Recare Appointment / Dental Prophylaxis:
These important appointments allow Dr. Mai and her team to monitor your oral health and clean under the gumline where your toothbrush cannot reach. They also help promote healthy gums and teeth by removing plaque that can cause decay, gum inflammation and infection. Our team can assist your child with brushing and flossing. The orientation to dental care is crucial to the development of a positive attitude to oral healthcare for most children. Using puppetry, 'tell, show, do" and other demonstration techniques, the hygienist can accomplish miracles even with the most tentative patient.
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in foods and almost all water supplies. Fluoride is also used in many dental products such as toothpaste and mouth rinses. Fluoride acts in two ways: topically and systemically.
Topical fluorides strengthen teeth that have already erupted into the mouth. As the teeth already present in the mouth are exposed to the fluoride, this is incorporated into the outer surface of the tooth, making it more resistant to decay. Children should be receiving fluoride treatments every six months, as this is one of the most effective ways of providing the benefits of topical fluoride. Additionally, depending on your child's risk for decay and decay activity, Dr. Mai may prescribe a fluoride product to use at home.
Systemic fluorides are those that are ingested through food and water and are used by the body as teeth are formed. The need for dietary fluoride supplements for the child will be determined by water supply in the child's home.
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.
Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Tooth-colored fillings are made from durable plastics called composite resins. Similar in color and texture to natural teeth, the fillings are less noticeable, and much more attractive, than other types of fillings. Because composite resins are tooth-colored, they look more natural than other filling materials. Your child can smile, talk, and eat with confidence. In addition, tooth-colored fillings are compatible with dental sealants. A tooth can be filled and sealed at the same time to prevent further decay.
A cavity that involves the nerve (pulp) of the tooth may cause a child to experience intense pain. Although the pain may actually subside for a period of time using ibuprofen or antibiotics, it will return unless the tooth is properly treated. When the nerve of the tooth is infected, it must be treated to restore the child to good dental health.
A pediatric root canal procedure is referred to as a "pulpotomy". The purpose of root canal treatment is to maintain the vitality of the affected tooth so that the tooth will not be lost early. Early loss of posterior (back) primary teeth may cause future problems with the eruption of permanent teeth. Therefore, it is best to avoid early loss of primary molars by properly treating the nerve of infected teeth with a "pulpotomy". Dental caries(cavities) and traumatic injury are the main reasons for a tooth to require pulp therapy. The "pulpotomy" root canal procedure removes the infected pulp tissue within the crown of the tooth. A medication is placed to calm the nerve of the tooth and prevent bacterial growth. The pulpotomy is followed with a final restoration such as a composite crown or stainless steel crown.
After the "pulpotomy" (root canal procedure) is complete, your child should feel much better. We expect all pain to subside and for your child to enjoy all of their regular activities.
Baby teeth aren't just for chewing. Each one also acts as a guide for the permanent tooth that replaces it. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth loses its guide. It can drift or erupt incorrectly into the mouth. Neighboring teeth also can move or tilt into the space. This means the permanent tooth can't come in. The space maintainer keeps the space open until the permanent tooth comes in. There are different types of space maintainers. Dr. Mai will discuss the best type of spacer for your child if indicated.
A habit appliance is useful to help stop a thumb or finger habit and/or to help re-train an improper tongue position or swallowing pattern. It is sometimes necessary to place an appliance to minimize the harm and distortion the habits or tongue posture can have on teeth. Most habit appliances are banded for adhesion to the back molars and are not removable.
A crown is a dental restoration that completely covers the outside of a severely decayed or malformed tooth. Unlike most adult crowns, pediatric crowns can be completed in one visit. We offer stainless steel crowns and under certain circumstances white ceramic crowns for primary teeth. Keeping the primary tooth if at all possible is very important. A primary tooth can be restored with a stainless steel crown during one appointment. A crowned tooth must be brushed and flossed just like other teeth.
We offer stainless steel crowns for back teeth and under certain circumstances white ceramic crowns for primary back and front teeth.
Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a colorless liquid that is safe and effective for “arresting” or stopping dental caries. Silver Diamine Fluoride has been used extensively around the globe for decades.
- Provides immediate relief from dentinal hypersensitivity
- Kills pathogenic organisms
- Hardens softened cavities
- Stain caries black
Continued application one to two times per year can allow delay of treatment in a young child and in some cases prevent treatment altogether. Although SDF is new in the US, it has been approved for use to prevent cavities in Japan for over 80 years. This is a powerful new tool in the fight against dental caries, particularly suited for those who suffer most from this disease.