Each cleaning and exam visit starts with oral hygiene instruction. This includes showing patients and their parents areas that may be missed when they are brushing at home. Dental treatment is most effective if our patients understand the importance of properly caring for their teeth at home.
We are proud to offer digital imaging for our patients instead of conventional x-rays. We evaluate each patient individually for their x-ray needs in order to limit unnecessary exposure.
We also offer panoramic images of the entire mouth. These images help us assess growth and development, detect extra or missing teeth, and diagnose any other abnormalities that may otherwise be missed. This is also a very important tool when developing an orthodontic plan for each patient.
Sealants are a protective coating placed in the grooves of permanent molars. These help to prevent bacteria and debris from collecting on the chewing surfaces of molars where the toothbrush cannot reach. Although sealants are not 100% effective in preventing cavities, they can greatly reduce the risk.
Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay by strengthening the enamel and promoting re-mineralization to needed areas. There are new guidelines regarding the use of fluoride. Fluorosis (a condition that weakens enamel) can occur if fluoride is overused. We assess individual needs of each patient when making recommendations for fluoride use.
We offer a variety of options to help minimize alignment problems, lessen future orthodontic treatment, and aid the orthodontist in the patient’s future orthodontic care. Some of these options include tooth guidance, habit and expansion appliances, and space maintainers.
For children who might be fearful or nervous, we offer nitrous oxide. This “silly air” or “laughing gas” helps relax patients and is very safe. Providing a comfortable dental experience is always our goal.
To minimize removing healthy tooth structure on smaller cavities, we use a drill free technique called air abrasion that is usually accomplished without anesthetic.
We always chose the most aesthetically pleasing material when restoring permanent or baby teeth. There are many options available and we are happy to discuss the pros and cons of each and make the final decision together.
Behavior Management and Sedation
Occasionally there is a need to perform treatment on a child that is unable to cooperate for restorations (fillings). We do not restrain children for dental work. For difficult cases on young children we offer an “open ended” appointment. This means we schedule your child’s appointment when there are no other kids in the office. By maintaining a calm and peaceful atmosphere with limited distractions and with use of nitrous we can usually successfully complete dental treatment on young children. After all other options have been exhausted we offer Intravenous (IV) Sedation administered by a specially trained dental anesthesiologist in our office.
Our compassionate staff welcomes patients with special needs. One tool that we have seen work very well is the option of “happy visits”. Happy visits are a quick visit to the office to say high to the staff, walk around, pick out a prize, and become more comfortable with the office in general. These visits can be as often as desired to allow the patient to become at ease with our office before any dental treatment is performed. These visits are complimentary.
Do I Stay with My Child During the Visit?
Our open floor plan allows the unique opportunity for parents to be present during all phases of dental treatment. We also have a specially designed area for parents to sit where they can still see and hear what is happening with without being seen by their child if this is preferred.