Our Pediatric Dental Services
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way. Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Digital xrays enable us to see caries that we can not see visually. They also help us monitor developing teeth. We also look for any pathologies and issue that could arise.
These important appointments allow Dr. Mai and her team to monitor your oral health and clean under the gumline where your toothbrush cannot reach. They also help promote healthy gums and teeth by removing plaque that can cause decay, gum inflammation and infection. Our team can assist your child with brushing and flossing. The orientation to dental care is crucial to the development of a positive attitude to oral healthcare for most children. Using puppetry, 'tell, show, do" and other demonstration techniques, the hygienist can accomplish miracles even with the most tentative patient.
Tooth colored fillings
Tooth-colored fillings are made from durable plastics called composite resins. Similar in color and texture to natural teeth, the fillings are less noticeable, and much more attractive, than other types of fillings. Because composite resins are tooth-colored, they look more natural than other filling materials. Your child can smile, talk, and eat with confidence. In addition, tooth-colored fillings are compatible with dental sealants. A tooth can be filled and sealed at the same time to prevent further decay.
Baby root canals
A cavity that involves the nerve (pulp) of the tooth may cause a child to experience intense pain. Although the pain may actually subside for a period of time using ibuprofen or antibiotics, it will return unless the tooth is properly treated. When the nerve of the tooth is infected, it must be treated to restore the child to good dental health.
A crown is a dental restoration that completely covers the outside of a severely decayed or malformed tooth. Unlike most adult crowns, pediatric crowns can be completed in one visit. We offer stainless steel crowns and under certain circumstances white ceramic crowns for primary teeth. Keeping the primary tooth if at all possible is very important. A primary tooth can be restored with a stainless steel crown during one appointment. A crowned tooth must be brushed and flossed just like other teeth. We offer stainless steel crowns for back teeth and under certain circumstances white ceramic crowns for primary back and front teeth.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing gas)
Nitrous Oxide helps to lessen anxiety. It works well and is very safe. Its effects are somewhat mild and, in some patients, additional medications may be needed to relieve anxiety or achieve a more cooperative patient. You can't rely on laughing gas alone to eliminate painful sensations, you still need to use local anesthetics for more invasive procedures, but in some cases Nitrous alone will be enough to eliminate the need for local anesthesia. Its effects are generally described as analgesia.
Oral Sedation and General Anesthesia
Sometimes, in order to complete dental treatment on children oral sedation or general anesthesia needs to be used. This is especially true when the child is very young and has a large amount of treatment. We also use general anesthesia for older patients who have a hard time cooperating in the normal dental setting. We often time will try to do treatment in regular dental setting using Nitrous oxide before we rely on oral sedation or general anesthesia. However, if a child has a lot of treatment, we may recommend general anesthesia in order to provide treatment safely.
Baby teeth aren't just for chewing. Each one also acts as a guide for the permanent tooth that replaces it. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth loses its guide. It can drift or erupt incorrectly into the mouth. Neighboring teeth also can move or tilt into the space. This means the permanent tooth can't come in. The space maintainer keeps the space open until the permanent tooth comes in. There are different types of space maintainers. Dr. Mai will discuss the best type of spacer for your child if indicated.
A habit appliance is useful to help stop a thumb or finger habit and/or to help re-train an improper tongue position or swallowing pattern. It is sometimes necessary to place an appliance to minimize the harm and distortion the habits or tongue posture can have on teeth. Most habit appliances are banded for adhesion to the back molars and are not removable.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)
Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a colorless liquid that is safe and effective for “arresting” or stopping dental caries. Silver Diamine Fluoride has been used extensively around the globe for decades. SDF: Provides immediate relief from dentinal hypersensitivity Kills pathogenic organisms Hardens softened cavities Stain caries black
Emergency and Dental Trauma
Dental emergency can including swelling, pain, infection, or any dental trauma. Please give our office a call.