General Dentistry Los Gatos CA

Technology

Traditionally, dentists use x-rays to find out what's going on below the surface, developing them in a darkroom full of chemicals, and examining the resulting films on a special light board.


Digital radiography entirely outmodes that cumbersome process. Now, a tiny sensor placed in the mouth acts like a miniature VCR camera with an x-ray sensitive chip, exposing you to 50%-90% less radiation exposure than with traditional x-ray techniques. The resulting highly detailed image of your mouth is almost instantaneously translated onto our computer screen, carrying with it all the conveniences of other digitized images. We can rotate it, magnify it, adjust it for contrast, and even color-code it for educational purposes. Because it helps our patients clearly understand the root issues behind their dental health, we're able to work together to determine the very best treatment options for each case.

This wonderful new technology allows you to relax in your chair while simultaneously observing a real-time pictures of the inside of your mouth magnified beyond normal size on an adjacent computer monitor! Not only does this make it simple to see and understand what the doctor is telling you, but it makes it simple for us to keep incredibly accurate records from one visit to the next.

Our office uses state of the art sterilization to ensure patient safety. Sterilization and disinfection are the basic steps in instrument processing and surface asepsis. Sterilization refers to the use of a physical or chemical procedure to destroy all forms of microorganisms, including the highly resistant spores.

We use Rapid Steam Autoclave at 275º F(35psi), for 15-20 minutes

First, the instruments are prepared for the sterilization process. Prior to steam sterilization, all instruments are placed in an ultrasonic cleaner for 15 minutes. Then the instruments are rinsed, dried, placed in self sealing sterilization pouches and sterilized in the autoclave. Instruments which can not be heat sterilized, are immersed in 2% glutaraldehyde for 10 hours to cold sterilize.

We use Biological, Chemical and Mechanical indicators to monitor our sterilization process.

Using bacterial spores to monitor the sterilization process is referred to as biologic monitoring (or spore-testing), and the bacterial spores used for monitoring the sterilization process are referred to as biologic indicators (BIs). Of the three methods, biologic monitoring is regarded as the most valid for monitoring the sterilization process, for it uses live, highly resistant bacterial spores. We biologically monitor our sterilizer once a week to ensure complete sterilization using spore strips and keep accurate records for our monitoring. These strips are enclosed in a glassine envelope and processed through the sterilizer. They are then sent to our spore testing center where they are tested for live spores.

Chemical monitoring involves using chemical indicators (CIs) that change color or form when exposed to specific high temperatures or to the sterilizing conditions within a sterilizer. This is referred to as chemical monitoring (or process monitoring). We use sterilization pouches that have special marking that change color when subjected to sterilizing temperatures.

Mechanical monitoring involves observing and recording the physical aspects (e.g., temperature, pressure, or time) of the cycle when the sterilizer is being operated. Our Sterilizer is serviced regularly to ensure proper functioning.

Waterlase System

The Waterlase® system is a revolutionary new dental device that uses laser-energized water to cut teeth. BIOLASE received FDA clearance to market the Waterlase® system for use on hard tissue (teeth) on October 9, 1998.This combination of laser energy and water-spray creates "HYDROKINETIC™" energy, and is a patented technology invented by BIOLASE scientists and engineers.

How does Waterlase® work?

  • The Waterlase® system uses laser-energized water to cut teeth
  • The Waterlase® emits a laser beam that energizes a highly precise spray of air and water
  • Water droplets absorb the laser energy and become laser-energized water particles that, when directed at the tooth, rapidly remove enamel, dentin and decay/caries

