We believe, along with the American Dental Association and The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, that children and adults should have their oral health evaluated every six months. This is especially critical in a growing child as their teeth, gums, and bones are constantly changing and developing. Our comprehensive exams include examination of a child’s head, neck, and oral cavity. Growth and development is routinely assessed with a consideration of timely orthodontic intervention. We strive to establish a lifetime of good oral health for your child.
Infant Oral Examinations
Our practice along with the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry encourages families to; “Get it done in year 1”. Children should be seen by the pediatric dentist at the time their first tooth erupts or at least by their first birthday. This visit establishes your families’ “dental home”, a place where your child’s age appropriate dental needs are met, growth and development accessed, and allows our team to be your resource for future needs. Education is key to this visit; we take time to discuss diet and hygiene with you as your child reaches their “dental milestones”.
Our staff believe children should have their teeth professionally cleaned every six months. Specific recommendations will be made based on your child’s findings and risk assessment. Our cleaning appointments allow for our specialty training to shine; allowing us to interact with your child in fun and trusting environment. We also take time to educate you and your child on brushing, flossing, and other preventive care.
Professionally applied fluoride is important to keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong. The use of fluoride decreases the occurrence and severity of cavities. Therefore, we believe that children should receive a fluoride treatment under our care and recommendations.
Another aim at prevention. Sealants are a white coating brushed on the chewing surface of your child’s adult teeth to prevent cavities from forming in deep grooves and pits. During our comprehensive examinations, your child’s teeth will be evaluated to determine if they would be a good candidate for sealants.
Dental x-rays are a valuable aid in the oral health of infants, children, adolescents, and people with special health care needs. They are a key tool in diagnosing the presence or absence of dental cavities and assessing your child’s growth and development. Our practice uses advanced technology along with good radiological practices to minimize patient’s exposure.
“Play ball with prevention.” We would be happy to make your sports star a mouth guard to protect their teeth and supporting structures. Our mouth guards are individually made to fit your child which increases the acceptance and decreases trauma- a WINNING combination.
Dental cavities are the most prevalent infectious disease in our nation’s children. We are here to help. Our specialty training and experienced staff provides a safe, effective, and fun environment during your child’s treatment visits. Our office offers “tooth-colored” fillings in an effort to restore teeth to their natural appearance.
A crown may be the appropriate treatment to help our young patients maintain strong teeth. Crowns also can increase the success of keeping the baby tooth until it is age appropriate for your child to lose that tooth. A few situations that may indicate a crown is needed for your child include; advanced tooth decay that can’t be treated with a tooth-colored filling, trauma, enamel defects, and restoring a tooth that has been treated with root canal therapy.
Root Canal Treatments
When a dental cavity reaches the nerve in a primary “baby” tooth, a pulpotomy “baby tooth root canal” is necessary to increase the likelihood that a tooth can be saved. If your child needs a root canal on an adult tooth due to decay or trauma, we will refer you to a dentist who specializes in root canal treatments (endodontists). Our office is very fortunate have a supportive relationship with our endodontic colleagues.
Our practice makes every effort to preserve your child’s teeth through the years. Teeth aid in speech and support nutritional needs. Primary “baby” teeth play a critical role in the future alignment of the adult teeth. However, there are diagnoses made where restorative solutions are not an option, at that time we will recommend an extraction. We recognize that oral health means much more than healthy teeth, oral health is integral to general health.
We are a part of a team, orthodontist often prescribe the extraction of teeth and we are happy to execute their plan for your child’s orthodontic care.
A space maintainer is recommended to preserve the space that results from a prematurely lost baby tooth. It prevents the surrounding teeth from drifting into this space while optimizing the eruption of the permanent tooth. A space maintainer is fabricated, cemented, and then removed when the time is appropriate.
Patients considered for hospital dentistry include children with special healthcare needs or very young children with severe early childhood caries who require extensive treatment. Dr. Megan has privileges at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and has pioneered the presence of pediatric dentistry in the hospital. If your child is a candidate for hospital dentistry, a consultation will be scheduled with Dr. Megan so your questions and concerns can be addressed.
Patients with Special Needs
This is our specialty; we have the knowledge, increased attention, and expertise to treat patients with special needs. Our experienced team will take the time to understand your son or daughter’s unique condition and accommodate you and your child.
We may recommend the use of protective stabilization, hospital dentistry, or nitrous oxide. These recommendations are made in an effort to keep your child safe and relaxed during dental treatment while allowing us to provide quality care. You will be informed and asked for consent before any of the above are used on your child during their treatment
Tell Show Do
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”. This quote illustrates our technique of tell-show-do; in which we TEACH your child the important aspects of the dental visit.
This principle along with others aid in making your child’s visit a success. Once you and your child visit our office you will now be friends with “Mr. Slurpy”, have touched the spinning toothbrush, and felt “silly string”, floss, between your fingers.
We count, we talk, we sing, and we love what we do! Distraction is a very successful technique in which we utilize our pediatric friendly language, pass instruments out of the child’s line of sight, and in the end achieve a very successful visit.
We are advocates of positive reinforcement because it works. Within the office you will hear the team use positive voice modulation and verbal praise as we work with your child in our fun, friendly dental environment.
As a pediatric dental team, we are experienced in helping children overcome dental anxiety. While anxiety can be modified by techniques such as distraction and positive reinforcement, in some instances the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen may be beneficial. It is a safe technique that also enhances communication between your child and the dental team.
You will be informed and asked for consent before nitrous oxide is used during your child’s dental appointment.