Regular Dental Check-ups
Regular dental check-ups with your pediatric dentist is the first line in preventive measures. Your visit allows your child’s dentist to detect any decay in the early stages so that the minimal treatment can be performed. Dr. Molly will also review preventive home care instructions tailored to your child’s needs that can aid in preventing any tooth decay. Because baby teeth are very thin in comparison to adult teeth, cavities in baby teeth can progress very quickly so it important to schedule your child’s exams every six months.
Sealants are designed to protect the pitted and grooved surfaces of the teeth, especially the back teeth where more than 80% of cavities are found in children. Sealants are made of clear, tooth colored resin material and applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. While it is not guaranteed that sealants will prevent all cavities, they do help to reduce the chance of developing cavities on the biting surface of the tooth by about 70%.
Tooth Colored Fillings
Tooth colored fillings are comprised of a natural-looking, tooth colored resin that provide durable and long-lasting protection against further tooth decay. Compatible with dental sealants, tooth colored fillings allow your child to maintain their self-esteem and confidence while they talk, smile and eat. An added benefit to a tooth-colored filling is that we are able to preserve more of the natural tooth
structure. Many of our fillings are able to be completed without anesthesia, using our Solea Laser.
Crowns are placed when there is a large amount of tooth structure missing or if the tooth has undergone a pulpotomy. The crowns are pre-fabricated in many different sizes and placed chair side by your pediatric dentist. These crowns protect the tooth from further decay. We offer crowns that are made of a non-reactive stainless steel, so an allergic reaction is very rare. We also offer zirconia crowns when esthetics are indicated. Your pediatric dentist will discuss with you whether she will be placing a filling or a crown depending on your child’s age and extent of decay.
A tooth with decay that extends to the nerve portion of the tooth will typically require a pulpotomy. Your child will not always complain of pain even if he or she needs a pulpotomy because once the decay has reached the nerve, the nerves dies and no longer conducts any sensation. All the decay in the tooth is removed and the top portion of the tooth nerve or ‘pulp’ is removed. A sedative filling material is used to fill the tooth and the tooth is prepared for a crown. A tooth that has received a pulpotomy will need better coverage and protection than a filling and so a crown is recommended.
Spacers are placed when a baby tooth has been lost early. Often times these spacers can be placed the same day as the loss of a baby tooth. In some circumstances a spacer needs to be fabricated by a laboratory before it can be placed.
Long term habits like thumb sucking can cause growth disruptions where a child’s top and bottom jaws do not align together properly. Habit appliances are indicated when a child is unable to stop sucking his or her thumb/finger or pacifier. A habit appliance is similar to a retainer in that it sits on the roof of a child’s mouth as a reminder keep their thumb or finger out.
LIP AND TONGUE TIE REVISION (visit Tongue Tie Iowa)
Lip and/or tongue ties can cause many issues for infants, children and adults. In infancy, these ties can cause painful nursing for mothers and difficulty breastfeeding for babies. In children and adults, these ties can lead to: speech delays, higher risk for decay, esthetic/spacing concerns, breathing issues, sleep disordered breathing and inappropriate growth of skeletal structures.
Dr. Molly and her team are skilled in revising these ties with the Solea Laser. This CO2 laser specifically provides minimal bleeding and less discomfort than traditional procedures. We do our best to find time in our day to consult and treat infants with lip and tongue ties as we understand the urgency for immediate relief and improvement with feeding. Please contact our office with questions and/or concerns.
Q: What do I do if my child’s baby tooth is knocked out?
Contact our office as soon as possible. We will examine the surrounding teeth to make sure no other damage occurred or are loose and require further care. We will not reimplant the tooth because of the possible damage it may cause to the permanent teeth that are developing.
Q:What do I do if my child’s permanent tooth is knocked out?
Find the tooth if possible, immediately put the tooth back in the socket holding it in place with a clean gauze or wash cloth. If reimplantation is not possible, place the tooth in a glass of milk. Call our office immediately. In order to save the tooth, we need to perform a number of procedures within the first few hours.
Q: What do I do if my child has suffered from a severe blow to the head or a fracture to the jaw?
Seek immediately medical attention as a severe injury to the head may be life-threatening. Once your medical professional has cleared your child, contact our office for oral health care.
Q: What do I do if my child has a toothache?
Contact our office to schedule an appointment. In the meantime, you may use over-the-counter pain medications to ease the symptoms. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions according to the weight of your child. Cold compresses may also be used on the face in the area of the pain.
Q: What do I do if my child has a cut or bitten cheek, tongue or lip?
Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.