Dental emergencies occur when you least expect them. When a dental emergency occurs, the most important aspect of handling the emergency is to have your child brought to our office as soon as possible.
Should your child complain of a toothache, have them rinse their mouth copiously with warm salt water to flush out any debris that may have accumulated. If your child requires medication to relieve the pain, have them take either Children's Tylenol or Children's Advil. Do not apply any medications to the affected tooth or gum. Immediately contact our office and arrange for an appointment so that we can correctly diagnosis the cause of the toothache.
If A Permanent Tooth is Accidentally Knocked Out
If the displaced tooth has accumulated debris, rinse it gently under cool water. Do not make any effort to scrub the tooth clean. Gently replace the tooth in its socket and hold it in place. If you are unable to reseat the tooth in its socket, place the tooth in a container of cool water. Come IMMEDIATELY (within 30 minutes if possible) to our office, where may be able to reimplant the tooth. The tooth's viability is very much dependent on the amount of time that has lapsed from the time of the injury to the time of its reimplantation. Time is, therefore, of the essence in these cases.
A baby tooth is knocked out
If a baby tooth is accidentally knocked out, do not panic! Simply rinse your child's mouth with water and call our office as soon as possible. At the office, we will conduct a thorough examination to make sure that no further damage has occurred.
* Do not, under any circumstance, attempt to re-implant a baby tooth as this may damage the permanent tooth which is developing!
Bitten tongue or lip
Both tongues and lips tend to bleed profusely when cut or bitten. To stop the flow of blood, apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with gauze or a clean cloth. If you cannot stem the blood flow, immediately bring your child to our office or to a hospital emergency room.
Broken or chipped tooth
Immediately contact the office and bring your child to the office. Immediate action can prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Use cold compresses to minimize swelling.
If your child participates in any recreational sport where there may be contact, we recommend having your child wear a form fitted mouthguard which may be fabricated at our office. Mouthguards help prevent injury to the teeth and may protect against head and neck injuries by cushioning blows that might otherwise cause concussions or lead to jaw fractures.
With the advent of the newest technologies in dental science, today's state-of-the-art restorative materials include ceramic and the latest composite materials. These materials are not only strong and durable, but restore the look of natural teeth and are very aesthetically pleasing.
Information Coming Soon
Sometimes it is necessary to extract a tooth. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Extractions are commonly performed in cases where a deciduous “baby” tooth is reluctant to fall out, a severely broken down and non-restorable tooth is present, or “wisdom tooth” is poorly positioned and unable to fully erupt into place.
To reduce any anxiety and insure patient comfort whenever a tooth extraction is necessary, the procedure, the post surgical instructions, as well as any restorative follow-up care will be carefully and completely explained.
Inside of every baby (deciduous) and permanent adult tooth is a central chamber that contains connective tissue, a nerve supply, and blood vessels. Collectively these core tissues, known as the dental pulp, help the tooth to grow and mature before it emerges into the mouth. Once your tooth is in place, the dental pulp provides nourishment, keeps the tooth vital, and alerts you of problems. Unfortunately, cavities and dental trauma can damage the dental pulp inside of a tooth. When one of these factors has involved the dental pulp of a primary or deciduous tooth and there is no evidence of an infection at the root of the tooth, a procedure known as a pulpotomy may be performed. The purpose of a pulpotomy on a “baby” tooth is to maintain it until its permanent successor tooth erupts. This is because deciduous that are lost prematurely can result in space loss for the permanent tooth and other consequences. During a pulpotomy procedure the exposed or affected pulp tissue within the crown of the deciduous tooth (the visible portion of the tooth) is carefully removed and a special medication to disinfect the area and calm the remaining nerve tissue is placed. Once the procedure is complete, the baby tooth is then restored. Depending on the amount of tooth structure remaining and how much time is left before the baby tooth is to fall out, the type of restoration is selected. Typically, the most effective restoration to seal the tooth and restore function, is a stainless steel crown.
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One of the main purposes of primary teeth is to act as a space maintainer for the permanent teeth which will erupt as the child enters adolescence. Occasionally, a primary tooth is absent, lost early or needs to be extracted. In these cases, it is important to maintain the space for the permanent tooth to erupt. In order to preserve the space, we will fabricate a space maintainer for your child. There are two types of space maintainers. One is a "fixed" space maintainer which gets cemented into the patient's mouth and will stay there until the permanent tooth erupts. The second type is a "removable" space maintainer, which resembles a retainer, can be removed from the mouth and should be worn until the permanent tooth erupts.
Every year millions of cases of dental and facial injuries occur as the result of sport-related trauma. While all sports have some risk of oral injury, it is especially prevalent in recreational activities that involve frequent body contact with other players or the ground, as well as the possibility of being struck by other objects such as, balls, bats, or sticks.
