Pediatric Dental Services

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Preventive Services
Our primary goal as Pediatric Dentists is to decrease the risk of dental disease in your child. Dental disease includes dental caries, or cavities, gingivitis and periodontal or gum disease. Since we cannot predict which children will develop dental disease, dental visits at an early age are critical.
Parental Pointers

As a parent, in order to make the first visit less stressful for your child:

Do!

  • Talk to your child in a positive matter of fact way about going to the pediatric dentist.
  • Emphasize that a pediatric dentist is a doctor who helps kids and takes care of their teeth.
  • Let your child go into the treatment room alone.
  • Set a good example – brush and floss your own teeth daily and visit the dentist regularly.

Don’t!

  • Bribe your child into going to the pediatric dentist.
  • Use the dental visit as a punishment.
  • Let your child know you feel any anxiety about going to the dentist.
  • Let anyone tell your child scary stories about Dental visits.
  • Use words like hurt, pain, needle, drill, or shot.

First Visit
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends your child’s first oral examination should be at age one. During this visit we:

  • Assess the risk of dental caries
  • Educate parents in regard to diet and it’s relations to cavities
  • Discuss oral hygiene practices
  • Begin to build your trust in the dentist and the dental staff
  • Educate parents on the consequences and management of oral habits

 

As Your Child Grows

 

We recommend he or she receive a professional cleaning and oral examination every 6 months. Older children wearing braces may require a cleaning every 3 months. During these visits, we may suggest X-Rays to allow us to view areas that are in between the teeth that cannot be seen visually. We use digital radiographs which allow us to reduce the radiation exposure to our patients.

Fluoride Treatment
We offer a fluoride treatment, as part of our oral health recare appointment, in order to make teeth more resistant to decay. If your child resides in a non-fluoridated water community, we will discuss age appropriate recommendations for fluoride supplementation.

Sealants
Sealants are a plastic material applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (Molars and Premolars.) The bonded resin prevents food particles from entering the deep grooves on the back teeth and causing cavities. Many of our patients who opted to have sealants done have experienced much fewer cavities.

Home Care
All our in-office prevention aids are more effective when proper oral hygiene practices are utilized at home. We do ask that parents help brush and floss their teeth on a daily basis. Studies have shown children do not have the manual dexterity to brush well by themselves until the age of 10. Parents should begin brushing their child’s teeth when the first tooth erupts. Non-Fluoridated toothpaste should be used until a child can rinse and expectorate the toothpaste out. At times, in high cavity risk patients, we do recommend a fluoride mouth rinse to be utilized nightly after brushing with parental supervision.

Restorative Services
“Why fix baby teeth?” is a very common question parents ask us. Parents wonder why they should worry about cavities in baby teeth when they will “Just fall out anyways.” The answer is that your child’s baby teeth or primary teeth are meant to last until the permanent teeth are ready to erupt.

Baby teeth are used for chewing food properly, speaking clearly, and helping to promote positive self-esteem. They also reserve space in the jaw for permanent teeth, which helps prevent the permanent teeth from being crooked and crowded. Caring for your child’s baby teeth will also help protect him or her from painful and costly treatment.

Restorative Treatment Options
We generally recommend white or tooth colored fillings, as we have found them to last longer than silver or amalgam fillings. Since the white fillings have more steps in their insertion they do cost more than silver fillings initially. All procedures and costs are thoroughly explained before any restorations are placed.

 

OPERATORY PROCEDURE

Some children require the use of sedation to make the placement of fillings more comfortable for them. The sedation procedure will be explained at the diagnostic visit.

A few of our patients do require general anesthesia in a hospital operating room to complete their dental needs. These children are generally seen in an outpatient surgical center and all their dental needs are completed at one time. Dr. Shah provides comprehensive dental care under general anesthesia at St. John’s Hospital of Michigan and Children’s Hospital of Michigan outpatient surgery centers.

Orthodontics
During our recare appointments, we evaluate your child’s orthodontic needs. Many of our patients require some form of orthodontic therapy ranging from space maintenance to mixed dentition appliances to full mouth braces. Orthodontists are available in both our facilities for consultation.