We take great pride in the quality of our restorative treatment. Only the best dental products and restorative materials are used for restoring dentition.
Our patients benefit from our doctors’ active evaluation of new restorative materials from dental manufacturers. We also use a Diagnodent laser light rather than rely only on the sharp explorer point to find small cavities so they can be treated with conservative fillings and preventive therapies.
Whenever possible, we use cosmetic restorations (such as tooth-colored fillings and crowns) to achieve the best looking results! With our Waterlase dental laser and our tooth-colored restorations, most people won't even know that a filling was ever done!
Our Restorative Treatments include:
- Composite (Tooth-Colored) Fillings
- Preventive Resin Composite Fillings
- Composite (Tooth-Colored) Crowns
- Veneers And Other Restorative Restorations
Although nitrous oxide is available and may be used in special cases, we successfully perform over 99% of our restorative treatments by using behavior management techniques! Many restorative treatments don't require any form of anesthesia (shots)!
Why are baby teeth so important?
Primary teeth (also called deciduous teeth) are important because they help with proper chewing and eating, help in speech development and add to an attractive appearance. A child who can chew easily, speak clearly and smile confidently is a happier child. Healthy primary teeth allow normal development of the jaw bones and muscles, save space for the permanent teeth and guide them into place. If a baby tooth is lost too soon, permanent teeth may come in crooked. Decayed baby teeth can cause pain, abscesses, infections, and can spread to the permanent teeth. Also, your child's general health can be affected if diseased baby teeth aren't treated. Remember, some primary molars are not replaced until age 10-14, so they must last for years.
What should I tell my child about the first dental visit?
We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way that you would before their first hair-cut or trip to the shoe store. This will not be the frightening experience you may remember from your youth. If you are nervous about the trip, then the less you say the better. You cannot hide your anxiety from a child (they have radar for these things). Your child's reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you because many parents find that they do much better than they expected.
A child’s primary or “baby” teeth will begin to appear around 6 months old. These “baby” teeth help children to chew and speak as well as holding space in the jaws for the permanent teeth to replace. The American Dental Association suggests making this first dental visit no later than the child’s first birthday. This early age dental visit allows for the dentist to check for tooth decay and other possible problem. In addition we can demonstrate proper cleaning techniques for your child’s teeth and how to evaluate negative habits such as thumb sucking. . Most children will have the full set of 20 “baby” teeth by the age of 3. Around the age of 6 these primary teeth will begin to fall out and be replaced by the first of the permanent adult teeth.
Here is a guideline to help with how to plan the first visits to the dentist.
1 year old-First exam, oral hygiene instructions and fluoride need evaluated
2 years old –Exam and evaluation of primary teeth eruption and form
3 years old- Child exam and continued fluoride need evaluated. Cavity detection with the Diagnodent laser detection light. A child may need x-rays.
4-5 years old - routine exam with dental x-rays and cavity detection with the Diagnodent laser detection light.
What about preventative care?
Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand in hand. At our office we are most concerned with all aspects of preventive care. We recommend fluoride treatments at a minimum of every six month examination. At that appointment we also check for the first signs of gum disease and show you how to control it. We check for tooth alignment and spacing problems to help minimize future orthodontic needs. We may suggest the placement of spacers or removable orthodontic devices to hold teeth in certain positions so that permanent teeth erupt properly.
The Diagnodent Laser is a small laser used to detect tooth decay in its earliest stages. It shines 2.5 mm deep into the tooth and is painless. Instead of using the traditional sharp explorer point only to find cavities, the Diagnodent has a small red diode laser light that is shined on top of the teeth in the grooves. When a small cavity is detected a soft buzzing sound and a numeric reading goes off on the machine telling us where and how much decay is present. This device has been proven to be more accurate than the explorer tip for finding decay. It is especially beneficial to prevent decay from becoming large and allows us to treat them with smaller white composite fillings. Tooth decay left untreated actually seeds bacteria to other teeth to infect them with decay, so finding this bacteria with this laser is important to help prevent decay in other teeth. Decay in the exposed surfaces of the teeth can be found with this device without the need for x-rays and allows us to treat them more often without the need for a drill and anesthetic.
We use the latest in sealant technology to protect your child's teeth. Sealants are modern plastics that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay prone back teeth. We also at times find decay in the groves on the top of teeth when they are being cleaned out for sealants. When this happens a preventive resin composite filling is placed instead of the sealant to prevent further decay and preserve tooth structure. These fillings are too small to place a silver filling into. In the past the dentist had to either leave this decay alone and let the decay get larger or fill it at this time with a large hole, anesthetic and a silver filling. Now this can be avoided with the Waterlase Laser and preventive resin restorations. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for your child's lifetime of good oral health.
What’s the right age for Orthodontic Treatment?
All children should receive their first orthodontic evaluation by age seven. This allows early identification of potential problems. Certain orthodontic conditions are also best treated at this age. Spacers and timed extraction of baby teeth may be suggested to help with crowding and allow for proper eruption of permanent teeth.
Full braces are placed after most of the permanent teeth erupt, generally age ten to twelve. Invisalign invisible braces can also be used on teen age children as long as the second adult molars are fully erupted. It is a often a preferred treatment over bands and wires because so many teenage children have poor hygiene around braces. This helps us prevent white spots and tooth decay seen so often around braces.
Adults are also prime candidates for orthodontic treatment and invisalign.
The timing of your treatment is very important; a consultation will allow us to better understand your needs. Please contact our office if you have any questions
Tooth Pain and Tooth Loss
Trauma is the major cause of tooth pain in very small children. Children often hit their mouths while learning to crawl and walk. Sometimes the tooth is pushed up into the bone. Often this is left alone to erupt but an x-ray is needed to evaluate the tooth and the progress it makes.
If a tooth is knocked out and has a long root on it, we suggest you place it under the tongue if the child is over the age of 6 and is able to do so without swallowing it or choking on it. Place it in milk if under the age of 6 and bring it to the dentist as soon as possible. We may be able to place the tooth back into the socket.
Thumb sucking or other sucking habits like pacifier, toys, blankets can effect the growth development of the teeth and arch. We will evaluate your child’s specific situation and offer suggestions to maintain a healthy atmosphere for proper teeth growth. At times we can offer an oral devise that is cemented over certain teeth in the mouth and prevents thumb sucking.
Sports Mouth Guards
Sport mouth guards are custom fitted mouth guards made out of plastic, that have a variety of layers to protect your mouth teeth and jaw joint from serious injury.
Sports mouth guards are beneficial to anyone who is involved in recreational sports—especially contact sports.
These mouth guards are specially made for each person’s individual mouth by taking an impression of your teeth. After the impression is completed it is used to fabricate the mouth guard so that it fits your teeth just right.