The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends regular dental visits for children starting at 1 year of age! It is important for the parents and the dentist to get an early start on a program that will prevent decay and minimize dental problems. Some of our common pediatric services are listed below:
During your child's exam we will evaluate and assess your child's oral health and provide age appropriate instruction in proper oral health care. If treatment is indicated, we will develop a written treatment plan and we will go over it with you in detail, explaining our findings and recommendations.
We recommend exams twice a year (every 6 months). This will help your child get comfortable with Dr. Shannon and staff. These visits also allow us to consistently evaluate your child's growth and take early corrective measures if needed. Some of our patients require more frequent (every 3 or 4 months) cleanings and checkups. These may be children who are more cavity prone, have braces, or have a tendency to build up tartar more quickly.
Remember, regular exams and cleanings help prevent decay and avoid costly problems. Dental visits are part of leading a healthy and normal life for your child.
Our office invites you to stay with your child during visits.
Prior to your child's dental exam their teeth will be cleaned. This process includes the following:
Early prevention is the key to oral health so we will also teach parents how to care for the child's teeth through oral hygiene instruction and diet counseling.
X-Ray films (or Radiographs) detect decay in between teeth that cannot be seen during a routine dental examination. X-rays are also used to detect abnormalities such as missing or extra teeth, permanent teeth erupting in poor angles, which can damage adjacent teeth, and also to diagnose bone diseases.
We offer one of the latest technological advances in dentistry with digital radiography (X-rays). A wireless sensor is placed in the mouth, and a computer generates an image in 30 seconds as opposed to the general 4-6 minute wait time for images taken on dental film. Our modern, low radiation dental x-ray machines are very safe. Contrast this minimal exposure with the risk of not finding an illness until it is too late, and you can see why we prescribe regular diagnostic x-rays.
In general, Dr. Shannon request radiographs approximately once a year. For children with a high risk of tooth decay, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends radiographs every six months.
Dental sealants are used to protect teeth from decay and can be applied as soon as a tooth erupts. A clear plastic material is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back of the teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often. It acts as a barrier to protect decay-prone areas. Even if your child brushes and flosses carefully, it is difficult, and sometimes impossible to clean the tiny grooves and pits on the teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these depressions making decay inevitable in some cases.
Each tooth takes only a few minutes to seal. First, Dr. Shannon will clean the teeth, dry them and apply a slightly acidic solution that is designed to help the sealant bond to the tooth surface. Then, each tooth is "painted" with a very thin layer of the sealant coating. Since the coating is clear or white, it blends easily with the natural tooth color. Dr. Shannon will then use a high-intensity curing light to harden the sealant after it has been painted on your teeth.
For more than 30 years now, sealants have been proven to dramatically reduce cavities in the most vulnerable tooth surfaces. Although they last for years, the sealant is gradually lost through natural wear and tear of the teeth, sometimes requiring repeat application to remain effective. Dr. Shannon will check them regularly and assess the need for possible re-application.
A dental filling (which include composite, porcelain and silver amalgam) is a type of restorative dentistry treatment used to repair minimal tooth fractures, tooth decay or otherwise damaged surfaces of the teeth.
"Saving" a primary (baby) tooth, if it is going to be in the mouth for six months or more, is recommended because it provides the child with a chewing surface and acts as a natural space maintainer for the permanent tooth.
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. There are different types of sedation, including nitrous oxide ("laughing gas"), IV sedation, oral sedatives and general anesthetic.
Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell Dr. Shannon about any medications or medical treatments your child is receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, Dr. Shannon will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre- and post-sedation instructions.