Dental Procedures

slider4bAt Kuhio Pediatric Dental we provide primary and advanced, individualized oral health care for infants, children, adolescents and patients with special health care needs.

During your child’s dental visit the pediatric dentist will perform a thorough clinical and radiographic exam, afterward we will discuss our findings with you and explain the treatment options.

These are a few of the services we offer to take excellent care of your children’s oral teeth:

Cleanings

A professional dental cleaning is usually recommended every 6 months to help keep your child’s teeth and body healthy. When teeth are cleaned plaque and tartar deposits are removed. Plaque is a sticky, soft film that cover the teeth and tartar or dental calculus is a hardened calcified deposit that builds up on the tooth surface. These deposits are a breeding ground for bacteria that can harm teeth, gums and the whole body.

During the dental visit all procedures will be explained before they are performed. The dentist will use specialized instruments (small scraper, mirror, special rotating brush and a special toothpaste) to gently remove these deposits without harming to the teeth or gums.

Finally, your child’s teeth will be flossed. During this visit we will show you and your child how to perform adequate oral hygiene at home.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that makes the teeth more resistant to the acid attack that causes cavities. However excessive fluoride ingestion can lead to dental fluorosis which is a chalky white to even brown discoloration of the teeth. During your dental visit the pediatric dentist will help you identify the potential sources of fluoride like toothpaste, supplements, water and infant formula. After the oral evaluation the pediatric dentist will give recommendations on how to be aware of your child’s fluoride ingestion to prevent fluorosis while recommending the adequate amounts to protect your child’s teeth from cavities.

Our team offers fluoride treatments in different presentations like varnish, gel or foam.

Sealants

A sealant is a thin protective coating material that is placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. This barrier seals the irregular areas on the surface from food, plaque and acid.

During the dental visit we might recommend placing sealants on your child’s molars. It is a quick and painless procedure, first the teeth are cleaned and dried, then an acidic gel is placed on the dental surfaces that will be sealed, after a few seconds the gel will be rinsed and the tooth dried, then the sealant will be “painted” on the grooves of the tooth, a special blue light will be used to harden the sealant.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Tooth-colored or composite fillings are used to replace the tooth structure that has been lost once the decay has been cleaned out, they can also be used to repair a fractured tooth. They can be placed on front or back teeth. The composite material is bonded onto the tooth, these fillings are a conservative and natural looking treatment option, they provide good durability and resistance in small- to mid-size fillings.

Silver-Colored Fillings

footer-flowerSilver-colored fillings or dental amalgams are not natural looking because they are made from a combination of metals, they have been used in dentistry for a very long time because they are very durable and are less expensive than other materials.

They are often used for large cavities in the back teeth. Because it takes less time to place them than tooth-colored fillings, amalgam is an effective alternative when treating patients who may have a difficult time staying still during treatment.

Many patients might be concerned because these fillings contain small quantities of mercury. However, once the mercury mixes with the other metals in amalgam it becomes a safe and stable material. The American Dental Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U. S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization all agree that based on scientific evidence, dental amalgam is a safe and effective cavity-filling material.

Pediatric Crowns

Pediatric Crowns are an appropriate solution for severely decayed or broken teeth because they are strong and durable.

Crowns are made to cover the whole tooth starting from the gum line. They come preformed to the shape of front or back teeth, they also can be tooth colored or made from metal.

The pediatric dentist will help you determine if your child needs a crown and which crown is the best for your child’s specific dental needs.

Please keep in mind that dental filling materials are never as strong as the original tooth structure. They can be damaged by nail biting, hard foods, and sports accidents. Just like natural teeth you can take care of them with excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits

Pulp Therapy

slider4aThe pulp is in the center of the tooth, it is made of connective tissue, blood vessels, nerves and reparative cells. The pulp is responsible for the vitality of the tooth; it provides the sensation of heat or cold.

Large dental cavities or tooth fractures are the main reason why a tooth might require pulp therapy (baby root canal, nerve treatment, pulpectomy or pulpotomy).

Usually in children’s teeth a pulpectomy or pulpotomy are the most common forms of pulp therapy:

A pulpotomy is needed when the pulp tissue becomes irritated and inflamed. When a pulpotomy is performed only the diseased portion of the pulp is removed in an attempt to keep the remaining pulp tissue alive. Once the unhealthy tissue is removed an agent is placed to eliminate bacteria and help calm the nerve tissue, then the cavity is sealed and the tooth is restored usually with a crown.

A pulpectomy is needed when the whole pulp tissue is affected, usually there is presence of a lot of bacteria and irreversible inflammation. In this procedure the entire pulp tissue is removed, the canals are disinfected and then filled with a paste. Then, a restoration is placed.

Usually, pulp therapy treatment can be completed in a single visit.

Interceptive orthodontic treatment

When orthodontic problems are detected early this type of orthodontic treatment is used to treat or prevent problems at an early stage. If left untreated these issues could evolve into more serious dental problems. If needed later on, the length of comprehensive orthodontic treatment could be reduced.

If your child has a habit like thumb sucking, has lost teeth prematurely or is missing teeth, has crowded teeth or teeth that meet in an unusual way correction may be recommended.

During the dental visit, Dr. Sanchez will evaluate your child to determine if early orthodontic treatment is indicated.

Mouth Guards

Mouthguards should be worn during any sports activities, they are usually fitted to the upper teeth and help protect the teeth, gums and even the face by cushioning the blow to the face.

The best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your child’s mouth in the dental office, however there are other types such as:

  • “Boil and bite” that are available in stores and adapt to the teeth after they are heated.
  • Stock, that are very inexpensive but are not fitted to the teeth which makes the bulky and difficult to wear.

Please let the pediatric dentist know if your child practices any types of sports so that we can advise you further on the use of mouthguards.

Sedation Dentistry

We strive to provide a friendly and relaxed atmosphere to help children feel comfortable and limit anxiety during dental procedures. However, some children require a little extra care to help them deal with dental phobia, problematic behavior, extensive procedures or difficulty sitting still.

There are many pediatric sedation options that are a safe alternative for most patients:

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide also known as “laughing gas”, it is mixed with oxygen and administered through a mask that is placed over the nose. The gas starts working quickly and also the effect goes away very fast after the gas is turned off. It helps the patient feel calm and comfortable during the procedure while being able to stay conscious and interact with the dentist. Patients can return to their normal activities once the appointment is over.

General Anesthesia

hawaii-treeDuring general anesthesia, the child is completely asleep in a hospital setting during the dental procedure. An anesthesiologist will administer medication and monitor the child while the dentist completes all the dental work needed in one visit. Some children with very extensive dental work or special needs can benefit from this type of sedation in a very controlled setting.

Dr. Sanchez is qualified to evaluate your child’s individual needs and if required recommend the adequate pediatric sedation alternatives.

Dental emergencies

If your child is experiencing a dental emergency such as: If tooth pain, swelling in the mouth, or a traumatic dental injury, call our office immediately so that your child can receive the needed emergency care as soon as possible. The team at Kuhio Pediatric Dental can also provide instructions on how to take care of your child’s dental need until you arrive at the office.

If you would like to learn more about any of our services, please call our office at (808) 378-4869 to schedule an appointment with Doctor Sanchez.

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