Advantages of Waterlase®

  • Waterlase does not cause vibration in the mouth, hence eases the pain and anxiety of patients who fear the vibration and high-pitched whine of traditional drills. It allows for precise cavity preps with no pain, needles or drills (in most cases). It removes minimal amounts of tooth, helping the patient to preserve as much tooth structure as possible
  • Waterlase® uses a cool-water spray to cut teeth without generating heat. Conventional drills and lasers can overheat teeth during procedures, inducing discomfort and irreversibly damaging the soft tissue or pulp underneath
  • Laser beam has a natural sterilization effect -- it evaporates bacteria, viruses and fungi, which leads to a decrease in local infections. Waterlase® has now been used in root canal treatments to disinfected instrumented canal system to improve the treatment outcome
  • The Waterlase® significantly improves patients' comfort in the dentist's chair. Patient’s report little or no discomfort during the procedure. WaterLaser decreases post-operative pain by sealing nerve endings.WaterLaser can be used for cauterization of small blood vessels and lymphatics, therefore decreases post-operative swellings


Cosmetic Dentistry

In a study completed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, researchers found that 9 out of 10 patients agree that an attractive smile is an important asset. They also found that 75% of Americans agree that an unattractive smile can hurt an applicant’s chance for career success. Having a smile you love can increase your confidence and boost your self-image. If you are unhappy with your smile, you may be surprised to know that modern cosmetic dentistry offers many solutions to common aesthetic problems. Our office provides the full spectrum of cosmetic dentistry to our patients. Whether you are seeking simple tooth whitening or to repair crooked or damaged teeth, we can help you to achieve a more attractive smile.

sealants

Porcelain Veneers are artistically designed custom thin porcelain layers that are bonded on to teeth to create straight, healthy looking teeth without the use of orthodontics. It is usually a 2 visit procedure. During the first visit the dentist removes a small amount of the enamel & takes an impression, which is sent to our highly qualified technicians who design the Custom Veneers. It usually takes 7-10 days for the Veneers to be back. During this period the patient wears temporary Veneers that are custom crafted by the dentist.

Our office also specializes in the Revolutionary No shots, No drills and Painless Lumineers. Call our office to find out if you are a candidate for this revolutionary procedure for enhancing your smile.

Invisalign® is a revolutionary way to help you get even, straight teeth without noticeable, painful metal braces. Virtually undetectable, Invisalign® aligners are made of strong, clear plastic that gradually guides your teeth into perfect alignment. Unlike metal braces, they have no wires or brackets on which your lips or gums can snag. During your first evaluation, our dentists will help you determine if Invisalign® is a good option for you. We'll then design a treatment plan and take tooth impressions, from which Invisalign® will develop accurate, personalized tooth-straightening devices, called aligners. Aligners slide directly over your teeth and are replaced every two weeks as your teeth shift into place. Depending on your case, you will wear them full-time (except when eating or drinking) for 12 to 24 months—no longer than you would wear traditional metal braces—and see your dentist about every six weeks for check-ups.

sealants

In the past, cavities could only be treated with unsightly metal fillings that are alloys for silver and mercury. These fillings, especially when close to the front of the mouth, are highly noticeable and unaesthetic. Sometimes, the filling is so large that it causes discoloration of the entire tooth. These fillings (or restorations) often weaken teeth due to the large amount of the original tooth that has to be removed. Also there is a risk of Mercury poisoning that is used in the filling. Modern dentistry has increasingly turned to Tooth colored or composite fillings as a strong, safe and more natural looking alternative. Composite fillings utilize a soft white plastic substance that is hardened with a blue light.

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Replacing large fillings in back teeth often requires stronger, more precisely contoured restorations. These are called inlays or onlays depending on whether they are being placed inside the tooth or on its outer surface. These restorations need to be custom-made at an off-site dental lab; therefore, two visits may be required. Once the dental office receives the custom inlay or onlay, the patient returns to the dentist's office, where the restorations are bonded into place.


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Onlays protect teeth similarly to crowns, but conserve more natural tooth structure. Onlays should provide decades of service. Our Doctor has restored beauty and function to the teeth of thousands of patients through the placement of custom-crafted inlays and onlays.

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If you ever had the notion that dental crowns are conspicuous and unattractive, then you've never noticed a beautifully crafted all-porcelain crown.

Compared to older porcelain fused to metal crowns, all-porcelain crowns have a natural appearance in terms of color and contour. When done properly, crowns should be extremely difficult to distinguish from natural teeth. With all-porcelain crowns, no dark lines are apparent at the gum line.

