Common Procedures in Pediatric Dentistry
Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your oral health. During your regular exam, we will :
- Check for any problems you may not see or feel
- Look for cavities or other signs of tooth decay
- Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
- Perform a thorough teeth cleaning
Your regular exam will take about 45 minutes. Each regular exam includes a detailed teeth cleaning, during which we will clean, polish, and rinse your teeth to remove any tartar and plaque that have built up on the tooth's surface.
Visiting our office every six months gives you the chance to ask the doctor any questions you may have about your oral health. Regular exams are offered by appointment only, so please contact our practice today to schedule your next dental exam and teeth cleaning.
Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During dental bonding, a white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling "bonds" with your tooth. Because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades, it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.
Tooth bonding can also be used for fillings instead of amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than the silver amalgam. Bonding fillings can be used on front or back teeth depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.
Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and can usually be completed in one visit to our office. However, it can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, tell your doctor. The bonding can generally be easily patched or repaired in one visit.
A bridge may be used to replace missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, or alleviate stress on your bite.
A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Your bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materialsand is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.
The success of any bridge depends on its foundation - the other teeth, gums, or bone to which it is attached. Therefore, it's very important to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong.
Crowns are a restorative procedure used to improve your tooth's shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay.
A crown is a "cap" cemented onto an existing tooth that usually covers the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth's new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both.Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength to hold a filling. Unlike fillings, which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression, which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
Dentures are natural-looking replacement teeth that are removable. There are two types of dentures: full and partial.
- Full dentures are given to patients when all the natural teeth have been removed.
- Partial dentures are attached to a metal frame connected to your natural teeth and are used to fill in where permanent teeth have been removed.
Just like natural teeth, dentures need to be properly cared for. Use a gentle cleanser to brush your dentures, always keep them moist when they're not in use, and be sure to keep your tongue and gums clean as well.
There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth at risk, so your doctor may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.
When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, your dentist may extract it during a regular checkup or request another visit for this procedure. The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a "tooth socket", and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, your dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with your doctor any concerns or preferences for sedation.
Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, causing problems with chewing or with your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, your dentist may recommend you replace the extracted tooth.
Traditional dental restoratives, or fillings, may include gold, porcelain, or composite. Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are typically used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important.
There are two different kinds of fillings: direct and indirect.
- Direct fillings are placed into a prepared cavity during a single visit.
- Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits.
These fillings include inlays, and veneers fabricated with ceramics or composites.
If you are missing teeth, it is crucial to replace them. Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause you discomfort. When teeth are missing, your mouth can shift and even cause your face to look older. Implants are a great way to replace your missing teeth, and if properly maintained, can last a lifetime!
An implant is a new tooth made of metal and porcelain that looks just like your natural tooth. It's composed of two main parts: One is the titanium implant body that takes the place of the missing root, and the other is the tooth-colored crown cemented on top of the implant. With implant treatment, you can smile confidently, knowing no one will ever suspect you have a replacement tooth.
In addition to tooth replacement, implants may be used to anchor dentures, especially lower dentures that tend to shift when you talk or chew. For patients with removable partial dentures, implants can replace missing teeth so you have a more natural-looking smile.
You know the importance of prevention when it comes to your dental health, and we're always looking for new, improved ways to help you achieve a healthy smile for life. While X-rays provide valuable information, they don't give a complete view of everything going on inside your mouth.
With an intraoral camera, we can see every aspect of your teeth and mouth with incredible detail, uncovering cracked teeth, plaque deposits, cavities next to fillings, and excessive wear. When we can discover oral problems early on, your treatment is much less invasive and much more cost effective.
Our intraoral camera is small : about the size of the mirror we use during your regular hygiene appointments. You probably wouldn't even notice we're using it, except that with the intraoral camera, you have the opportunity to see everything we see on a monitor. This is a great tool to help you become more informed about your dental health, because it gives you a clear understanding of your teeth's condition, and it allows you to make a more informed decision regarding your treatment options.
Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay. It also prevents plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth's surface. A fluoride treatment in your dentist's office takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, patients may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or your doctor's recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every 3, 6, or 12 months.
Laser therapy in dentistry provides patients with a more comfortable dental treatment experience.
Using laser dentistry, your dentist is able to deliver a precise treatment that is more comfortable, quicker, and provides more stunning results.
There are two different types of laser dentistry: hard tissue and soft tissue.
- Hard tissue includes treatments such as cavity detection, dental fillings, and improving tooth sensitivity.
- Soft tissue treatments include gum reshaping, gum surgery, and improving muscle attachment.
There are several benefits to receiving a laser therapy dental treatment.
- Many laser treatments do not require anesthesia, and the recovery time is much quicker than with traditional treatment methods.
- Treatments are more comfortable.
- There is less potential chance of bacterial infection because laser treatments are so precise.
Whether you wear braces or not, protecting your smile while playing sports is essential.
Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums from injury. If you participate in any kind of fullcontact sport, the Canadian Dental Association recommends that you wear a mouthguard.
Choosing the right mouthguard is essential. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the premade mouthguard, the "boil-and-bite" fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard from your dentist. When you choose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well-fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly.
Your dentist can show you how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect your smile.
In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you'd probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called "root canal treatment", your tooth can be saved. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but it is also detrimental to your overall health.
Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems with the nerves of the teeth) removes the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite.
If your tooth has extensive decay, your doctor may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breaking. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.
Wisdom teeth are molars found in the very back of your mouth. They usually appear in the late teens or early twenties, but they may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.
Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense.
These two factors can make extraction easier as well as shorten the recovery time.
In order to remove a wisdom tooth, your dentist needs to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and embedded in your jaw bone, your dentist will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. In order to minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, your dentist will often "section" your wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.
Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction, healing time varies. Your dentist will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.
A child's first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our office makes a special effort to use pleasant, nonfrightening, and simple words to describe each treatment. We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office. The more you and your child know about the first visit, the better you will feel. The Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child's newlyerupted teeth (which appear between six and 12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning. Getting to know your teeth is fun! Download our Dynamite Dental Fun Kit!
When New Teeth Arrive
Your child's primary teeth, also known as "baby" teeth, will begin to emerge between the ages of six to 12 months and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child's gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring. When your child has finished teething, you can expect a total of 20 primary teeth!
Your child's primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood. The permanent teeth begin erupting at age six and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth - 32, including wisdom teeth.
Adopting Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits
As your child's teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, checking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember, sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes his or her teeth after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing twice a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast and at bedtime.
Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby's tooth erupts, parents should brush it with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other healthcare professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.
Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately.
Tooth decay is caused by sugars that are left in your mouth. They turn into an acid that can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.
Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. Along with regular cleanings, we recommend fluoride treatments twice a year to keep teeth their strongest.
Tooth sealants are also recommended because they "seal" the deep grooves in your child's teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but they will be monitored at your regular checkups.