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Regular Dental Check-ups
Regular dental check-ups with your pediatric dentist is the first line in preventive measures. Your visit allows your child’s dentist to detect any decay in the early stages so that the minimal treatment can be performed. Dr. Greg will also review preventive home care instructions tailored to your child’s needs that can aid in preventing any tooth decay. Because baby teeth are very thin in comparison to adult teeth, cavities in baby teeth can progress very quickly so it important to schedule your child’s exams every six months.
Sealants are designed to protect the pitted and grooved surfaces of the teeth, especially the back teeth where more than 80% of cavities are found in children. Sealants are made of clear, tooth colored resin material and applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. While it is not guaranteed that sealants will prevent all cavities, they do help to reduce the chance of developing cavities on the biting surface of the tooth by about 70%.
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Tooth Colored Fillings
Tooth colored fillings are comprised of a natural-looking, tooth colored resin that provide durable and long-lasting protection against further tooth decay. Compatible with dental sealants, tooth colored fillings allow your child to maintain their self-esteem and confidence while they talk, smile and eat. An added benefit to a tooth-colored filling is that we are able to preserve more of the natural tooth structure.
Crowns are placed when there is a large amount of tooth structure missing or if the tooth has undergone a pulpotomy. The crowns are pre-fabricated in many different sizes and placed chair side by Dr. Greg. These crowns protect the tooth from further decay. We offer crowns that are made of a non-reactive stainless steel, so an allergic reaction is very rare. We also offer zirconia crowns when esthetics are indicated. Dr. Greg will discuss with you whether he will be placing a filling or a crown depending on your child’s age and extent of decay.
A tooth with decay that extends to the nerve portion of the tooth will typically require a pulpotomy. Your child will not always complain of pain even if he or she needs a pulpotomy because once the decay has reached the nerve, the nerves dies and no longer conducts any sensation. All the decay in the tooth is removed and the top portion of the tooth nerve or ‘pulp’ is removed. A sedative filling material is used to fill the tooth and the tooth is prepared for a crown. A tooth that has received a pulpotomy will need better coverage and protection than a filling and so a crown is recommended.
Spacers are placed when a baby tooth has been lost early. Often times these spacers can be placed the same day as the loss of a baby tooth. In some circumstances a spacer needs to be fabricated by Dr. Greg before it can be placed.
Long term habits like thumb sucking can cause growth disruptions where a child’s top and bottom jaws do not align together properly. Habit appliances are indicated when a child is unable to stop sucking his or her thumb/finger or pacifier. A habit appliance is similar to a retainer in that it sits on the roof of a child’s mouth as a reminder keep their thumb or finger out.
LIP AND TONGUE TIE REVISION
Lip and/or tongue ties can cause many issues for infants, children and adults. In infancy, these ties can cause painful nursing for mothers and difficulty breastfeeding for babies. In children and adults, these ties can lead to: speech delays, higher risk for decay, esthetic/spacing concerns, breathing issues, sleep disordered breathing and inappropriate growth of skeletal structures.
Dr. Greg and his team are skilled in revising these ties with a Diode laser. The use of a laser provides minimal bleeding and less discomfort than traditional procedures. We do our best to find time in our day to consult and treat infants with lip and tongue ties as we understand the urgency for immediate relief and improvement with feeding. Please contact our office with questions and/or concerns.
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The removal of single teeth may be necessary to maintain the health of your child’s remaining teeth, permanent teeth and mouth. After evaluating all options, extraction may be the best or only choice. Teeth are most commonly extracted due to:
- Interference with the growth of a permanent tooth
- Problems with long or misshapen roots
- Severe trauma or decay
After determining that extraction is necessary, we will discuss the treatment with you. In some cases, we may recommend replacing the extracted tooth with a space maintainer to keep the teeth and jaw from shifting and creating problems with chewing and dental health. Most tooth extractions are very routine procedures. Dr. Greg will make sure your child is comfortable, using local anesthesia to completely numb the area. The mouth should heal and return to normal in just a few days
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