Our office commonly replaces unsightly crowns with beautiful new porcelain crowns.

There are different kinds of Porcelain Crowns. Your Dentist will decide which is right for you depending on the color of your tooth.


Restorative Care

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In the past, cavities could only be treated with unsightly metal fillings that are alloys for silver and mercury. These fillings, especially when close to the front of the mouth, are highly noticeable and unaesthetic. Sometimes, the filling is so large that it causes discoloration of the entire tooth. These fillings (or restorations) often weaken teeth due to the large amount of the original tooth that has to be removed. Also there is a risk of Mercury poisoning that is used in the filling. Modern dentistry has increasingly turned to Tooth colored or composite fillings as a strong, safe and more natural looking alternative. Composite fillings utilize a soft white plastic substance that is hardened with a blue light.

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CROWNS: When a tooth is fractured, has a large old filling, or is severely damaged by decay, your dentist may recommend the placement of a crown. Crowns strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and can improve the appearance of your smile.

Types of crowns include the full porcelain crown, the porcelain-fused-to-metal crown (precious & non-precious) and the all-metal crown.

Fitting a crown requires at least two visits to the dentist's office. Initially, the Dentist removes decay and shapes the tooth; makes an impression and fits a temporary or transitional crown of plastic or metal. In a subsequent visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown, fits and adjusts the final crown and cements the crown into place.


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BRIDGES: Few incidents have greater impact on dental health and personal appearance than tooth loss. When one or more teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can drift out of position, which can lead to a change in the bite, the loss of additional teeth, decay and gum disease. When tooth loss occurs, your dentist may recommend the placement of a bridge. A bridge is one or more replacement teeth anchored by one or more crowns on each side.

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It is a field of dentistry that treats the root canal system. When decay extends to the pulp or the nerve inside the tooth, the person almost always experiences spontaneous throbbing pain. The pain increases at night and is aggravated with cold & sweet foods. The Dentist relieves the pain and pressure symptoms by treating the root canal system which houses the tooth nerve or pulp.

Treatment begins with profound anesthesia. The tooth nerve is accessed by drilling into the tooth, the infected nerve is removed, canals are cleaned and filled with a bio-inert material.

Following a root canal treatment, the tooth is fragile due to insults from decay and mechanical instrumentation and is prone to fracture. Overtime color changes are also observed. To protect the tooth from fracture your dentist will advise a crown. Sometimes depending upon the amount of tooth structure that is lost, a post ( a metal or a glass fiber pin ) will need to be placed for added retention of the crown. To learn more please call our office today.

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When a tooth is lost the specialized bony process that houses the tooth begins to resorb due to lack of stimulation. This causes a decrease in width and height of the bone in the area the tooth is lost. Neighboring teeth and opposing teeth begin to move into the space. This causes food lodgment, subsequent decay, gum disease and abnormal forces being transmitted to teeth leading to fracture of cusps which may necessitate root canal treatment or extraction. Loss of teeth can also cause the cheek and lips to collapse giving an aged look.

The consequences of tooth loss can be prevented by replacing the lost tooth in a timely manner. Although there are several options to replace a missing tooth the number one choice for replacing lost teeth are dental implants. Implants are tiny titanium screws or posts that are surgically placed in the bone. Once integrated into bone they act like roots onto which small posts are attached which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors to the replacement teeth. Implants maintain the bone height by stimulation and prevents unnecessary trimming of adjoining teeth for bridge placement. Since implants are titanium posts there is no chance for decay on implants. Implants can service you for several years with regular professional cleaning and proper home care.

Many people who are missing a single tooth opt for a fixed bridge; but a bridge may require the cutting down of healthy, adjacent teeth that may or may not need to be restored in the future. Then there is the additional cost of possibly having to replace the bridge once, twice or more over the course of a lifetime due to decay or gum problems affecting the anchor teeth.

