Infant Toddler Exams
Our goal is to help your child establish good oral health habits in order to prevent tooth decay and the need for extensive dental rehabilitation. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that a child’s first dental exam be 6 months after the first tooth comes in or by their 1st birthday.
We will examine your baby’s mouth, verify they are developing on schedule, look for tooth eruption, symmetry and any abnormalities that may exist. A large part of the appointment is spent discussing oral health education with parents. We will discuss proper oral hygiene, dietary habits, breastfeeding or bottle/sippy cup use, oral habits and any other questions you may have.
Unfortunately, it is very common for us to see 1-2 year olds with cavities that require fillings or crowns. Education regarding your baby’s oral health is the most important tool you can have to prevent your child from having early childhood caries.
Exams & Cleanings
Routine cleanings and exams are a large part of preventing the development and progression of cavities. We recommend routine dental visits every 6 months or sometimes every 3 months for those who are at higher risk for developing cavities.
Here at Kidspace, your child will receive quality treatment from a highly trained pediatric dental assistant. Parents are welcome to be with their child during the exams and cleanings.
Cleanings: our awesome and friendly assistants will polish your child’s teeth to remove superficial stains, plaque and tarter that builds up on the tooth’s surface.
X-rays: dental x-rays will be taken as needed. The goal of x-rays are to identify cavities that can hide and form between teeth, which can’t be detected by just looking in your child’s mouth. X-rays also show new teeth developing, help identify any bone abnormalities of the jaw or location of tooth infections. We offer digital x-rays, which reduce radiation exposure and we take the necessary steps to keep your child safe from radiation by utilizing a lead apron. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s x-rays, feel free to talk to our staff about it.
Sealants are one of the key tools used to prevent cavities from forming. Your child’s back teeth have several pits and grooves, which make it difficult for them to clean. It is much more likely for cavities to develop in these areas. Sealants are a protective coating placed on healthy tooth structure and act as a protective layer to prevent cavities from forming.
Sealants are usually recommended for permanent molars. However, if a young child is showing signs that they are at high risk for developing cavities, it may be recommended that sealants be placed on their baby molars as well. Because sealants are placed on healthy tooth structure, your child does not need to be numb for this procedure.
Composite fillings, also called “white fillings”, are used once a cavity develops and the affected tooth must have the decay removed and then restored. If caught early enough, most cavities that are small can be restored with a filling. Our office uses white, resin based composite material.
There are some cases where the best treatment option is to remove a tooth. The main reasons we extract teeth are:
The tooth is infected and causing your child pain.
The tooth has been injured due to trauma and there is not enough tooth structure remaining to save the tooth.
A baby tooth won’t fall out on its own and the permanent tooth is coming in and causing your child discomfort.
When a child needs a tooth pulled, it can be frightening to them because they don’t know what to expect. At Kidspace, we are mindful of this and will do our best to be sensitive and provide the gentlest care when helping to wiggle out their tooth.
More complicated cases, such as removal of wisdom teeth, may require a referral to an Oral Surgeon. We can help you determine which option is best for your child.
Space Maintainers: sometimes when a baby tooth is removed early, a space maintainer is needed in order to maintain that space to allow enough room for the permanent tooth to come in. If a space maintainer is not placed, there is a tendency for the other teeth to drift forward, causing space loss which leads to inadequate space for the adult tooth to grow in. The goal of a space maintainer is to prevent this potential space loss and the space maintainer will be removed in the future when appropriate.
At Kidspace we offer 3 different types of crowns:
Stainless steel crowns (all silver)
Zirconia crowns (all white)
Composite strip crowns (all white)
Our goal is to provide the most conservative treatment necessary. We will do fillings instead of crowns when indicated, however there are times when a crown is the best option for a tooth. A crown can help improve the esthetics, strength and long-term prognosis of a tooth, which will minimize the need for additional treatment in the future. Each type of crown has its own set of advantages. We can help you determine which type of crown is best for your child with a personalized treatment plan.
The main reasons we use crowns:
If the decay has become so large that once removed, would require a large unstable filling that has the potential to fracture or fall out.
If the tooth has had a history of trauma and a large portion has fractured off.
If part of the nerve must be removed from the tooth, the remaining portion of the tooth is very weak and fragile. Placing a crown helps cover the remaining tooth and give it strength.
A pulpotomy is often referred to as a “baby root canal”. This procedure is indicated when the decay has gone too deep and is close to or touching the nerve of the tooth. During a pulpotomy, the decay and bacteria are removed from the infected portion of the tooth and nerve. This gives the remaining tooth and nerve a better chance of surviving without future problems.
A large part of Dr. Le’s and Dr. Sill's training in pediatric dentistry was treating children with multiple types of trauma. Our doctors are very comfortable treating anything from severe injuries to minor bumps and bruises. Dr. Le and Dr. Sill are always on call to help take care of your child’s emergency needs if they arise.
When to see a dentist?
If your child has any of the following conditions, it may be time to see a dentist:
Lost filling or crown
Chipped or broke a tooth
Knocked out an adult tooth
A traumatic injury
At Kidspace, we are committed to providing the highest quality of dental care in the safest way possible, so your child will have the best experience possible. Our hope is that each child will leave our office with a positive attitude about future dental appointments. We offer a few options to help us achieve this goal.
A minimum level of sedation is achieved with the use of Nitrous Oxide gas, also known as “laughing gas”. The goal of nitrous oxide is to reduce patient anxiety. It can also help patients hold still longer, reduce gagging and provide some analgesic effects.
Nitrous oxide has both a quick onset and recovery time. Once dental treatment is complete, the patient is given 100% oxygen and the effects of the nitrous oxide are reversed within 2-3 minutes.
General anesthesia is often indicated for young children with extensive dental needs. We are proud to partner with Cypress Surgery Center as well as Surgicare of Wichita to provide quality comprehensive dental rehabilitation.