We also understand how important taking care of children’s teeth is. We will work with parents to ensure their children are taking good care of their teeth at home. We will also monitor their mouths for any problems so we can catch them early. If needed, we will work with your children’s regular doctor to treat any problems we find.
We recommend routine dental cleanings for several reasons. When we perform a professional cleaning, we remove the buildup of plaque and calculus (tartar). We also clean the parts of your child’s teeth that are hard to reach, such as underneath the gums.
After a cleaning, we will polish your child’s teeth so that they shine! We can also apply a fluoride treatment, if necessary, to help prevent tooth decay.
After a thorough examination and taking appropriate x-rays, we will formulate a restorative plan that is right for your child. In addition to the decay noted, we also take into consideration your child's age, any medical conditions, and dental anxiety when developing our plan.
Common restorative materials can include white fillings such as composite resins or glass ionomers. For wide or deep caries, sometimes stainless steel crowns and pulpotomies (nerve treatments) are necessary. There are also circumstances where a tooth is not restorable and it may be necessary to plan an extraction with space maintenance.
One of the most commonly used types of sedation is nitrous oxide, which is also known as laughing gas. This helps many children relax during their procedure.
Nitrous oxide is a combination of two different gases–-oxygen and nitrous oxide. We administer the gas through a small mask placed over your child’s nose. The gas can be helpful when there is mild anxiety.
In situations where nitrous oxide does not provide enough relaxation, we also offer moderate sedation (oral conscious sedation). Moderate sedation can be thought of as a twilight relaxation, where the patient is relaxed but not unconscious.
At this time, we are not offering general anesthesia ("put to sleep"). If general anesthesia is the best option for your child, we will help you find another office that can provide those services for you.
Silver Diamine Fluoride
Silver products, such as silver nitrate and Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) have been used in Japan for over 40 years to arrest cavities and reduce hypersensitivity in teeth. SDF is an antimicrobial liquid available for use in the US since 2015. It is applied as a liquid that is brushed on the cavity to stop small areas of decay. This can be done quickly and without local anesthesia (numbing). It can be an appropriate option when a less invasive treatment option is preferred, or when treatment is challenged by behavioral or medical factors.
There are disadvantages to SDF. SDF permanently stains active carious lesions black. Some cavities fail to arrest with SDF treatment alone and it does need to be reapplied semi-annually. SDF can not be used on deep carious lesions.
We would be happy to discuss if SDF would be an appropriate therapy for your child.
Emergency Dental Care
It is very important to be prepared in case your child has an emergency. Even though we wish that they wouldn’t, emergencies do happen. Being educated and knowing what to do in an emergency can be the difference between losing and saving a tooth. You also need to know your dentist’s phone number.
You need to contact us right away if you are having an emergency! If we are not open, go to the nearest emergency center.
Dental sealant is a plastic coating painted on your teeth. It attaches to your child’s teeth, smoothing the rough edges, depressions, and grooves that are typically found on teeth. It gives your child’s teeth a protective coating, helping to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
Sealants are usually done on the back teeth since they are hard to reach and very irregular. Even if your child brushes and flosses properly, he or she may miss some areas. For this reason, sealants are a good way to protect your child’s teeth.