New Patient Exam
Cavities happen very quickly in baby teeth due to a combination of feeding habits, poor cooperation or parents’ uncertainty about effective oral hygiene techniques, and genetics. As a result, we recommend your child to see us by the age of one in order to check for weak enamel and give practical advice to parents in order to prevent problems. We’ll also paint on an enamel-strengthening varnish at this visit. Older patients might require some X-rays in order to check for ‘hidden’ cavities between teeth. These kids usually have a cleaning at this visit, too.
Checkups and Cleanings
Cavities are the most common chronic disease in children. We recommend routine checkups and cleanings every 6 months for children. It gives us a chance to check your child’s oral growth and development, discuss practical oral hygiene and diet considerations, and build a trusting relationship with your child in order to motivate them to develop good dental habits!
When your child is referred to us by your family dentist, we schedule a consultation in order for your child to become acquainted with our office, staff, and dentist. This is an important visit to determine your child’s treatment needs, assess your child’s behaviour, and discuss treatment options in order to finalize a treatment plan. Our staff can then submit this to your insurance carrier to determine your coverage for the proposed treatment.
Dental sealants are a proven and effective treatment for preventing cavities in children and teens and have been around for over 50 years. They are applied to the grooves of molars (and sometimes other teeth with deep grooves) and act as a barrier to keep the cavity-causing bacteria from the tooth.
Our office is committed to providing aesthetic treatment options for your child. For small cavities on chewing surfaces or those found in between teeth with the help of small X-rays, we use tooth-coloured fillings. This preserves the natural look of your child’s teeth.
For larger cavities that are too extensive to fix with fillings, we use crowns. When this is the case in front baby teeth, we always use tooth-coloured crowns. For large cavities on baby molars, we typically use stainless steel crowns or esthetic zirconia (white) crowns. If the cavity has reached the nerve, it is important to do a baby nerve treatment before the crown in order to give the tooth the best chance to survive until it is shed.
Dental extractions can be indicated for several reasons, including severe crowding, over retained baby teeth, or painful and infected teeth. We are able to perform most extractions for your child comfortably in our office using local anesthesia with or without sedation.
Baby teeth hold space for adult teeth to grow into. They are nature’s best space maintainer. However, in some instances, the early loss of a baby tooth can potentially result in significant orthodontic problems if that space is not kept open. To guard against this, we recommend chair-side or lab-made space maintainers that allow the adult teeth to erupt as though the baby teeth were never lost!
Young children often can’t sit still for dental treatment in the same way adults can. In order for the treatment to be done comfortably and safely in our office, we might recommend oral sedation for your child. Your child will be given a safe medication in our office and will become drowsy and relaxed. For older children who only have a few treatment needs and are anxious, we are happy to offer ‘laughing gas’ as another safe way to provide care.
Also known as ‘being put to sleep’, general anesthesia is an effective way to provide dental care for those children who are very young and fearful, who are unlikely to be affected by sedation, or are unable to cope with multiple treatment visits. General anesthesia is provided in an anesthesia facility by an anesthesiologist who is experienced in treating children.