One way to significantly reduce the risk of damage to your teeth, cheeks, lips, tongue, face, or jaw as the result of a sports-related injury is to wear a mouthguard. A mouthguard is a removable appliance made of a sturdy plastic that sits comfortably over your teeth. Typically, mouthguards are designed to cover just the top teeth but may also be fabricated to include the lower teeth as well depending on your particular situation. Individuals who wear braces or have some types of dental work may require a specific type of mouthguard that provides more coverage.
There are three types of sports mouthguards on the market, including pre-formed and ready to wear stock mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguards, and custom mouthguards fabricated by your dentist. Our office will help you to select just the right sports mouthguard to protect your smile. While the first two choices offer some level of protection, the best and most comfortable mouthguards to safeguard your smile are the ones individually designed and customized by your dentist.
Teeth that have been stained or darkened by food, medications or injury can be lightened and brightened by means of a non-invasive process known as teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening or bleaching simply refers to any process that will make the teeth appear whiter. While there are many over the counter options for teeth whitening, the most effective and safest teeth whitening systems are the professional strength ones available at the dentist’s office. A dental professional whitening system offers a higher concentration of whitening components and delivers them to the teeth in the most efficient manner to achieve optimal results.
Our professional strength take home system produces excellent results. This is achieved by way of a more gradual process over a period of a few weeks.
DENTAL ANATOMY AND TOOTH ERUPTION CHARTS
There are 20 primary or baby teeth. Each child's teeth erupt at a different age. Some come in sooner and some later, so parents should not be alarmed if their child's teeth erupt at a different age or a different sequence than listed below.
The first teeth to erupt are the lower central incisors which usually appear around six months of age. The last primary teeth to erupt are the second molars, which generally erupt at approximately 2 years of age.
Usually girls' teeth erupt somewhat earlier than boys' teeth and lower teeth tend to erupt earlier than the corresponding upper teeth.
Primary teeth serve several purposes:
- They are essential for nutritional intake and proper mastication (chewing)
- They aid your child in speech development as teeth aid in forming correct sounds
- They act as space maintainers for the permanent teeth which will not begin erupting until about the age of 6
Central incisor - 7 1/2 mo. - 7 1/2 yrs old
Lateral incisor - 9 mo. - 8 yrs old
Cuspid - 18 mo. - 11 1/2 yrs old
First molar - 14 mo. - 10 1/2 yrs old
Second molar - 24 mo. - 10 1/2 yrs old
Central incisor - 6 mo. - 6 yrs old
Lateral incisor - 7 mo. - 7 yrs old
Cuspid - 16 mo. - 9 1/3 yrs old
First molar - 12 mo. - 10 yrs old
Second molar - 20 mo. - 11 yrs old
Including wisdom teeth, the adult mouth contains 32 teeth. Permanent teeth generally erupt following the same sequence as baby teeth. Commonly, if a child's primary teeth erupted at an early age, his permanent teeth will do likewise. The converse also appears to be true.
Permanent teeth begin their eruption pattern between the ages of 6 and 8.
The permanent teeth, if well maintained and taken care of properly are meant to last a lifetime.
Central incisor - 7-8 yrs old
Lateral incisor - 8-9 yrs old
Cuspid - 11-12 yrs old
First bicuspid - 10-11 yrs old
Second bicuspid - 10-12 yrs old
First molar - 6-7 yrs old
Second molar - 12-13 yrs old
Third molar - 17-21 yrs old
Central incisor - 6-7 yrs old
Lateral incisor - 7-8 yrs old
Cuspid - 9-10 yrs old
First bicuspid - 10-12 yrs old
Second bicuspid - 11-12 yrs old
First molar - 6-7 yrs old
Second molar - 11-13 yrs old
Third molar - 17-21 yrs old
As part of your child's dental prevention program, dental sealants are often recommended to protect their permanent back teeth from developing dental decay. In fact according to the American Dental Association, dental sealants reduce the risk of cavities in molars by approximately 80%.
While establishing a good oral hygiene regimen, maintaining proper toothbrushing habits, and avoiding sticky sweets are essential for the prevention of dental decay, children's teeth often need more protection. The reason for this is that the deeply grooved chewing surfaces of the back permanent teeth can be difficult for a child to keep free of leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria. Moreover, young children do not always brush their teeth, as often or as thoroughly as they should, making them particularly vulnerable to dental decay.
Dental sealants afford additional protection from dental decay by providing a strong plastic-like protective coating for the chewing surfaces of a child's permanent back teeth. They basically fill in the pits, fissures and grooves on these teeth to seal out harmful bacteria and food particles. Beyond preventing the development of cavities, sealants may also be useful over areas of incipient dental decay to stop further damage from occurring.
Applying dental sealants is a relatively quick and painless process. They are simply brushed on in a series of steps during a child's dental visit and then cured (set) with a light wand. Sealants are strong and durable and can last for several years. The condition of your child's dental sealants will be evaluated at each checkup and reapplied if the need arises.
