Laughing Gas (Nitrous Oxide)
Nitrous Oxide inhalation is safe and is used to relax your child and reduce their sensation to pain during their dental procedure. Your child will remain awake while Nitrous Oxide is administered, and, after the procedure is finished, we will assure that they breathe oxygen in order to clear the Nitrous Oxide from their lungs. Once your child’s procedure is over, they should be fine to resume their normal activities with no lingering side-effects of the Nitrous Oxide. We base our use of Nitrous Oxide on your child’s age, anxiety level, gag reflex and the extent of the procedure we are performing on them.
Dental sealants play a key role in cavity prevention. Sealants are a protective coating applied to the groovy surfaces of your child’s molars and pre-molars. Sealants require no anesthesia or drilling of the tooth surfaces. There are also no restrictions after sealants are placed. Your child may eat, drink and brush their teeth normally. Your child should, however, avoid eating ice or chomping on hard candy as this can fracture sealants. The normal life of sealants is three years. A child who eats lots of sugary foods and/or does not demonstrate proper oral hygiene will need to have his or her sealants replaced more frequently than a child who practices good oral hygiene and nutrition. We will check your child’s sealants at each of his or her check-up visits.
If primary molar teeth are lost early, it is very important to maintain the space to allow for adult teeth to erupt in their proper position. Taking an impression for a space maintainer is often an easy task. A dental laboratory will then create a customized spacer specific for your child. Your child can brush their teeth normally while wearing spacers.
Tooth Colored (White/Composite) Fillings or Crowns on Front Teeth
We strive to place white fillings and/or crowns on the front teeth. These are more esthetically pleasing and better for your child’s self-esteem. While composites are strong and durable, they need to be taken care of, especially when placed on a child’s front teeth. Encourage your child not to bite into hard foods with their front teeth as this may damage their fillings. Watch sticky or hard foods such as suckers, gum, Tootsie Rolls, Jolly Ranchers or Fruit Roll-Ups, etc. As always, it is important for your child to maintain good oral hygiene.
There are times when your child may need to have teeth extracted due to cavities or for orthodontic reasons. We make every effort to provide a positive experience for your child. Following an extraction we encourage a soft diet and over the counter analgesics as needed.
Pulpotomy (baby tooth nerve treatment)
The dental pulp has nerves and blood vessels. When the pulp is injured through tooth decay or trauma, the primary tooth can become infected. A pulpotomy is a procedure used to save a tooth when the nerve of the tooth is infected by decay or exposure. If this condition is left untreated it may affect the bone around the developing tooth or result in facial swelling and loss of the tooth.
The treatment involves removing the infected portion of the dental pulp and cleaning, medicating and sealing the area. In selected cases, a pulpotomy is an excellent way to save a primary tooth. After the pulpotomy treatment, a stainless steel crown is usually placed to prevent fracture of the tooth.
Stainless Steel Crowns (Caps)
Stainless steel crowns (SSCs) are very strong and durable restorations often placed on baby molars. SSCs are placed when there are large cavities or cavities between teeth to help strengthen the tooth. We have found great success with these restorations remaining in place until the baby teeth are lost naturally.