Pediatric Dentistry & Procedures
Exam, Cleaning, and Fluoride Treatment - The Trio- Twice a year!
Every 6 months children should have a dental check-up which consists of counting the teeth, checking for cavities, examining the soft tissues of the mouth, neck, face, and evaluating growth and development. All the teeth are cleaned of plaque and calculus, flossed, and polished to remove stains. Fluoride varnish is applied to the teeth with a tiny paintbrush, This treatment helps fight cavities and strengthen teeth.
Despite good oral health, some teeth are more prone to decay because of their shape and location in the mouth. For example, the adult molars located in the back of the mouth can have very deep pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces which can collect food debris and plaque. Sometimes these fissures are too deep for the bristle of the toothbrush to reach. A dental sealant is a thin, flowable material that can fill in these pits allowing the surface to be easier to clean and less prone to decay.
At each dental check-up, we evaluate the sealants for chipping and wear. Sealants can gradually wear away with time and at NHPD we will gladly replace them at no cost for up to 5 years as long as the patient is maintaining regular checkups.
Amalgam and Composite Restorations
When a tooth has dental caries, the decay must be removed and that space can be filled with several different materials. The size and location of the decay contribute to the recommendations of dental filling material. The most common materials used in children are amalgam and dental resin.
When dental decay spreads to the nerve of a primary tooth a pulpotomy is recommended. A pulpotomy involves removing the coronal or “top” portion of the nerve and treating the nerve tissue in the roots with a medication to kill bacteria. This is not a root canal! A root canal is done on permanent teeth, and the entire nerve is removed.
Stainless Steel Crowns
Baby teeth that have had a pulpotomy or have lost too much tooth structure to hold a filling should receive a crown. Silver crowns are used in pediatric dentistry due to their durability and strength. They are performed and fit over the existing tooth.
There are several reasons for the removal of a primary tooth.
- Spontaneous pain in a tooth that has decayed or has been previously treated for decay
- Evidence of necrosis on an x-ray
- A fistula or abscess
Every effort is made to restore and maintain permanent teeth. In some cases, the extraction of a permanent tooth may be indicated by a child’s orthodontist. Referral to an Oral Surgeon may be needed.
All the primary teeth or holding space for their adult predecessors. In some cases, if a primary tooth is lost too early or extracted the patient might need a small appliance to hold the space open until the permanent tooth erupts.
Nitrous Oxide Is an inhalation gas often referred to as "laughing gas" or "sweet air" and is administered through a nasal hood. This does not put the patient to sleep! We mix the nitrous oxide with pure oxygen until
optimal signs of relaxation are achieved. This can include but is not limited to relaxation of limbs, change in pitch of voice, and ptosis of eyelids.
Nitrous Oxide works well in pediatric dentistry because of its rapid onset and rapid recovery time. A certain level of patient acceptance and cooperation is required for the nitrous to be effective. Nitrous can raise the pain threshold but does not eliminate the need for local anesthesia.
It is not indicated for use in patients with certain medical conditions. One of the major adverse effects is nausea so we kindly ask that your child refrains from eating 2-3 hours before the procedure.
We do not provide orthodontic care but would be happy to refer you for treatment at the appropriate time.
Studies have shown that orofacial injuries and concussions can be reduced by wearing a protective mouthguard when playing sports. A custom mouthguard can protect and fit comfortably because it is made specifically for an individual’s mouth.
Ask our team for more details.