What is Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry is an age-defined specialty that provides both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs.
Our team’s training and experience allow us to provide a safe and comfortable experience for your child, whether your child is ready for their 6-month dental checkup or a more extensive oral procedure. Our dentists are board-certified specialists for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), which means that, on top of graduating from dental school, they spent several additional years learning safe practices specific to treating young patients.
Our dentists also attend several continuing professional education courses each year to learn the newest and most effective treatment methods. When it comes right down to it, we want to give your child the quality care they deserve. Below is a listing of the most common procedures we perform in our children’s dentistry office for patients in our Herriman office. If you have any questions about any of these procedures or think your child might be in need of an appointment, contact us today! We are excited to help your child on their way to healthy oral hygiene.
White composite fillings are typically the best option to fill your child’s cavity and restore a tooth. These fillings are made from a mixture of composite resins (mixtures of plastics and silica) and are designed to match the original color of your child’s tooth. Unlike highly noticeable silver (amalgam) fillings, white composite fillings are practically undetectable and will help your child maintain a beautiful smile!
While restoring your child’s tooth using a white composite filling is usually the best option, there are times when a tooth may be too damaged to be restored using a filling. In these circumstances a crown may be needed.
A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth to stop decay from spreading. It prevents any further damage to your child’s tooth. Crowns may be made from a variety of materials that will best meet your child’s needs.
We typically recommend using a tooth-colored porcelain crown when repairing a front tooth because it is less noticeable. When repairing a molar, we recommend a stainless steel crown.
If cavities and dental decay are left alone for too long, they can penetrate the protective layer of the tooth called the “enamel” and infect the “pulp” of the tooth. Since the tooth’s nerves are located in the pulp, your child may experience a toothache. There is a great risk that the tooth will die if it is not treated soon enough.
Because of the pain and the risk of tooth decay, a procedure called a “pulpotomy” is needed. During this procedure the infected pulp of the tooth is removed and a medicated filling is inserted in its place. This filling protects the remainder of the healthy pulp from infection and keeps the tooth alive.
This is a fairly common procedure that will ensure the health of your child’s teeth now and in the future.
In some situations, it may be best for your child’s oral health to have a baby tooth extracted (or “pulled”). Three of the most common situations include:
1. There is too much tooth decay to properly restore the tooth.
2. The baby tooth (primary tooth) is preventing permanent teeth from growing in properly.
3. A baby tooth needs to be pulled in preparation for braces.
A tooth extraction seems like the last thing you want your child to go through, but we are here to make the process as easy and pain-free as possible. We want you and your child to know that extracting a tooth is not nearly as painful as it may sound.
If your child ever needs to have a tooth removed, the area surrounding their tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic. Once the numbed area is no longer sensitive, a special device is used to loosen the root of the tooth from the surrounding gums and bone. Once the tooth is loosened, it can be safely and painlessly extracted.
At our pediatric dental office in the Herriman, South Jordan and Riverton area, our goal is to make any tooth extraction an easy and painless process for your child.
Here at Herriman Pediatric Dentistry, we want to protect your child from cavities before they even begin! Dental sealants help make this possible.
These sealants are made up of a safe, composite material that is applied to a tooth in order to protect (or “seal”) all the pitted and grooved surfaces. Often, these canals and indentations can be really hard for children to reach while brushing their teeth. The sealant’s job is to make it extremely difficult for cavities to form in those deeper, hidden parts of the tooth.
Dental Sealants are also designed to match the color of your child’s tooth so no one will ever notice they are there! We should also mention that putting a dental sealant on your child’s tooth is completely pain-free.
Want to give your child these tooth-saving sealants? Click here to schedule an appointment today!
Even with a fun office and a great team of Pediatric Dentists, sometimes a dental visit can still be a scary event! For children who become overly anxious or unable to cooperate during dental procedures, Sleep Dentistry (also known as “Sedation Dentistry”) can make it possible to perform any needed dental procedure and help the child feel comfortable in the process.
In order to practice Sleep or Sedation Dentistry in Utah, a children’s dentist must receive an additional 2-3 years of training on top of dental school training. Dentists who practice sedation are also required to attend several continuing professional education courses each year to learn the latest techniques and procedures of sedation dentistry as outlined by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).
Our dentists are certified to practice pediatric Sleep Dentistry. During the course of our pediatric dentistry practice, we have performed more than 15,000 oral sedations. Your child is our most important priority, and we can ensure quality care if or when sedation is needed.
We provide four main sedation options at our Herriman Pediatric Dentistry Office. These options include:
1. Nitrous Oxide – Nitrous Oxide (“laughing gas”) is administered to the patient through a mask placed over the patient’s nose. When inhaled, the gas causes a patient to feel a calming sensation, allowing them to relax without losing consciousness. There are very few side effects from this sedation option and the patient fully recovers just minutes after the sedation process is complete.
2. Oral Sedation – Oral sedative medications come in liquid form and are an easy and non-threatening way to help patients relax prior to a dental procedure. At our Pediatric Dentistry in Herriman, the child takes the oral sedative in a private room where they can relax for 30-45 minutes before receiving treatment. During the sedation, the child remains conscious but is unaware of any pain or sensations they may be experiencing.
3. In-Office IV Sedation – This option is usually reserved for very anxious or uncooperative children who have extensive treatment needs. In-office IV sedation can be performed in our Herriman pediatric dental office, where we help the child feel as comfortable as possible. With this sedation option, a nurse or anesthetist administers an IV containing the sedative to the child.
4. Full General Anesthetic – In extreme cases, we can schedule an appointment with Primary Children’s Medical Center and perform the necessary dental procedures there. Once the child arrives at the medical center, they are given a full general anesthetic administered by an anesthesiologist or anesthetist. With this sedation option, the patient will be fully unconscious for the duration of the procedure. As Pediatric Dental Specialists, each of our doctors is authorized to practice dentistry at Primary Children’s Medical Center.
If you think that Sleep Dentistry (Sedation Dentistry) may be a good fit for your child, give us a call or message us through our contact page today and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have!
See What Our Clients Are Saying
"We love Dr. Chuck! My kids had their 6 month cleanings today and all morning they kept asking when we were leaving to go see Dr. Chuck. They even made up a cute song about it haha! The kids always come out with a huge smile on their face. In the words of my 6 year old: he is the nicest and funniest dentist I have ever met!”