ServicesPediatric Services We Provide
Specialized Dentistry for Children
Pediatric Smiles of Sandy (serving all of Sandy) provides comprehensive pediatric dental care for children of all ages. Specifically infants, children, adolescents and any dental patient with special needs. We have the extra training, knowledge and skills to provide specialist quality dental care for your child.
Pediatric Dental Care
All children have their own unique dental needs. Baby (primary) teeth are anatomically different from adult (permanent) teeth. Baby teeth are shorter than adult teeth, and the strong protective outer shell called enamel is much thinner than adult teeth. Because of this a very small cavity can quickly turn into a trouble maker. Your child’s personality will play the biggest role in their initial attitude towards their first dental visit. The hesitant child can become the resistant, crying, upset child if they do not feel comfortable at the dentist. As a pediatric dental specialist, Dr. Shepherd is skilled and trained in techniques that will help the hesitant child be calm at the dentist in most instances.
Our new office is state of the art and has been designed to provide high quality dentistry for children. There are many services that we offer to help with the care of your child’s oral health needs. Below is a comprehensive list. See the service drop down list for more details.
- Kids Dental Diagnostic Services
- Comprehensive Oral Exam (for new patient)
- Periodic Exams (routine check up every 3-6 months)
- Digital Radiography (x-ray films)
- Digital Panoramic Radiography
Tooth-Colored White Fillings For Kids
When cavities on baby (primary) teeth are small we are able to restore them with a tooth colored filling material. There are several types of white filling materials available. Depending on the size and location we can often place these white filings without having to use a local anesthetic thus keeping the appointment short and sweet for your little one.
Pediatric Dental Anesthetic Options
When local anesthetic is required we recommend the use of laughing gas (nitrous oxide) to make treatment easy and as painless as possible. Other sedation options are available depending on circumstances and preference.
Pediatric Dental Sealants
At Pediatric Smiles of Sandy, we strongly recommend the placement of sealants on both baby (primary) and adult (permanent) teeth. A sealant is a safe and easy way to place a protective covering that fills in the deep grooves of our back molars. They can release fluoride onto the tooth’s enamel to help strengthen your child’s teeth and prevent cavities. Most children’s permanent molars erupt around age six (6). This is the ideal time to place sealants on these adult (permanent) teeth as they are not yet fully mineralized and are at high risk for developing cavities. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry supports the routine placement of sealants.
Pulpotomy (Baby Tooth Root Canal)
When decay reaches the nerve/pulp of the baby tooth a pulpotomy or baby root canal is necessary. Similar to the adult procedure some of the nerve/pulp of the tooth is removed. For children the procedure is a very short process, which allows the tooth to remain intact till ready to fall out naturally.
Pediatric Dental Anesthetic Options
We offer several options for the anxious and nervous child. A sedation is when we give your child a particular medicine or a combination of medicines that will relax your child enough to allow Dr. Shepherd to do the necessary dental work. Sedation is used when a child has a significant amount of dental work and would not tolerate well several return visits to complete the work.
As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Shepherd was trained in various sedation techniques. Below is a list of different types of sedation that we offer. What we use for your child will depend on their dental needs, age, and medical history.
Regardless of the type of sedation the child needs to have an empty stomach for at least 6 hours.
Oral Sedation for Children
Oral Sedation is where your child will drink a medicine that will make them sleepy. It is well received by most children as all they do is drink the medicine and watch a movie until they become sleepy. The onset of the medicines used is delayed because the drug has to go from the stomach to the intestine to the liver and then to the blood stream. This takes between 30 minutes to an hour depending on what meds are used. The medicines can sometimes cause vomiting and therefore your child is not allowed to have anything to eat or drink after Midnight the night before sedation. Because of the unpredictability of the drug absorption, some children do not become sleepy enough and we have to use an alternative method. Many children’s teeth are fixed by using this method without an issue.
Intra-Nasal Sedation for Children
Intra-Nasal sedation administers the medicine by using a misting device into child’s nasal passage. This method is used when the child is not likely to drink the medicine because of taste, age of the child or the child’s general unwillingness to drink the medicine. The advantage to this route of administration is fast onset since the drug is absorbed through the nasal mucosa and is directly in the blood stream. Less drug is given and the child recovers more quickly.
IV Sedation for Children
IV or intravenous sedation is where Dr. Shepherd or an Anesthesiologist will start an IV. The medicine to sedate the child is given through the IV line. This route of drug administration has several advantages over oral and Intra-Nasal sedation. The drug effect is almost instantaneous, less drug is used and Dr. Shepherd or the anesthesiologist can keep the child safely sedated until all work is done. The child is hydrated throughout the procedure with the IV fluid. Once the dental work is done there is no more drug given and the child recovers quickly. The difficulty of this sedation route is getting the IV started in a child. This is usually accomplished by giving the child a low dose of medicine to help slow them down enough to get an IV started. Once the IV line is in this becomes the most controlled form of sedation.
Pediatric Dental Emergencies
When there is a dental emergency such as trauma or infected – abscessed teeth Dr. Shepherd feels it is best to see them in our office. This is the best way to insure that your child gets the most appropriate care for their needs.
Q: What do I do if my child gets a tooth knocked out?
A: If your child is 6 or older there is a good chance that the tooth lost is an adult (permanent) tooth. This situation requires immediate attention. Call our office as soon as possible! There is a very narrow window to replant the lost tooth before it becomes hopeless to do so. If the child will let you, place the tooth back in the socket it came out of and have someone hold it in place as you travel to our office. If you cannot replant the tooth it would be best to place it in milk and call us as soon as possible. Our Phone number is:
A: If the child is 5 or younger there is a good chance that the tooth is a baby (primary) tooth. If this is the case bring your child to visit us as soon as you can for an evaluation. Often if one tooth is displaced, other teeth could affected as well. We need to see your child to make sure there are no long term consequences to the trauma.
Q: What if my child’s face is swollen or began swelling?
A: This is a sign that there could be an infected or abscessed tooth. This situation can turn into a medical emergency rather quickly and need dental attention as quickly as possible to prevent any serious complications.
Q: What if my child has a toothache?
A: You will want to visit the office promptly. Over-the-counter children’s pain medication, dosed according to your child€™s weight and age, might ease the symptoms. You may apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth to the face in the area of the pain, but do not put heat or aspirin on the sore area.
Q: Can dental injuries be prevented?
A: Your child’s risk for dental injuries can be reduced greatly by following a few simple suggestions. First, reduce risk for severe oral injury in sports by wearing protective gear, including a mouthguard. Second, always use a car seat for young children and require seat belts for everyone else in the car. Third, child-proof your home to prevent falls and electrical injuries. Regular dental check-ups provide Dr. Shepherd an opportunity to discuss additional age-appropriate preventive strategies with your child.
Children often have a single tooth or multiple teeth that are out of normal position. Pediatric dentists are in a unique position to diagnose these misaligned teeth when the child is very young. Dr. Shepherd is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of anterior and posterior cross bites. A cross bite is where the position on the top teeth relative to the lower teeth is reversed. Normal bite relation is where the top teeth are in front of the lower teeth when biting down. With a cross bite this is reversed where the lower teeth are in front of the upper teeth. This can occur with a single tooth, a few teeth or a whole quadrant of teeth. It is important to correct this when children are young to take advantage of their growth. Often cross bites occur due to lack of sufficient space to accommodate the teeth.
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