have erupted. While it is more common to seal permanent teeth rather than baby teeth, the decision to apply sealants depends on the individual needs of each patient. Your dentist will assess your child’s specific situation and recommend sealants accordingly.
Sealants can last from three to five years, although it is not uncommon to find adults with sealants that are still intact from their childhood. It is important to note that sealants provide protection only when fully intact. If your child’s sealants become dislodged or come off, inform your dentist and schedule an appointment to have them resealed.
By utilizing dental sealants, you can provide your child’s teeth with an extra layer of defense against decay and maintain their oral health for years to come.
There are instances when a primary tooth is lost before the underlying permanent tooth is prepared to emerge. This premature loss can occur due to factors such as cavities or injuries. In such cases, our recommendation may involve the use of a space maintainer. A space maintainer is a dental appliance designed to keep the space open, which is created by the missing tooth.
The purpose of a space maintainer is to prevent the neighboring teeth from shifting into the empty space. If this shifting occurs, it can create inadequate room or improper positioning for the eruption of the permanent tooth. Once the space maintainer is placed, we closely monitor the eruption of the permanent tooth. When the appropriate time arrives, the space maintainer is removed to facilitate the normal eruption of the permanent tooth.
By utilizing a space maintainer, we can help ensure proper dental alignment and avoid complications that may arise from the premature loss of primary teeth. Our goal is to support your child’s dental development and guide the eruption of permanent teeth for a healthy and well-aligned smile.
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically appear at the back of the mouth during late teens or early twenties. However, these teeth can become impacted, failing to fully emerge, due to limited space in the jaw or their angle of entry. Impacted wisdom teeth may require removal to avoid complications. If left untreated, they can cause gum tenderness, swelling, and severe pain. Partially or fully erupted impacted wisdom teeth are challenging to clean and prone to tooth decay, recurring infections, and gum disease.
Typically, wisdom teeth are removed during the late teens or early twenties when the roots are not fully formed and the surrounding bone is less dense. These factors contribute to easier extraction and shorter recovery time.
To remove a wisdom tooth, the dentist first administers local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and embedded in the jawbone, a portion of the covering bone needs to be removed to extract the tooth. To minimize the removal of bone, the dentist may divide the wisdom tooth into sections, allowing each piece to be removed through a small opening in the bone. After the extraction, the healing process begins. The duration of healing varies depending on the complexity of the extraction. Your dentist will provide instructions for a comfortable and efficient healing process, explaining what to expect during the recovery period.
By removing impacted wisdom teeth, potential complications can be avoided, ensuring your dental well-being and facilitating a smooth recovery.