Pediatric Dental Care & Services
DIAGNOSTIC CARE & SERVICES
Dental Exams and Cleanings
PREVENTING PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY START
The health of your child’s teeth and mouth is vital to the well-being of his or her entire body. Though routine brushing and flossing at home are necessary to keep your little one’s smile looking its best, visiting our office for a comprehensive exam and cleaning is essential.
The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist every six months to ensure their teeth stay healthy and their smile remains beautiful.
By routinely seeing Dr. Al for exams and cleanings, we can:Prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath
- Avoid costly and extensive dental procedures
- Enjoy white teeth by reducing staining from food and drinks
- Shorten the time spent in our office
- Have a smile that will last a lifetime
During your child’s exam, Dr. Al will thoroughly examine the teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. He may also want to take X-rays to see what is happening beneath the surface of the teeth and gums. Whether these X-rays are traditional or digital, the images provided will help us identify dental issues not visible to the naked eye.
The All-Star Team will begin your child’s cleaning by exploring the surface of the teeth to determine if there are any cavities and to examine the quality of existing fillings. They will perform a periodontal exam to make sure your little one’s gums adhere tightly to the teeth, and no periodontal disease or bone loss is present.
Next, the All-Star Team will carefully clean your youngster’s teeth with a variety of tools to remove any hard mineral buildup (tartar) from the teeth. Then, the Team will floss your child’s teeth, use a polishing compound, and apply fluoride.
Cleanings usually aren’t painful, but if your youngster has any anxiety about the dental exam, be sure to let us know. We can offer several sedation options to ensure your child’s comfort. If Dr. Al and All-Star Team find tooth decay or gum disease, we will discuss changing your child’s brushing or flossing habits.
In severe cases, we may recommend antibiotics or other dental treatments. If your child’s teeth and gums appear to be healthy, Dr. Al will likely recommend that the patient continue brushing and flossing as usual.
Using the most advanced dental technology is just as important as staying up to date on the latest treatment techniques. Because our practice is dedicated to providing children with the safest and most convenient treatment options available, we utilize advanced digital X-ray technology in our office.
IS A DIGITAL X-RAY REALLY SAFER?
Because we care about your youngster’s bodily health and well-being, we believe that reducing the amount of radiation exposure is extremely important. Although the amount of radiation used in dental X-rays is very small, the effect is cumulative, so all radiation counts. Digital X-rays can reduce your child’s exposure to radiation by up to 80 percent!
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL X-RAYS?
- We want your little one to be as comfortable as possible during the appointment, and digital X-rays eliminate the need to bite down on a sharp piece of film encased in plastic.
- There is no need to wait for the X-ray film to be developed before it can be viewed, so the entire checkup can be shorter.
- The digital images can be enlarged and manipulated, which gives Dr. Al a clear, more detailed look at the patient’s teeth.
- Because your youngster can see the image enlarged on a screen, he or she can better understand why taking care of our teeth is essential.
- It’s better for the earth! There is no need to use harmful chemicals to process film
Our practice is focused on making your child’s dental experience as comfortable as possible. At your next appointment, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
We practice ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) which is a safety principle fundamental to minimizing radiation exposure. We are committed to using the most accurate digital imaging equipment requiring the lowest ionizing radiation exposure. The following chart shows what x-rays we take and when for your child:
ANY VISIT UNDER 3
No imaging unless problem specific
FIRST VISIT 3-6
2 Occlusal Images
(typically taken only once to see developing permanent teeth on top and bottom front teeth unless problem specific)
2 Bitewing Images
(to evaluate for cavities, frequency 1-2 times per year) If the child has open contacts between their back teeth and visual inspection is possible, cavity check x-rays can be delayed
4 Bitewing Images
(frequency 1-2 times per year after first permanent molars grow in)(typically taken once between age 6-8 to evaluate growth and development of adult teeth/orthodontic screening)
(typically taken once between age 6-8 to evaluate growth and development of adult teeth/orthodontic screening)
Full Mouth Series Image
(typically completed at this age or as soon as braces come off for comprehensive evaluation for cavities
(to evaluate wisdom teeth)