Pediatric Dentistry

 

What Is A Pediatric Dentist (Pedodontist)?

Pediatric Dentists are the “Pediatricians” of dentistry.  

In the same way that pediatricians are trained to meet a child’s medical needs, our pediatric dental specialists are uniquely qualified to protect your child’s oral health using the most advanced techniques.  We utilize our delightfully friendly open treatment area for most of your check-ups to make the experience very child-oriented. All of our pediatric specialists are diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, so you can rest assured that your child will be in excellent hands!

Pediatric dentists have an additional two to three years of training at university pediatric facilities in addition to four years of dental school and four years of college study. Some pediatric dentists (including all of ours) practice general dentistry before specializing, giving them a unique perspective. They learn how to deal with the behavioral aspects of children, how to make them feel comfortable, and to make the experience pleasant and fun! They also are trained and qualified to treat patients with special health care needs and handle dental emergencies.

Why A Pediatric Dentist?

Has your child ever begged you not to leave the dentist? Impossible you say? Not at our office.

Our pediatric specialists and staff love children and are specially trained to put them at ease. We teach your children the proper way to take care of their teeth.  The dental team will help your child learn that going to the dentist can be fun!  Our goal is to help your child develop good oral health practices and become a great adult dental patient.  

Dr. Iben and Dr. Geneser will use special techniques to talk to your child and explain dental treatments.  They may show your child instruments and will answer their questions in a soothing and fun manner.  Dr. Iben and Dr. Geneser may discuss adding additional sedation assistance to your child’s treatment if needed.  

Pediatric dentists have special training to treat children and young adults with with special health care needs.  Children with complex medical conditions or behavioral issues may require special treatment.  If your child has a special health care need, be sure to alert our staff prior to your visit to help everyone better prepare.  

What Dental Problems Could My Child Have?

Some dental problems begin very early in life. One potentially serious condition is early childhood tooth decay (ECC).  ECC has many factors including a child’s diet, tooth brushing practices, and the type of germs in their mouth.  

Another problem is gum disease. About 40 percent of children two to three years old have at least mild inflammation of gum tissues.

Oral habits (like thumb sucking or pacifier habits) should also be checked. Sometimes these habits can change the way a child’s teeth come together. 

The earlier the dental visit, the better the chances of preventing problems. Strong, healthy teeth help your child chew food easily, speak clearly, and feel good about his or her appearance.

For additional information on other oral health issues, explore our side-bar links!

Or visit the patient-education resource websites of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association for more information.

Why Are Baby Teeth So Important?

Baby teeth, or primary teeth, are important because they help with proper chewing and eating, help in speech development, and add to an attractive appearance. A child who can chew easily, speak clearly, and smile confidently is a happier child.

Healthy primary teeth allow normal development of the jaw bones and muscles, save space for the permanent teeth, and guide the adult teeth into place. If a baby tooth is lost too soon, permanent teeth may come in crooked. Decayed baby teeth can cause pain, abscesses, infections, and can spread to the permanent teeth. Also, your child’s general health can be affected if diseased baby teeth aren’t treated. Remember, some primary molars are not replaced until age 10-14, so they must last for years!

What Should I Tell My Child About Their First Dental Visit?

We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way that you would before their first hair-cut. This will not be the frightening experience you may remember from your youth.

Try not to be nervous about the trip yourself!  Your child will sense your nervousness (they have radar for these things).  Instead, be positive about the trip to the dentist! Do your best to explain what the dentist will do without using big or scary words.  When you get to our office, we will describe everything to your child using special words that they will understand (and words that will not frighten them).  This is very important!  Let us describe what to expect to your child.  They will get to see and touch our equipment before beginning.  And we will do our best to answer all of their questions along with your own!

What About Preventative Care?

Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand-in-hand. At our office, we are very concerned with all aspects of preventive care.  Aside from a dental prophylaxis (or dental cleaning), our office goes out of our way to meet your child’s preventative needs in other ways as well:

  • ORAL HYGIENE INSTRUCTION:  At each check-up, our staff with individually work with your child, showing them areas they need to work better at cleaning, and teaching them how to do so!  This will help lead to better future check-ups and good hygiene practices for years to come.  
  • FLUORIDE TREATMENTS:  If desired, our staff will place age-appropriate fluoride treatments on your child’s teeth following their dental cleaning and check-up.  Topical fluoride is a great tool in the fight against dental decay because it helps strengthen the outer tooth surface, making it harder for a cavity to start!  But not everyone needs it… based on age, risk factors, and family practices we can cater this option to meet your child’s dental needs.  
  • SEALANTS:  We use the latest in sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants are plastic coatings that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay-prone back teeth.  Our sealant materials are BPA-free, and we use the latest curing-technology so we can complete sealants quickly!