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Regular Exams and Cleanings
Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your child's oral health. While if you have dental insurance, exams and cleanings are fully covered and free to you. If you do not have insurance, they are only $129 for new patients and includes exam, teeth cleaning and X-rays.
During each regular exam every six months, we will:
- Check for any problems that your child may not see or feel
- Look for cavities or any other signs of tooth decay
- Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
- Perform a thorough teeth cleaning
Each exam includes a detailed teeth cleaning, in which we will clean, polish, and rinse your child's teeth to remove any tartar and plaque that have built up on the tooth's surface.
Visiting the Dental Studio 4 Kids 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 us today to schedule your next dental exam and teeth cleaning.
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Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During dental bonding, a white filling is placed onto your child's tooth to improve its appearance. The filling “bonds” with their tooth and comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades. So, it closely matches the appearance of your child's natural teeth.
Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and can usually be completed in one visit to our Dental Studio 4 Kids. However, bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, tell us right away. The bonding can generally be easily patched or repaired in one visit.
Crowns are a restorative procedure used to improve your child's 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.
A crown is a “cap” cemented onto an existing tooth that usually covers the portion of your child's tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes the tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of stainless steel or Zirconia (ceramic). Zirconia crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and wear better than other dental materials.
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. Commonly, baby teeth become infected and need to be removed to prevent any major infection in your child. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.
When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, Dr. Denisse may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or may request another visit for this procedure. The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a “tooth socket,” and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, your dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with Dr. Denisse any concerns or preferences for sedation.
Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, causing problems with chewing or with jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, Dr. Denisse may recommend that a space maintainer be used in your child's mouth.
We are a non-mercury (amalgam) practice. Traditional silver dental fillings are made of amalgam, however as a mom, Dr. Denisse has chosen NOT to use unhealthy amalgam fillings. Based on the latest evidence-based findings, our Dental Studio 4 Kids believes that it is more beneficial to use the following materials with children: glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings.
Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, but they can also be used on the back teeth depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay.
There are two different kinds of fillings: direct and indirect. Direct fillings are fillings placed into a prepared cavity in a single visit. Indirect fillings generally involve capping the tooth with a Zirconia crown. They are used when a tooth has too much damage to support a filling.
Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay and in preventing plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth’s surface. A fluoride treatment in Dr. Denisse’s office takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, your child may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your child's oral health, Dr. Denisse may recommend a fluoride treatment every three, six or 12 months. If you want a more holistic and natural way to protect teeth, consider Xylitol.
If you prefer your child's teeth to be treated with Xylitol rather than Fluoride, the Dental Studio 4 Kids offers this treatment. Xylitol doesn't just help prevent cavities, it actually changes the DNA of cavity-causing bacteria. Over time, the bacteria can no longer adhere to the teeth: a main component in cavity formation.
Xylitol is a non-fermentable sugar alcohol. It is a natural product to help remineralize teeth and prevent cavities from forming.
Whether your child wears braces or not, protecting their smile while playing sports is essential. Mouthguards help protect teeth and gums from injury. If your child participates in any kind of full-contact sport, the American Dental Association recommends that they wear a mouthguard. Choosing the right mouthguard is essential. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard from your dentist. When you choose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well-fitted for your child's mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent them from breathing properly. Dr. Denisse can show you child how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect their smile.
If you often wake up with jaw pain, earaches, or headaches, or if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, you may have a common condition called “bruxism.” Many people do not even know that they grind their teeth, as it often occurs when one is sleeping. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, or even tooth loss.
There is an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism: nightguards. Nightguards are an easy way to prevent the wear and damage that teeth-grinding causes over time. Custom-made by your dentist from soft material to fit your teeth, a nightguard is inserted over your top or bottom arch and prevents contact with the opposing teeth.
In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you'd probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called “root canal treatment,” your tooth can be saved. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but it is also detrimental to your overall health.
Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems with the nerves of the teeth) removes the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. If your tooth has extensive decay, your doctor may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breaking. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.
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 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 plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on the surfaces of your child's teeth. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure against tooth decay after the permanent teeth have erupted. It is more common to seal “permanent” teeth rather than “baby” teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and Dr. Denisse will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
Sealants last from three to five years, but it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact, so if your child's sealants come off, let Dr. Denisse's office know, and schedule an appointment for the teeth to be re-sealed.
Wisdom teeth are types of molars found in the very back of your teen's mouth. They usually appear in the late teens or early twenties, but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed, your teen may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.
Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the teeth's roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier as well as shorten the recovery time.
Your child's wisdom teeth can be removed by an oral surgeon. Dr. Denisse's office can refer you to several qualified surgeons who accept a variety of insurance plans. These oral surgeons are comfortable and skilled at removing one or all wisdom teeth. In order to remove a wisdom tooth, the doctor first needs to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and imbedded in your teen's jaw bone, the dentist will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. In order to minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, your dentist will often “section” your child's wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone. Once your teen's wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction, healing time varies. Your oral surgeon will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.