Another option to replace missing teeth is a removable partial denture or complete denture depending on the number of teeth missing. The chewing efficiency with a denture is reduced to more than half of that of natural teeth. The teeth that support the partial denture are weakened due to the excessive loads acting on them and eventually are lost. The denture rests on the gum causing tissue abrasion and bone loss. Removable dentures may slip or cause embarrassing clicking sounds while eating or speaking.

Studies show that within five to seven years there is a failure rate of up to 30% in teeth located next to a fixed bridge or removable partial denture.

Who is a candidate for Implants?

Anyone who is missing one or several teeth is a candidate for implants. With the exception of growing children, dental implants are the solution of choice for people of all ages, even those with the following health concerns:

Existing Medical Conditions: If you can have routine dental treatment, you can generally have an implant placed. While precautions are advisable for certain conditions, patients with such chronic diseases as high blood pressure and diabetes are usually successful candidates for dental implant treatment.

Gum Disease or Problem Teeth: Almost all implants placed in patients who have lost their teeth to periodontal disease or decay has been successful.

Currently Wearing Partials or Dentures: Implants can replace removable bridges or dentures, or they can be used to stabilize and secure the denture, making it much more comfortable.

Smokers: Although smoking lowers the success rate of implants, it doesn't eliminate the possibility of getting them.

Bone Loss: Bone loss is not uncommon for people who have lost teeth or had periodontal disease. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained and experienced in grafting bone to safely and permanently secure the implant.

Implant tooth replacement in children is usually deferred until their jaw growth is complete. There are, however, some instances when a dental implant may be appropriate, such as when it is part of the child's orthodontic treatment plan. Your family dentist or orthodontist can guide you in this instance.

Procedure

Dental Implant placement usually takes two surgical appointments:

  • During the first surgical appointment the implant site is prepared to receive the implant following strict aseptic procedures. The selected size of the implant is placed in the prepared site. The gum tissue is sutured over the implant. The implant takes 4- 6 months to fuse with the bone.
  • During the second surgical appointment the implant is uncovered and the appropriate post is attached to which the replacement tooth is anchored. An impression of the post is taken and sent to the lab for the fabrication of the implant crown. During this time a temporary crown is placed. Once the final crown is back it is cemented with permanent cement.

Over time, people's teeth tend to naturally deteriorate. When a tooth has deteriorated substantially, it often needs to be extracted; and when multiple teeth are extracted, dentures may be the most appropriate solution. Dentures can create a natural and healthy looking set of teeth. In addition, a properly fitting set of dentures can greatly enhance your smile and sense of self-esteem.

Complete and Partial Dentures

Complete dentures are used when few original teeth remain. The dentist begins by removing any remaining teeth so the dentures can be fitted. He or she then makes a mold of the gums and sends it to a dental lab where customized dentures are constructed. Partial dentures are prepared in much the same way as a complete set and are utilized when only a few teeth are missing.

Immediate Dentures

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These Dentures allows patients to have their Dentures on the same day their teeth are removed. This prevents the embarrassment of being without teeth. As the extraction sites heal & the bone remodels, the denture will require adjustments & relining to make it fit better. At the end of a year when the healing is complete your dentist may advise you to get a new denture.




Over Dentures

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If the roots of a patient's remaining teeth are strong, the dentist may suggest over-dentures. Over- dentures fit on top of the remaining natural teeth in the mouth. With over-dentures, the remaining teeth are re-sculpted and covered with metal caps to stop future decay. The advantage of over-dentures is that they do not have to be relined as frequently as a complete set of dentures because they cause less recession of the jawbone and gums. In addition, over- dentures create less occlusion (bite) problems than complete dentures.

