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Services

Oral Examination

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your child's dentist at your initial visit.  At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:

  • • Examination of diagnostic x-rays: Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

  • • Removal of tartar: Tartar is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Tartar forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments and licensed professionals
  • • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease.
  • • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

Sedation

Nitrous Oxide

Some children are given nitrous oxide/oxygen, or what you may know as laughing gas, to relax them for their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the child's nose, allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating children's dental needs. The gas is mild, easily taken, then with normal breathing, it is quickly eliminated from the body. It is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes.

Prior to your appointment:

Please inform us of any change to your child's health and/or medical condition.

Tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide/oxygen.

Let us know if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.

Outpatient General Anesthesia

Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The inherent risks if this is not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.

Prior to your appointment:

Please notify us of any change in your child's health. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.

You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.

Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.

Your child should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure.

The child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the hospital or surgical site waiting room during the complete procedure. You are not allowed to leave the site while the child is being treated or recovering.

After the appointment:

Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.

If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.

If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.

Prior to leaving the hospital/outpatient center, you will be given a detailed list of "Post-Op Instructions" and an emergency contact number if needed.

Post-Operative Care

Care of the Mouth After Local Anesthetic

If the procedure was in the lower jaw the tongue, teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep. If the procedure was in the upper jaw the teeth, lip and surrounding tissue will be numb or asleep.

Often, children do not understand the effects of local anesthesia, and may chew, scratch, suck, or play with the numb lip, tongue, or cheek. These actions can cause minor irritations or they can be severe enough to cause swelling and abrasions to the tissue.

Monitor your child closely for approximately two hours following the appointment. It is often wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off.

Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

Care of the Mouth After Trauma

Please keep the traumatized area as-clean-as possible. A soft wash cloth often works well during healing to aid the process.

Watch for darkening of traumatized teeth. This could be an indication of a dying nerve (pulp).

If the swelling should re-occur, our office needs to see the patient as-soon-as possible. Ice should be administered during the first 24 hours to keep the swelling to a minimum.

Watch for infection (gum boils) in the area of trauma. If infection is noticed – call the office so the patient can be seen as-soon-as possible.

Maintain a soft diet for two to three days, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. Avoid sweets or foods that are extremely hot or cold.

If antibiotics or pain medicines are prescribed, be sure to follow the prescription as directed.

Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

Care of the Mouth After Extractions

Do not scratch, chew, suck, or rub the lips, tongue, or cheek while they feel numb or asleep. The child should be watched closely so he/she does not injure his/her lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia wears off.

Do not spit excessively.

Do not drink a carbonated beverage (Coke, Sprite, etc.) for the remainder of the day.

Do not drink through a straw unless advised by the doctor.

Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.

Bleeding – Some bleeding is to be expected. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for fifteen minutes. This can also be accomplished with a tea bag. Repeat if necessary.

Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity for several hours after the extraction.

Pain – For discomfort use Children's Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age of the child. If a medicine was prescribed, then follow the directions on the bottle.

Please do not hesitate to call the office if there are any questions.

Care of Sealants

By forming a thin covering over the pits and fissures, sealants keep out plaque and food, thus decreasing the risk of decay. Since, the covering is only over the biting surface of the tooth, areas on the side and between teeth cannot be coated with the sealant. Good oral hygiene and nutrition are still very important in preventing decay next to these sealants or in areas unable to be covered.

Your child should refrain from eating ice or hard candy, which tend to fracture the sealant. Regular dental appointments are recommended in order for your child's dentist to be certain the sealants remain in place.

The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay. When properly applied and maintained, they can successfully protect the chewing surfaces of your child's teeth. A total prevention program includes regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting the number of times sugar-rich foods are eaten. If these measures are followed and sealants are used on the child's teeth, the risk of decay can be reduced or may even be eliminated!

Oral Discomfort After a Cleaning

A thorough cleaning unavoidably produces some bleeding and swelling and may cause some tenderness or discomfort. This is not due to a "rough cleaning" but, to tender and inflamed gums from insufficient oral hygiene. We recommend the following for 2-3 days after cleaning was performed:

A warm salt water rinse 2-3 times per day. (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water)

For discomfort use Children's Tylenol, Advil or Motrin as directed by the age of the child.

Please do not hesitate to contact the office if the discomfort persists for more than 7 days or if there are any questions.