Pediatric Dentistry


Westford MA Pediatric Dentist

Preventive


Regular cleanings help keep gums healthy and teeth cavity-free. A dental cleaning includes removal of tartar and plaque and having the polished to remove stains and further buildups of plaque that are not removed when regular tooth brushing is performed.
Fluoride is a natural substance that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay.. Fluoride treatments are administered at the office. It is applied to the teeth in a gel, foam or varnish form.
During a regular check-up, oral hygiene instructions are given to both patient and parent to reduce the risk of plaque and tartar build-up, as well as cavities. Instructions include, but are not limited to proper brushing techniques, flossing, and using mouth rinses.
Sealants protect your child’s teeth from decay. Sealants are placed on the biting surfaces of premolars and molars to seal the grooves and pits of the teeth. The teeth are prepped for the sealant application and the sealant is painted directly on the chewing surface of the teeth and then hardens. Sealants are applied in one visit.

Diagnostic


An oral evaluation is recommended every six (6) months to prevent cavities and other dental problems. During an oral evaluation a thorough examination is done to check the hard and soft tissues of the mouth.
Dental X-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool used to identify decay, extra teeth, bone defects, tumors, cysts and check the progress of previous procedures. Latest technology now allow for digital X-rays, which reduce radiation exposure more than 50 percent, and produce instant, high-quality images that can be viewed immediately by the dentist and the patient.

Restorative


Tooth-colored fillings are the most lifelike material used to fill cavities. Composite fillings can be done in one visit. Once the decay is removed from the tooth, it is filled with this composite material and left to harden immediately afterwards.
Amalgam fillings are strong and durable. Amalgam fillings can be done in one visit. Once the decay is removed from the tooth, it is filled with this amalgam material and hardens immediately.
Root canals involve treating decay within the inside of the tooth. If the inside of the tooth, known as the dental pulp, is damaged it will gradually decay if left within the tooth. The process involves removing the pulp, cleaning out the root canals, and packing the canals with material that will help restore the tooth until it is time for it to exfoliate (or fall out on its own naturally).
A dental crown is a restoration that covers or caps a tooth, restoring it to its normal size and shape. Crowns are necessary when the tooth is broken down to the point where a filling won’t be effective. In order to effectively place a crown, tooth structure may be taken away to help create an esthetically pleasing fit.
A dental extraction is the removal of extremely decayed or broken teeth. To perform an extraction, the area is anesthetized to minimize discomfort and the tooth is then rocked back and forth until it is removed from its socket.

Esthetic


Cosmetic bonding is the process of filling or restoring teeth with a tooth-colored material in order to maintain its natural appearance. In order to bond a tooth, tooth colored material is added to the tooth to build it up.

Interceptive Orthodontics


A habit appliance is useful to help stop a thumb or finger habit and/or to help re-train an improper tongue position or swallowing pattern. It is necessary to place an appliance to minimize the harm and distortion the habits or tongue posture can have on teeth. Most habit appliances are banded for adhesion to the back molars and are not removable.
Space maintainers are used to keep teeth from drifting into an empty tooth space due to early loss of primary (baby) teeth. Baby teeth act as a guide for the eruption of the permanent teeth. A space maintainer is made of stainless steel and/or plastic. It can be removable or fixed to the teeth.

Pediatric Post-Op Instructions


A thorough cleaning may produce some bleeding and tenderness or discomfort around the gums. If this persists 2-3 days after the cleaning , you may help the child rinse with warm salt water 2-3 times per day. For discomfort you may also give your child Children’s Tylenol, Advil or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of your child.

After most fluoride treatments, patients should not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to increase the fluoride’s direct contact with the teeth.

After a sealant is placed, your child may feel the coating on their teeth. The feeling subsides within 24 hours. After the sealant appointment your child should refrain from eating sticky or chewy foods for 24 hours.

Following Anesthesia: Monitor your child closely for approximately two hours following the appointment. It is often wise to keep your child on a liquid or soft diet until the anesthetic has worn off. Remind your child to refrain from biting, picking, scratching, sucking, or playing with the numb areas.

Operative Care/Fillings: Some tooth and gum tissue manipulation was necessary to perform the procedure and may result in sensitivity or discomfort. Should this occur, you may give your child Children’s Tylenol, Advil or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of your child. If sensitivity or discomfort continues for more than 24 hours, please contact our office.

Pulp treatment (aka Pulpotomy/Pulpectomy/Baby Root Canals): If your child is experiencing sensitivity after this treatment, you may give your child Children’s Tylenol, Advil or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of your child. If sensitivity or discomfort continues for more than 24 hours, please contact our office.

Extractions: Please instruct you child not to rinse, spit, or drink through a straw. Have them keep fingers and tongue away from the area. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for thirty minutes. Repeat every thirty minutes until the area is no longer bleeding. Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally again. Avoid strenuous exercise and physical activity for the rest of the day after the extraction. For discomfort use Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of your child. If sensitivity or discomfort continues for more than 24 hours, please contact our office.