Preventive care is the foundation of good oral health. A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning procedure performed to thoroughly clean the teeth. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for halting the progression of periodontal disease and gingivitis.
Dental radiographs are commonly called x-rays. Dental radiographs are taken for many reasons: to find hidden dental structures, bone loss, and cavities. After your child’s cleaning the dentist will perform a complete examination and utilize the radiographs to diagnose any dental disease.
Fluoride helps prevent cavities by protecting and strengthening the mineral compositions of the enamel of your teeth. Many municipalities add fluoride to their water supplies to a standard level. Additional fluoride to help your teeth’s enamel is found in toothpaste, fluoride rinses as well as some bottled water. We recommend the fluoride varnish applied at exam visits to optimize your child’s oral health.
Sealants are a thin, white plastic coating that is placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. These teeth have pits and grooves in them which make them more susceptible to food and plaque trapped in them, eventually leading to decay. Sealants, along with Fluoride are recommended to help prevent tooth decay.
A dental crown is a tooth shaped “cap” that is placed over to tooth to restore its shape, size, strength and appearance. These are often recommended by your dentist to protect a weak tooth from breaking down further, to cover a tooth with a large restoration, to cover a misshaped or severely discolored tooth.
Composite fillings are white in color, and they are chosen when cosmetic appearance is important or desired. The color of the resin filling is carefully chosen by the dentist and assistant to match as closely as possible to the natural color of the surrounding teeth. These fillings are used to repair teeth in areas of decay and fractured teeth.
Silver (or ‘amalgam’) fillings are an alloy that may be used for dental fillings as an option that is chosen to fill a child’s tooth. Silver fillings are quicker to use and fill a tooth when time is the essence, particularly with a very young or a child with special needs.
If a primary molar tooth needs extracted or is lost prematurely; a space maintainer is often recommended to be placed to avoid drifting or shifting of the adjoining teeth. The space maintainer will be removed once the permanent tooth erupts through in its place.
In case of severe decay and the tooth cannot be saved, an extraction may be necessary. Sometimes extractions are also required for proper alignment when crowding is apparent for orthodontic reasons. There are also situations when a permanent tooth is erupting, and a primary tooth is not loose and in the way of the permanent one, and the dentist has to help remove the primary tooth for proper development and alignment of the teeth.
This is a treatment that is done to blood vessels and nerves in a tooth that have become infected from decay or tooth injury. The purpose of a pulpotomy is to extend the life of the tooth, preventing an extraction, and most importantly, getting your child out of pain, by getting rid of the infection. Any infected part of the tooth will be removed, and the remaining part will be medicated during this procedure.
Dentistry for Patients with Special Needs
Nitrous, otherwise known as nitrous oxide or laughing gas is often used in children’s dental procedures. Combined with other anesthetic techniques, it is very successful in relaxing the patient, making it a more desirable and successful experience for the patient and the dentist. The effects of nitrous wear off quickly after the procedure, and the patient can return to their normal work or play right away.