Occasionally sedation may be required for patients when anxiety is present or extensive dental work is necessary.
DFK offices offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for dental treatments for the slightly anxious child. Nitrous oxide is a very safe, odorless, gas that helps calm a fearful child who is cooperative but worried about their appointment.
Nitrous oxide does not put your child to sleep. Nitrous oxide is administered with a “Mr. Nose” which is a nasal hood that is scented with flavors like bubblegum and strawberry. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off in a few minutes.
If the child is too young or too anxious to sit in a chair and breathe through a nose-piece, nitrous oxide is not an option. It is not always effective in extremely anxious/fearful children. In those situations, pharmacological intervention may be necessary for work to be completed in a safe environment.
Most dental procedures in children are completed in office using local anesthesia or laughing gas; however, very young, fearful, uncooperative children or those who need lots of dental work may require IV sedation to safely provide dental care. Intravenous (IV) sedation is a deep sleep that insulates your child from the stress and discomfort associated with dental procedures.
It is not the same as general anesthesia used in a hospital. We work with trained pediatric anesthesiologists who administer anti-anxiety drugs intended to help put your child at ease for the treatment.
The pediatric dentist performs the dental treatment while the anesthesiologist monitors your child’s sedation levels. IV sedation is also beneficial because your child will have no recollection of the procedure after the fact, which means that there are no bad memories that may make the child fearful or resistant to future appointments and treatments.
Your pediatric dentist will decide if your child is a good candidate for this service.
The American Association of Orthodontics suggests that a child’s first orthodontic exam occur by age 7, or earlier if a problem is noticed by the child’s parent or doctor.
Our North Hills, Monroeville and Cranberry PA offices have an orthodontist available several days a week to provide services to our patients. The first step in orthodontic treatment is a new patient examination. At this examination, initial judgments about the orthodontic problem are made and all possible solutions are discussed. Verifying the exact nature of the problem is a complex and precise process. Once our team identifies the issue and creates a solution that works for your family, our next step is to take “records” of the teeth, face and jaws.
Plaster models that duplicate the teeth and surrounding structures are used to visualize the problems of tooth positions from all angles.
The position of the teeth has a significant influence on the posture and balance of the lips and face. The photos allow the orthodontist to consider the effects of various treatment options on facial esthetics.
To schedule a complimentary initial visit, just contact any of our Pittsburgh area offices for the location most convenient for you and your family.
Dentistry for Kids places composite (white) fillings on anterior and posterior teeth. When needed, we also place crowns on primary and permanent teeth. Sometimes when a large cavity is present it is also necessary to perform a pulpotomy (nerve treatment) prior to placing the filling.
We provide cosmetic bonding and veneers to anterior teeth to replace missing tooth structure or to improve the esthetics of the teeth. Crowns also can be placed when circumstances dictate the need. Bleaching can be done to improve the smile.
Our team will extract primary and permanent teeth when needed. We also provide support for trauma involving the mouth including avulsed (knocked out), loosened and fractured teeth.
You can help with your child’s daily oral care at home, in addition to scheduling regular dental visits. DFK works with our patients on preventive services.
Healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. Like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and the soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet. Frequent snacking is a potential cause for decay.
Crunchy foods (fresh fruits and vegetables) make better snacks than starchy, sticky foods (crackers, raisins, dried fruits). Low-fat yogurt and low-fat cheeses are also healthy snacks for children’s teeth. Avoid sugary drinks such as chocolate milk, juice, and sweetened drinks which cause cavities.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children drink no more than 4 oz of juice a day. Juice consumption should be limited to mealtimes only.
Good oral hygiene removes bacteria and the leftover food particles that combine to create cavities. For infants, use a wet gauze or clean washcloth to wipe the plaque from teeth and gums. Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water.
For older children, brush their teeth at least twice a day. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give your children.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends dental visits every 6 months, starting with your child’s first birthday. Routine visits will start your child on a lifetime of good dental health. Your child’s dentist may also recommend protective sealants or fluoride treatments for your child.
A sealant is a tooth-colored material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth, where 4-out-of-5 cavities are found in children. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, protecting decay-prone areas of the teeth. Sealants have been used for many years to help prevent biting surface cavities. Sealants are easy to apply and often covered by insurance. No numbing is necessary.
Fluoride is an element, which has been shown to be beneficial to teeth and works mainly when it comes into contact with enamel.
Fluoride in drinking water along with topical fluorides in toothpaste and rinses strengthens teeth against decay. Fluoride treatments are typically recommended every 6 months to help strengthen any weak areas of the teeth and help prevent cavities.
Injuries can occur when a child begins to participate in recreational activities and organized sports.
Stock mouth guards or boil-and-bite mouth guards from sporting goods stores should be worn for organized sports whenever possible. In addition to preventing injuries to teeth, they help prevent brain injuries and trauma to the gums, jaws, and surrounding tissues.
Custom made mouth guards can be fabricated after the mouth has finished growing.