Once Your Dentures Have Been Placed

At first, your dentures will feel uncomfortable because the gums and tissue are not accustomed to being in contact with man-made relining material. Once placed, dentures should be worn continually for the first few days to reduce the amount of swelling that may occur in the mouth. This swelling typically subsides in two to three days. Until patients adjust to their new set of teeth, the dentures may feel loose and awkward while chewing food. Eating soft food may be necessary for the first few days. Reading aloud helps to overcome any speech impediments that may occur from the new dentures. Typically, lower dentures take longer to get used to than upper dentures. The underlying jawbone may take several months to completely heal and become accustomed to the dentures. Once this occurs, the dentist removes the dentures and creates a permanent lining for your teeth (a denture lining is the soft material that cushions the contact between the denture and the gum tissues).

The Life of your Dentures

Although dentures typically last about five years, they can last longer with proper care and cleaning. Dentures should be cleaned daily with a normal or specially-made denture toothpaste. Once the swelling has reduced, it is advisable to leave one or both dentures out at night to allow the gum tissues to breathe. In order to prevent dentures from warping, they should be left in water overnight. Over time, the lining of the dentures may change, owing to the wear and tear of daily use. In the case of tissue/bone shrinkage, worn down teeth, or breakage, dentures may come loose and need to be remade.


Periodontal Care (Gum Care)

For Americans in their 30s and beyond, the threat of gum disease (periodontal disease) is a very real and potentially dangerous condition. Gum disease is particularly dangerous because the progression of the disease is often painless, going undetected until it creates serious problems.


Although genetics may play a small role in its development, doctors agree that gum disease is most often directly related to how well people care for their teeth and gums.


The Stages of Gum Disease


Periodontal disease is a gradual infection of the gums and the supporting bone. It is caused when the build up of plaque on and around the teeth calcifies into tartar. This tartar is covered with plaque that contains micro- organisms which release toxins causing the first stage of gum disease known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by swelling, inflammation, and bleeding of the gums. In the advanced stage of gum disease (referred to as periodontitis), the toxins cause the bone to resorb or dissolve. The teeth having lost a part of their bone support begin to move & eventually with more bone loss there is tooth loss.



The Surgery


Treatments to alleviate the effects of gum disease include deep cleaning, localized delivery of antibiotics, home care & regular follow up care. The periodontist / Dentist begin by removing the diseased tissue, tartar, and plaque from the tooth's surface and below the gum line. The root of the tooth may need to be planed and smoothed in order to allow gum tissue to heal properly. The periodontist may also advise bone grafts depending on the amount of bone that is lost due to gum disease.



Prevention


The ravages of gum disease are best prevented by early detection and proper dental hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day helps to remove the thin layer of bacteria that release dangerous toxins into your mouth. Flossing or other interdental cleansing is also important to keep your mouth free from residual food and bacteria. Also, using a mouth rinse, prescription or over the counter considerably reduces the microbial count in your saliva. Finally, maintaining a balanced diet and scheduling regular dental appointments help stem the advance of gum disease and keep you healthy and smiling.


Arestin Therapy


This is a non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease. As the name suggests it arrests the progression of periodontal disease when used in conjunction with scaling and root planing (deep cleaning)


ArestinTM is a locally delivered antimicrobial agent which consists of minocycline HCL microspheres. ArestinTM is intended to be used in pockets with a depth of 5 millimeters or greater. It can be used in one or any number of pockets in one or several visits. It is dispensed as a 1 mg powder and is placed directly into a cleaned periodontal pocket using a specialized delivery system. Following placement over the next several hours or days it will harden and stay within the pocket releasing Minocycline over a prescribed period of time (usually about 18 – 20 days), thereby providing the appropriate dose of antibiotic to the site and reducing the bacterial count in the pocket.


Advantages of Arestin Therapy

  • Studies have shown that there is a 2 mm reduction in the depth of the pockets when Arestin is used along with scaling and root planing
  • Arestin therapy is effective in treating resistant sites which do not respond to cleaning alone such as in patients who are smokers, diabetics and have cardio-vascular disease
  • Arestin is very easy to use, it is a safe and effective procedure


Frequently asked questions


Why would you use an antibiotic to treat periodontal disease?

