Tooth decay is the number one preventable childhood disease. Prevention includes good dental habits, healthy diet, and regular dental visits beginning with that first tooth. We want parents and caretakers to understand the importance of good oral hygiene and nutrition in order to make informed, effective choices about their children’s dental health.
On a first visit, we check to see if your child’s teeth are showing early signs of cavities. We’ll give you oral hygiene instructions and guidance regarding diet, nutrition and oral maintenance habits.
Teens and tweens make or break good oral health habits during these crucial years. Teeth are developing and growing, so they need to be carefully and continually evaluated. We’ll give you oral hygiene instructions that address habits and help prevent decay. At this age, we want children to focus on instructions given by our dental team and to feel in charge of their oral health.
Teens tend to have higher rate of cavities due to snacking and sipping sugary drinks all day so it is even more important for teenagers and youths to maintain excellent home care and regular dental appointments.
Every child behaves differently when it comes to dental treatment. Some children have no trouble accepting a trip to the dentist. Others become anxious and emotional during procedures. We assess a child’s anxiety level and recommend the appropriate way to manage their discomfort. First, we tell your child exactly what we are going to do and show them how it is done. We also explain the recommended procedure to the parents. We make sure everyone understands what we are going to do and only then do we do proceed. To aid in comfort and relaxation and to avoid a traumatic experience we sometimes recommend a mild sedative or nitrous oxide therapy.
Every examination includes an assessment of your child’s developing teeth. We watch for possible spacing and crowding problems.
We always discuss treatment options with you in detail. Depending on the extent of decay, treatments may consist of tooth-colored composite fillings for smaller cavities, full coverage restorations (tooth-colored or stainless steel) for more advanced decay or, in severe cases, extraction and appropriate space maintenance.
Every child behaves differently when it comes to dental treatment. Some children have no trouble accepting a trip to the dentist. Others become anxious and emotional during procedures. We assess a child’s anxiety level and recommend an appropriate way to manage their discomfort. First, we tell your child exactly what we are going to do and show them how it is done. We also explain a recommended procedure to the parents. We make sure everyone understands what we are going to do and only then do we proceed. We may recommend the help of sedative materials to relax and comfort your child.
When a child is middy anxious and needs more than understanding and a caring manner to feel comfortable, we may offer nitrous oxide/oxygen for a child who is mildly anxious. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. If your child is worried by the sight, sound, or sensation of dental treatment, he or she may respond more positively with the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen. When inhaled it has a calming effect. Normal breathing eliminates nitrous oxide/oxygen from the body. Your child will smell a sweet, pleasant aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a safe sedative, non-addictive, mild, easily taken, and quickly eliminated from the body. Your child remains conscious and keeps all natural reflexes. Beneficial effects of nitrous oxide include:
- reduced anxiety
- reduced pain
- altered perception of time (appointments seem shorter)
- visual fear reduction (nose mask blocks the view of dental instruments and other things that could frighten a child)
The Canadian Dental Association recognizes nitrous oxide/oxygen as safe and effective way for treating dental anxiety in children and adults.
Every service is tailored to the individual child. Nitrous oxide/oxygen may not be effective for some children who may have severe anxiety, nasal congestion, extensive treatment needs, or discomfort wearing a nasal mask. Dr. Koosha can offer other sedation methods that are right for your child.
Sedation can reduce anxiety and/or discomfort. Various medications can be safely used with children. Medicine will be chosen based upon a child’s overall health, anxiety level, and dental treatment recommendation. Once the medication is administered, it may take up to an hour for sedation to take effect. Most children become relaxed and/or drowsy and may drift into a light sleep from which they can be easily aroused. If you have any questions about conscious sedation process, please call us.
Anesthesia is defined as the loss of feeling or sensation with or without a loss of consciousness. In reality, anesthesia does more. In addition to keeping your child pain free during surgery, anesthesia controls the body’s reaction to stress and relieves the fear and anxiety almost always associated with surgery. One of the most important roles of an anesthesiologist is to preoperatively evaluate your child’s medical status. We require a pre-operative health history and physical prior to surgery. Please schedule the physical with your current general practitioner or pediatrician.
When a child suffers from a serious dental condition, general anesthesia may be needed to make delivery of the required treatment safe and comfortable. General anesthesia is also an accepted standard of care for situations involving children who have limited comprehension or children who are extremely uncooperative and require dental care that is technically too difficult or sensitive to deliver.
Precautions are taken to protect your child during general anesthesia. Personnel who are trained to manage complications will closely monitor your child.
Some children with physical, developmental, cognitive, sensory, behavioral or emotional needs are more susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease or oral trauma. Some require medication or diet detrimental to their dental health. Others may have physical difficulty with effective home care. We are able to customize a preventive strategy to fit the needs of your child. When your child needs to visit our office for treatment, we are able to provide a unique and personalized service that you can feel at ease with. Our office is designed to be physically accessible and comfortable for everyone.