Dentistry for Children

Dentistry for Children at Sentry Dental

Sentry Dental specializes in treating families and patients of all ages! We welcome infants, small children and adolescents to our office. Our team has experience with young children and has the education and techniques to provide them with the best experience. We also offer a “Cavitiy-Free” club for our youngsters. Our services for pediatric patients are as follows;

Cleanings

Professional dental cleanings help to prevent tooth decay and preserve and strengthen your gums and teeth. A good dental hygiene regimen at home is a key part of your overall dental health as well. It is important that your child learns the value of preventative care at an early age. Dr. Aston focuses on educating your child, so that they are equipped to develop healthy habits that will keep their smile healthy and beautiful. Your child’s smile is a gift. Help them share it with the world by keeping it clean and healthy! Call our office today to schedule your child’s next exam and cleaning.

Fluoride

Fluoride is often used in cavity prevention in several ways. The first is in our drinking water. Many cities have a fluoridated water system that provides this protecting mineral in our drinking water. It is also used in dentistry in fluoride toothpastes as well as fluoride pastes or gels applied by a dentist. Dr. Aston uses fluoride as a part of a preventative dentistry philosophy that focuses on education and building healthy dental habits. Read below to find out what the American Dental Association says about Fluoride on their patient education website, MouthHealthy.org:

”Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter and for good reason. Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making the outer surface of your teeth (enamel) more resistant to the acid attacks that cause tooth decay. “

Fluoride benefits both children and adults. Here’s how:

Before teeth break through the gums, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages and dietary supplements makes tooth enamel (the hard surface of the tooth) stronger, making it easier to resist tooth decay. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit.

After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a “topical” benefit.”

Sealants

There are tiny grooves and pits on some teeth that can make it difficult to keep food and plaque from causing decay in your child’s teeth. A Dental Sealant will allow our team to essentially “seal out” these harmful “sugar bugs” and drastically reduce the risk of decay and the need for fillings. This treatment is fast, effective, painless and can be completed in one visit. Dr. Aston and his team will perform a routine cleaning, and then the teeth to be sealed will be conditioned and dried. The sealant material is flowed into the grooves of the tooth and then allowed to harden while your child is still in the office. There is no shot, no scary “drill” and most patients experience no pain. These sealants can preserve your child’s teeth for many years if they are cared for properly.

Tooth Fillings

If Dr. Aston finds that you have a cavity and are in need of a filling to restore the tooth, he will use a tooth-colored resin composite material. This material will allow for him to create a natural-looking filling that is nearly invisible to the naked eye as well as strengthen the weakened tooth as it is bonded to the enamel. The composite material used in tooth-colored fillings is bonded directly to the existing tooth, allowing for a better fit and an increase in the structural strength of the remaining tooth.

If you have silver or mercury fillings and are interested in replacing them with tooth-colored restorations, call our office and schedule an examination. Dr. Aston will determine if it makes sense to replace your existing fillings and discuss a plan for your treatment if it is appropriate. Our goal is to improve your overall health, so we will take care in recommending the correct course of treatment for your specific needs.

Tooth Removal or Extraction

Sometimes, the best option for your child is to remove a tooth. If the tooth is significantly damaged or decayed, impacted or stuck in the mouth, has had trauma causing dental complications, or, in some cases, if the tooth is in the way of planned orthodontic treatment, Dr. Aston may extract it. Extractions in pediatric patients are fairly simple and typically are relatively fast to complete. Your child will receive a local anesthetic near the troubled tooth to help keep them from experiencing any pain. After the procedure is completed, our office will give you specific instructions for the rest of the day and your child can typically resume their normal day-to-day activities in about 24 hours. We do our best to make each visit comfortable and offer many options to your child to help reduce their anxiety. We have Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) as well as sedation options both in our office and at the hospital, should your child need extensive care.

Pulpotomies

Inside of every healthy tooth is a small space that holds nerves and soft tissue. This space is known as the pulp chamber. When the soft tissue in the pulp chamber becomes inflamed or infected, Dr. Aston may recommend that the nerve be removed. This procedure is sometimes referred to as a “baby root canal”. Dr. Aston will begin by numbing the area to be treated.  Next, he will make an opening in the top of the tooth in order to access the pulp chamber.  Dr. Aston can then remove the nerve tissue from the pulp chamber, and place a medicated filling to help seal the tooth and prevent bacteria from entering in the future. Unlike adult teeth, this just takes a few minutes.

In most cases, we will advise that a stainless steel crown be placed over the tooth to ensure it is stable and secure until the permanent tooth can replace it.

The pulpotomy procedure is very common and can often be completed in along with other dental treatment such as fillings, in order to minimize the number of times your child will need to return to the office for treatment.

Pediatric Crowns

A crown is a type of restoration that will surround and cover the affected tooth, protecting it from future decay or damage. Dr. Aston may recommend a crown if your child needs nerve treatment (pulpotomy and pulpectomy), if your child has a cracked or fractured tooth, if a tooth has developmental issues, or if there is a large area of decay that a simple filling cannot correct. In most cases, Dr. Aston will typically recommend a stainless steel crown that will protect your child’s primary(baby) tooth until their permanent tooth comes in naturally. We do our best to make each visit comfortable and offer many options to your child to help reduce their anxiety. We have Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) as well as sedation options available in our office to help make this experience as pleasant as possible.

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

At Sentry Dental, we believe that a dental office doesn’t have to be a scary place! We have gone to great lengths to ensure that our office is comfortable and inviting. One of the ways we are able to make your treatment more pleasant is the use of Nitrous Oxide. Also known as Laughing Gas, Nitrous Oxide is used in dental procedures to reduce anxiety and fear in dental patients. We have found that the easily reversible effects of this mild sedative are highly effective, even in our more fearful patients. We want your experience to be a positive part of your new dental routine. Nitrous is one way that we can help ensure that you will feel safe and comfortable in our office. Read more about what the American Dental Association says about Nitrous Oxide in dentistry on MouthHealthy.org:

Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax.

Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is one option your dentist may offer to help make you more comfortable during certain procedures. It is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions the dentist may have. Your dentist will ask you to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed.

Space Maintainers

If a baby tooth is lost before it is ready to come out naturally, the teeth next to it can shift or tilt into the empty space. The teeth in the opposing jaw can also move up or down to fill this space. When this happens, the permanent tooth no longer has the proper space to come in properly. This results in the permanent tooth coming in crooked or crowded among the teeth next to it. This will typically require your child to undergo orthodontic care to correct these issues. A space maintainer can be placed to hold this space open for the permanent tooth to come in properly. It will steady the remaining teeth and keep them from moving until the permanent tooth can come in naturally. This will allow the tooth to come in a natural straight position, and could prevent expensive orthodontic treatment in the future.