Even though scaling and root planing (SRP) removes a great deal of the bacteria that cause periodontal infection, the instruments used during this mechanical procedure can’t always reach the bacteria that hide in the bottom of pockets or in difficult-to-reach areas. That’s why your dental professional may decide to add a locally administered antibiotic (LAA) such as ARESTIN®. ARESTIN® helps to kill the bacteria left behind by SRP.


What are the contra-indications to the use of Arestin?


Arestin should not be used if you are allergic to tetracycline or if you are pregnant or nursing as it might cause discoloration of the developing teeth in the fetus.


Can I resume normal brushing and flossing following Arestin Therapy?


Delay brushing the treated area for 12 hours after treatment with ARESTIN® and abstain from using interproximal cleaning devices around the treated area for 10 days. Patients should also avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods such as popcorn or caramel that could traumatize the gingiva.


Preventive Care

In order to avoid lengthy procedures & maintain a healthy disease free mouth we recommend recare every 6 months. This allows us to detect early signs of disease & provide appropriate treatment, leading to a favorable prognosis.

Sealants protect the occlusal surfaces, inhibiting bacterial growth and providing a smooth surface that increases the probability that the surface will stay clean. The ultimate goal of sealants is penetrating into the pit and fissures of the tooth and sealing them from bacteria.

Indications for Use

Traditionally, sealants are thought of as a preventive measure for children and teenagers when they are in their “cavity prone years”. Patients who have xerostomia (decreased salivation), are undergoing orthodontic treatment, show evidence of incipient caries, or who are prone to caries should be evaluated as candidates for sealant placement. Primary molars also can benefit from the placement of sealants.

Space maintainers are appliances made to custom fit your child's mouth to maintain the space intended for the permanent tooth when it decides to come in. They do this by "holding open" the empty space left by a lost tooth by preventing movement in the remaining teeth until the permanent tooth takes its natural position in the child's mouth. This treatment is much more affordable and much easier on your child than to move them back later with orthodontic procedures. Think of space maintainers as insurance against braces.

Why are they important to children's dental care?

Well, baby teeth usually stay in place until "pushed out" by a permanent tooth that takes its place. Unfortunately, some children lose baby teeth too early. A tooth may be knocked out accidentally or be removed due to severe disease. When this occurs, a space maintainer may be required to prevent future dental problems. Space maintainers encourage normal development of the jaw bones and muscles, and save space for the permanent teeth and help guide them into position.

How can losing a baby tooth too early cause problems for permanent teeth?

Well, teeth are strange in that regard. Teeth attempt to "fill" any space available to them. If your child loses a baby tooth to early, the remaining baby teeth may tilt, drift, or move up or down to fill the gap. When this happens, they fill the space intended for the permanent tooth, and the permanent tooth can come in crowded or crooked. And this condition, if left untreated, may require extensive (and expensive) orthodontic treatment (braces or even surgery).

Space maintainers require any special care?

Yes, they do, and you as a parent can help. Make sure your child avoids Hard/Sticky foods (suckers, caramels, gum, popcorn, etc.). Teeth should be brushed after each meal and clean the teeth with bands especially well. Once a day, a fluoride mouthwash should be used to help prevent decalcification of the teeth around the band and wire. Do not try to bend the wire for any reason with finger or tongue. Notify our office immediately if the bands come loose or the space maintainer is damaged in any way. If a tooth erupts under the wire this also needs to be checked.

What is fluoride?

The fluoride ion comes from the element fluorine. Fluoride, either applied topically to erupted teeth, or ingested orally (called systemic fluoride) during tooth development, helps to prevent tooth decay, strengthen tooth enamel, and reduce the harmful effects of plaque. Fluoride also makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage is even visible.

Where is fluoride found?

Topical Fluoride is found in products containing strong concentrations of fluoride (i.e., toothpastes, mouth rinses), fluoridated varnishes and/or gels either topically applied by a dentist or other oral health professional, or prescribed as an at-home regimen (particularly for persons with a high risk of dental caries).

Systemic Fluoride can be ingested through public and private water supplies, soft drinks, teas, as dietary supplements, some bottled water supplies. Once ingested, systemic fluoride is absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract and distributed and deposited throughout the body via the blood supply.

