An examination is a review of medical and dental history, which indicates whether there is need for specialized dental care. This entails a thorough head and neck exam where we check and chart the status of your child’s gums, teeth, soft tissue, and check for decay. We evaluate oral hygiene (effectiveness of brushing and flossing), oral habits (pacifier use, thumb sucking, etc.) and diet (juice intake, stickiness of snacks, etc.).
Prophylaxis is the removal of plaque (bacterial food remnants) and calculus (plaque that has hardened to become tarter) using either a manual toothbrush or motorized toothbrush (depending on child’s needs). Calculus requires removal with special dental instruments in addition to the toothbrush.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends the use of topical fluoride in addition to what is present in our daily diet and toothpaste to help prevent tooth decay.
Our practice is focused on preventive dentistry and, therefore, we tailor our oral hygiene instructions for each child and family to accommodate their unique situations. This conversation includes parents and the patients to make sure that the message is understood clearly and gives the opportunity to ask any questions that may arise.
Dr. Doshi will inform parents of things “to come” regarding their children’s oral health, with respect to age and dental development. Once again, our focus is always on prevention.
These are sometimes known as “cavity detecting” x-rays. Bitewing radiographs, are a set of two or four x-rays (depending on the age of the patient and the teeth present) that allow us to view in between the teeth (where flossing is beneficial and where we cannot see visually). These radiographs help us assess the health of bone, teeth, and to diagnose cavities.
This is an x ray taken to assess a particular tooth. Periapical radiographs enable the assessment of the root, nerve, and bone. Sometimes these radiographs are taken in place of bitewings to help diagnose cavities, when bitewings are not available or obtainable.
A panoramic radiograph is an x ray that “goes around the head” and provides a general overview of your child’s mouth and jaws. It is initially taken around 6 years of age (when the 6 year molars are erupting) and then repeated every 3-5 years thereafter as a diagnostic tool. This radiograph is taken to evaluate tooth and jaw development, as well as to catch any anomalies early (missing permanent teeth, extra teeth, abnormal growth areas, etc.). A panoramic may also be taken if a child suffers trauma to their jaw.
A sealant is a protective resin coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces (into the grooves) of the back teeth (permanent premolars and molars). Sealants act as a barrier to sticky foods, plaque and bacteria, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the back teeth. They act as an extra line of defense against tooth decay.
Early application of a sealant can protect your child throughout the most cavity-prone years and lay the foundation for a lifetime of dental health and a beautiful smile. Applying a sealant is quick and painless, taking only one visit.
Research shows that sealants can be effective for many years, but only provides protection when it is fully intact, so it must be evaluated at each 6 month cleaning for any need for touch ups. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects, sealants will last even longer.
Sealants are very affordable and are covered by most dental insurance programs. Over the course of your child’s life, sealants may actually save you money by helping to prevent the need for more expensive and invasive dental treatment. Dr. Doshi will recommend sealants depending on your child’s needs.