Digital radiography utilizes computer technology and digital sensors for the acquisition, viewing, storage, and sharing of radiographic images. It offers several advantages over the older traditional film based methods of taking x-rays. The most significant of these advantages is that digital radiography reduces a patient’s exposure to radiation. Other benefits are that images can be viewed instantly after being taken, can be seen simultaneously as needed by multiple practitioners, and can be easily shared with other offices. Digital x-rays are also safer for the environment as they do not require any chemicals or paper to develop.
An electronic pad, known as a sensor is used instead of film to acquire a digital image. After the image is taken, it goes directly into the patient’s file on the computer. Once it is stored on the computer, it can be easily viewed on a screen, shared, or printed out.
Flossing is a very important daily step in maintaining good oral hygiene. Dental floss is a thin string that can be waxed, unwaxed, plain or flavored. The technique can be awkward to do at first, but with practice, flossing will become easier and together with brushing, should be a part of ones daily routine.
The proper technique used in flossing is to wrap the floss between the thumb and forefinger of both hands and beginning with the molars, wrap the floss around each tooth, working it up and down several times on each side of the tooth. This motion will remove food particles and more importantly, it will remove the plaque that builds up. Flossing may cause some minor bleeding at first but after a few times, the bleeding should stop. Flossing should be done at least once a day, in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
FLUoRIDATED WATER AND FLuoRIDE TREATMENTS
Since the onset of water fluoridation more than 50 years ago, the American Dental Association has continued to regard water fluoridation as the number one tool available to prevent dental caries. Scientific research has continually found it to be both a safe and effective method of strengthening teeth. For those communities that do not have fluoridated water, many pediatricians and dental health professionals recommend that children receive a fluoride supplement.
We strongly recommend that every child who receives a cleaning in our office also receives a fluoride treatment. These treatments contain a high level of fluoride in which a gel or varnish is applied to the teeth after the cleaning. These treatments increase the hardness of the tooth's enamel and makes your child more resistant to tooth decay.
PEDIATRIC DENTAL CARE
At our office we take pride in creating and maintaining beautiful and healthy smiles for our younger patients in an environment that is lighthearted and fun. With an emphasis on establishing oral health habits that last a lifetime, our primary tools are education and a comprehensive preventive care program.
As part of an effort to guard against childhood dental decay we recommend periodic fluoride treatments and dental sealants placed on the biting surfaces of the back teeth.
Periodontal disease damages the surrounding soft tissues and bone that support the teeth. It is predominantly caused by the accumulation of bacteria, mucus and other particles in the form of plaque or tartar that sit between the teeth and the gums. Periodontal disease can range in severity from a simple gum inflammation, known as gingivitis, to a more serious inflammation of the periodontal tissues. Left untreated periodontal disease can result in significant tissue damage and eventual tooth loss.
The problem with periodontal disease is that often the progression is painless. As a result the affected individual may not be aware of an ongoing disease process. This is why it is so important to recognize the signs of the earliest stage of periodontal disease, which is gingivitis. The symptoms of gingivitis typically include red, swollen and bleeding gums. Treatment instituted at this point is often sufficient to reverse the course of the disease and to avoid any permanent damage to the periodontal tissues. A series of deep dental cleanings, an improved home care regimen, and a commitment to regular maintenance may be all that is required to prevent this stage of periodontal disease from progressing.
Left untreated, gingivitis can escalate into periodontitis. However, there are other factors that can contribute to the escalation of periodontal disease, including smoking, genetic tendencies, and unchecked diabetes. In either case, when periodontal disease has progressed to a more advanced stage there is usually clinical and radiographic evidence of damage to the bone and soft tissues supporting the teeth. Periodontal treatment in this phase is designed to halt the progression of the disease and to restore tooth support as possible. This may involve medications to control the bacteria and reduce the size of the pockets between the teeth and gums, gum surgery, as well as bone and tissue grafts.
THE PREVENTIVE PROGRAM
According to recent studies, good oral hygiene is essential not only for your dental health, it is important to your overall health and well-being. Our comprehensive dental hygiene program is designed to preserve your teeth and the supporting structures by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental disease.
To maintain your optimal oral health we recommend periodic professional dental cleanings. Removing plaque and debris from teeth, especially from places where a toothbrush can't reach, like underneath the gum line and in-between teeth is extremely important.
It is also important to keep in mind that in conjunction with periodic dental professional cleanings, a good dental home care regimen is necessary. As part of the preventive program at this office your current home care practices will be reviewed. Following that, we will make recommendations as to what areas require improvements, and instruct you in the proper methods of brushing and flossing.
Additional preventive services may be indicated for individual patients. An integral part of our preventive program for pediatric patients includes periodic fluoride treatments and the application of dental sealants.