We offer comprehensive dental care for the pediatric and adolescent patient. We place high importance on prevention of dental disease. Some of the preventative services we provide include cleanings and exams, in-office and home fluoride treatments, radiographs (X-rays), sealants, mouth guards and oral hygiene instructions. We also offer a full spectrum of restorative dental treatments including fillings (silver and white), crowns and root canals for the baby teeth, extractions, space maintainers, bleaching for permanent teeth, and more.
Along with the many treatment options, we also offer a variety of treatment methods including in office treatment, Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas), conscious sedation, IV sedation in office and general anesthesia performed in the hospital or surgery center.
Cleanings and Exams
We recommend having a professional cleaning and exam performed every 6 months or possibly more frequently for patients at higher risk for dental disease. Each patient will be assessed by the doctor to determine their risk category. Some examples of patients at higher risk for dental disease are those currently undergoing orthodontic treatment (braces) or patients with certain medical concerns. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, “Because a child’s risk for developing dental disease can change over time due to changes in habits (eg, diet, home care), oral microflora, or physical condition, risk assessment must be documented and repeated regularly and frequently to maximize effectiveness.” Therefore regular preventative dental visits are one of our greatest means for avoiding dental problems. At these visits, your child will receive a professional cleaning by one of our board certified hygienists or doctors, instructions for taking care of their teeth at home (brushing, flossing, etc.), and finally a thorough exam of the teeth as well as the surrounding tissue by one of the doctors.
We offer in office topical fluoride varnish. We also sometimes recommend topical home fluoride for our patients at higher risk for dental decay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states, “Widespread use of fluoride has been a major factor in the decline in prevalence and severity of dental caries in the US and other economically developed countries. When used appropriately, fluoride is both safe and effective in preventing and controlling dental caries.”
Radiographs (X-Rays) are a vital and necessary part of your child’s dental diagnostic process. Without them, certain dental conditions can and will be missed.
Radiographs detect much more than cavities. For example, radiographs may be needed to assess eruption and development of teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. Radiographs allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.
The frequency of radiographs depends on the risk factors for the individual patient. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends radiographs and examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay.
Pediatric dentists are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of their patients to radiation. With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. The risk is negligible. In fact, the dental radiographs represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary x-rays and restricts the x-ray beam to the area of interest.
The purpose of sealants is to create a barrier and protect the teeth from getting cavities on the biting surfaces of the teeth. It is a tooth colored material that prevents food, acid and plaque from getting trapped in the grooves of the teeth where 80-90% of cavities in the permanent teeth form.
Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen or laughing gas is used during dental treatment to aid in relaxation of the patient. It is not meant to put the patient to sleep. It is a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen gases. It is administered by placing a small breathing mask over the nose. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen as very safe and effective calming agent. It is quickly absorbed which allows for minimal onset of action and recovery. While undergoing treatment with nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child will maintain alertness and responsiveness.
In certain patients with increased apprehension, very young children or children with special medical needs, Dr. Doss or Dr. Gold may recommend conscious sedation. This is medication administered by the doctor to reduce anxiety and calm your child for their dental treatment. The medication can make your child very drowsy.
There are many different medications that are used for conscious sedation and the medication of choice will be based on what the doctors recommend is the best for your child’s health and dental treatment needed.
We also offer in office IV sedation for certain patients. Depending on the apprehension of the patient, age, medical needs, and dental treatment required the doctors may recommend IV sedation. In this method of treatment, we bring in pediatric anesthesiologists to administer the sedation medications. The group we use for our anesthesia is North Texas Children’s Anesthesia (www.ntcadocs.com). Prior to your child’s appointment, please let us know if they have any changes to their health (cough, cold, fever, etc.) or if they are taking any medications. You will also receive instructions from the anesthesiologist concerning what your child can eat or drink leading up to the procedure.
Outpatient General Anesthesia (Hospital)
Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under oral sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting. Along with the instructions you receive at our office, you will also receive instructions from the hospital regarding pre-op visit and information for the day of the surgery.