What health risks are associated with fluoride uses?

In general, fluoride consumption is safe. Health risks associated with Fluoridation usually are limited to misuse and over concentration. To avoid misuse and over concentration: Avoid drinking overly fluoridated water - results of this may cause teeth to become discolored, and may cause the enamel of the teeth to look spotted, pitted, or stained (a condition known as dental fluorosis). Avoid swallowing toothpaste and other dental hygiene products.

Call the local water department and/or the health department to evaluate the fluoride level in your local drinking reservoir. Children are especially vulnerable to dental fluorosis as their developing teeth are more sensitive to higher fluoride levels. Consult a pediatric dentist or other oral health care professional if you notice changes in the condition of your child's teeth.


Dental Care for Infants and Children

When should dental care begin?


Most pediatric dentists will agree that regular dental care should begin by one year of age, with a dental check-up at least twice each consecutive year for most children. Some children may need more frequent evaluations and care. In accordance with this recommendation, the following dental checklist for infants and toddlers has been provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:


Birth to 6 months of age:


Clean the infant's mouth with gauze after feedings and at bedtime. Consult your child's pediatrician regarding fluoride supplements. Regulate feeding habits (bottle feeding and breastfeeding).


Six to 12 months of age:


During this time, the first tooth should appear. Consult the Pediatric dentist for an examination. Brush teeth after each feeding and at bedtime with a small, soft-bristled brush. As the child begins to walk, stay alert of potential dental and/or facial injuries. Wean the child from breast or bottle by his/her first birthday.


Twelve to 24 months of age:


Follow the schedule of dental examinations and cleanings, as recommended by your child's pediatric dentist. Generally, dental examinations and cleanings are recommended every 6 months for children and adults.


As your child learns to rinse his/her mouth, and as most deciduous (baby) teeth have erupted by this age, brushing with a pea-sized portion of fluoridated toothpaste becomes appropriate.


Facts about deciduous teeth:


Proper care of a child's deciduous teeth (also known as "baby" or primary teeth) is very important as these teeth hold space for the future eruption of permanent teeth.


If a baby tooth decays or is removed too early, the space necessary for the permanent teeth is lost and can only be regained through orthodontic treatment.


Infected baby teeth can cause the permanent teeth to develop improperly resulting in stains, pits, and weaker teeth.


Most children begin losing their baby teeth around the age of 4 - usually the front bottom teeth first. They continue to lose baby teeth until the age of 12 or 13 when all of the permanent teeth finally come through.


Thumb-Sucking and Dental Health


Generally, thumb-sucking before the age of two is normal and harmless. When thumb-sucking is not stopped by the appropriate age (generally by the age of five) then parents should discourage the act. Prolonged thumb-sucking may contribute to crowded and/or crooked teeth development and bite problems.


Diet and dental care for children:


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the following to ensure your child eats correctly to maintain a healthy body and teeth: Ask your pediatric dentist to help you assess your child's diet. Shop smart. Do not routinely stock your pantry with sugary or starchy snacks. Buy "fun foods" just for special times. Limit the number of snack times; choose nutritious snacks. Provide a balanced diet, and save foods with sugar or starch for mealtimes. Do not put your young child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice. If your child chews gum or sips soda, choose those without sugar.


Dentistry for Anxious Patients

Through the modern miracle of sedation dentistry, dentists can treat anxious patients and often accomplish dental work in one or two visits that may have required many more visits without it. Nitrous oxide and intravenous (I.V.) sedation are the two conscious sedation techniques most commonly used to help patients relax.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Sedation with nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, decreases anxiety and promotes relaxation while you remain conscious. Nitrous oxide and oxygen are mixed together and then inhaled through a mask that covers the nose and mouth prior to having a dental procedure performed to produce sensations of lightheadedness, relaxation, and a comfortable, warm-all-over feeling. Safe, effective, and non-invasive, nitrous oxide is the sedation method of choice for anxious or fearful patients.



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