Our office only takes digital X-rays as needed to diagnose cavities, infections, position/ location of un-erupted teeth. This digital X-ray technology enables us to significantly reduce radiation exposure to your child, maintain an environmentally safe and chemical free environment, as well as facilitating early and accurate detection of caries and other dental diseases. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends X-ray examination every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay.
It is done to remove plaque (layer of food, bacteria & saliva sticking to teeth), stains and calculus (tartar). It is critical that all teeth surfaces are clean for the dentist to make a proper diagnosis and for fluoride uptake. It is also part of our comprehensive preventive and educational program designed to improve your childâs overall dental health. The process also allows a closer interaction between your child and our dental team and may, to some extent, mitigate dental fears.
This is usually done once every 6 months. It will involve a gentle and thorough examination of your childâs head, face, neck, teeth, bite, gums and surrounding soft tissues. The dentist will access your childâs dental development, check for cavities and any other dental diseases.
Itâs a preventative agent containing fluoride that is applied on teeth surfaces. Fluoride inhibits loss of minerals from tooth and encourages remineralization. Thus it strengthens areas of the teeth that are weakened and beginning to form cavities. It comes in several different forms: gel, foam or varnish. The gel or foam is delivered using trays that are held against the teeth for up to four minutes. Fluoride varnish is brushed on the teeth surfaces. It is especially useful for young or special needs patients who may not tolerate fluoride trays.
A sealant is a coating made of clear or shaded plastic applied in the crevices (grooves and pits) typically found on the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent cavities. Even if your child brushes and flosses carefully, it is sometimes impossible to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Food and bacteria may collect in the grooves and pits of those teeth thus making them vulnerable to decay. The sealants âseal outâ food and bacteria that would otherwise collect in those crevices, thus reducing the risk of tooth decay.
The placement of a sealant is quick and comfortable. First, the tooth is cleaned with a chemical substance that enhances sealant adhesion. It is dried and the sealant is then flowed into the grooves and pits of the tooth and is hardened with a special light. It takes only one visit and your child will be able to eat right after the appointment.
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. It is used to help children with mild/ moderate anxiety relax so that they can receive dental treatment more safely and calmly. It also works well for children whose gag reflex interferes with dental treatment. It is delivered through a mask that is placed over the childâs nose. The child will smell the sweet aroma of nitrous gas, which on absorption in the lungs, will result into your child experiencing a sense of well-being and relaxation. Your child will remain fully conscious and will be able to interact with our dental team. At the end of treatment, your child will breathe oxygen for a short period of time to fully eliminate the effects of nitrous oxide, and it has no lingering effects. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes nitrous oxide as a very safe and effective way of managing your childâs anxiety so that he/she can receive dental treatment safely and calmly.
The self-image that beautiful and healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. We strive to use tooth colored or white fillings to maintain or even enhance the beautiful smile of your child. We routinely use tooth colored fillings to repairs teeth defects that may be having a negative impact on your childâs smile and/ or to restore cavities. At times the cavity is so large or may be located in a site where the white filling cannot be successfully used, and we will always advise you as to the next best option.
These fillings are silver in color and we restrict their use to molar teeth, having minimal or no impact on your childâs smile. We do understand that some people have concerns about the mercury contained in silver fillings. However, according to the American Dental Association and current research, mercury in silver fillings is not poisonous. Silver fillings are safe to use, and the amount of mercury released from these fillings is no cause for alarm.
Pulpotomy is necessary when decay has spread into the nerve of a baby tooth. The procedure involves removal of the unhealthy part of the nerve. The decay and infected portion of the nerve is removed, and medicine is placed over the remaining health part of the nerve. The chamber originally occupied by the infected portion of the nerve that was removed is then filled with a temporary material. A crown (white for the front teeth and silver for the molars) is typically placed to prevent the tooth from fracturing. This procedure is very essential to saving baby teeth until they are replaced by permanent ones.
A crown or cup is the restoration of choice for baby teeth with very large cavities when there is not enough tooth structure left after decay removal or if nerve treatment is performed on a tooth. We typically restrict use of stainless steel crowns to molar baby teeth so as to minimize any impact the silver color may have on your childâs smile. We usually use white crowns for anterior (front) teeth. Silver or white cups are a durable restoration, fit over the remaining cavity free tooth structure and allow the patient to keep the teeth that may otherwise be lost due to large cavities. The cup falls out with the tooth itself as baby teeth are eventually shed and replaced by permanent teeth.
Occasionally, permanent teeth may also need a silver cup. In this case, the silver cup is used until the bite (occlusion) stabilizes and may be eventually replaced with a more durable gold or porcelain crown.
This is the complete removal of a primary or a permanent tooth. A tooth may be extracted because it is severely decayed or damaged from trauma (injury) that it cannot be restored, or is infected (abscessed). An extraction may be done in our office or you may be referred to an Oral Surgeon (someone who specializes in difficult extractions). When a primary molar is lost prematurely (i.e., before the permanent tooth to replace it is ready to erupt), the neighboring tooth or teeth can drift into that space. Subsequently, the permanent tooth that is supposed to erupt into that space in the future will not have enough space and may grow in crooked. It is very important that a device called space maintainer is used whenever molar baby teeth are prematurely lost to prevent neighboring teeth from drifting into the space, thus preserving space for the permanent tooth (to replace the lost baby tooth) to erupt into.
A space maintainer is used when a baby molar tooth is prematurely lost. The device keeps the neighboring tooth or teeth from drifting into the space, so that the permanent tooth, to replace the prematurely lost baby tooth can grow in straight. The space maintainer is removed as soon as the permanent tooth erupts into the vacant space. Space maintainers can help eliminate the need for extensive orthodontics in the future.
Inside each tooth is a region of soft tissue called the pulp that carries nerves, blood and lymph vessels. This nervous, blood and lymph supply is connected to that of the entire body via small channels found in the roots of the teeth, i.e., root canals. A deep cavity or tooth fracture can result into pulp infection. Root canal therapy must then be performed in order to save the tooth and to prevent the infection from spreading any further. The procedure involves removing the entire pulp tissue, cleaning and shaping the canal using special instruments and finally filling the canal with a rubber-like material.
Our clinic offers this procedure to older children that already have permanent teeth. We restrict our root canal procedures to front teeth and will refer our patients that need molar root canals to the endodontist.