Common Procedures

Topics on this page

Regular Exams and Cleanings | Crowns | Extractions | Fillings | Fluoride | Mouthguards | Nightguards | Sealants


Regular Exams and Cleanings

Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your child's oral health. During your child’s regular exam, we will:

  • Check for any problems that may not be seen or felt
  • Look for cavities or any other signs of tooth decay
  • Inspect the teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
  • Perform a thorough teeth cleaning
  • Patients will usually have their xray, cleaning, fluoride and exam done at first visit unless patient presents with a limited/emergency exam

Your child’s exam will take about 30 minutes. Each regular exam includes a detailed teeth cleaning, in which we will clean, polish, and rinse the 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 talk to the doctor about any questions you may have about your child’s oral health. Regular exams are offered by appointment only, so please contact our practice today to schedule your child’s next dental exam and teeth cleaning.

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Crowns

Crowns are a restorative procedure used to improve a 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.

We offer stainless steel crowns, zirconia "white" crowns and "kiddie crowns" which are white faced on anterior primary teeth. These are placed on day of treatment.

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Extractions

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 of decay, so the doctor may recommend its removal. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.

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Fillings

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 fillings placed directly into a prepared cavity in a single visit. Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits. These fillings include inlays, and veneers fabricated with ceramics or composites.

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Fluoride

flouride

What about Fluoride?  Is it safe?

Fluoride can be found naturally in our soils, foods, and water.  It is a compound that, if used in controlled amounts and routinely, can help keep our teeth stronger. 

Fluoride replaces the minerals that are lost from daily acid attacks on our teeth (remineralization).  As we eat/drink, bacteria in our mouths use the sugars as fuel to grow.  The bacteria then create acids that damage our teeth in turn.  Fluoride also blocks bacteria from functioning properly, inhibiting their acid production.

Fluoride should be used in proper amounts to be effective.  Because there are so many sources of fluoride, our doctors can help determine if your child is receiving too little, and oftentimes, too much fluoride.  Too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, evident as mild enamel spotting to more severe brown pitting. 

We do recommend that fluoride be applied topically to aid in the remineralization of teeth.  This can be done through the routine application of toothpastes, mouth rinses, gels, and varnishes.  Again, too much fluoride does not mean better, and we recommend that fluoride products be kept out of reach of children and always used with parent assistance.   Professionally applied fluoride varnish is utilized in our office to aid cavity prevention.  Patients can eat/drink immediately following Fluoride varnish treatment but should refrain from any sugary/ sticky drinks or food for the remainder of the day.  Brush regularly at bedtime.

 


Sealants

Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your child’s mouth. It is difficult for a toothbrush to get in between the small cracks and grooves on your child’s teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your child’s teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.

Dental sealants are a plastic resin that bonds and hardens in the deep grooves on your child’s tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your child's teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.

 

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