As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Stuehling has undergone special training concerning oral health and diseases that affect the oral health of children. It is important for you to understand some of the services we offer at Lakeview Kids’ Dentistry. Many of the services are similar to those offered by general dentists, but with a different approach designed especially with children in mind. Many services and procedures offered are quite specialized and pertain to children in particular.
Children have truly unique dental needs. Just think of the many changes your child goes through during their developmental growth phases. Your child goes from having no teeth, to having baby teeth, to losing the baby teeth, and finally to having permanent teeth. All of this occurs in the first 12-14 years of your child’s life. This is a lot of change, and pediatric dentists are trained to provide the care necessary to ensure your child passes through these phases in life and enters adulthood with a strong and healthy smile.
Below is a partial list of our services to help educate you on many aspects of children’s dentistry and some of the procedures and treatments available to help your child develop good dental habits and enjoy overall dental health.
Preventative dentistry requires participation from your child, our dental team and you. The goal of preventative dentistry is to prevent the development of cavities and gum disease through routine cleanings, check-ups, and dental education in our office. A healthy mouth helps foster a happy and healthy child.
Preventative dentistry begins at home with the appearance of your child’s first tooth, typically around 6 months of age. Even before the first dental visit, you should be cleansing your child’s teeth with a moist cloth after each feeding. By the time your child reaches the age of one, you should schedule your child’s initial visit with us. Beginning dental visits early is the key to success, as these visits assist us in recognizing and addressing potential problems before they become serious. Dr. Stuehling and the Lakeview Kids’ Dentistry staff will teach you how to protect your child’s dental health by providing a personalized program of brushing and flossing. We thoroughly examine your child to detect any potential problem areas, provide diet counseling and if necessary, fluoride recommendations. Becoming an active participant in the preventative oral health program we develop for you child will help ensure your child grows up as part of a cavity free generation.
Sealants are a plastic resin that we can apply to your child’s back teeth to help prevent cavities. Sealants protect the surfaces of teeth with grooves and pits, especially the chewing surfaces of the molar teeth, where most cavities in children are found.
Even if your child brushes or flosses carefully, it is difficult – sometimes impossible – to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these depressions, placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants â€œseal outâ€ food and plaque reducing the risk of decay. The procedure of applying a sealant is quick and affordable, requiring only one visit. Sealants provide valuable decay protection for your child, and may be covered by your dental insurance.
Sealants are only one step in a preventive dental routine. Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits are still essential to a bright and healthy smile.
Despite everything we have our children do – brushing, flossing and regular dental visits – restorative dentistry may be necessary. What exactly is restorative dentistry? Restorative dentistry is any dental procedure that fixes problems caused by decay and disease, such as routine fillings, crowns, cosmetic bonding to repair a broken tooth, and space maintainers.
Dr. Stuehling and the Lakeview Kids’ Dentistry staff will thoroughly discuss your child’s treatment options with you, so that you will understand the benefits these procedures provide to the long term dental well being of your child.
Special Needs Dentistry
Part of the specialty training a pediatric dentist receives includes the treatment of children with special needs. We understand that children with special needs require special care. Some children with special needs are very susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease or oral trauma. Others require medication or a diet detrimental to dental health. Still other children have physical difficulty with effective dental habits at home. We will work with you to establish a preventive dental treatment program for your child. Dental disease is preventable, and if dental care is started early and followed conscientiously, every child can enjoy a healthy smile.
Conscious sedation is a management technique that uses medications to assist the child to cope with fear and anxiety and cooperate with dental treatment. Sedated children will be awake and responsive to requests by the dental staff.
Occasionally patients do relax enough to fall asleep, but most children will remain awake. Medication dosage is based upon established safe medication dose calculations specific to the child’s weight.
It is suggested that children who have a level of anxiety that prevents good coping or are very young and do not understand how to cope in a cooperative fashion for the delivery of dental care be sedated. Children who have extreme dental fear, have many dental needs, or have an underlying health condition, may not be good candidates for conscious sedation.
General Anesthesia is a unique service we provide. Some children, for a variety of reasons, cannot tolerate routine dental restorative procedures while awake. Using general anesthesia, these patients can be treated in our office utilizing an out-patient anesthesia service.
What happens a General Anesthesia appointment?
Dr. Stuehling will complete regular pediatric dental work (fillings, crowns, extractions, X-rays, etc.) with the child asleep utilizing a general anesthetic. A qualified anesthesiologist places the child under general anesthesia and monitors the patient throughout the procedure and recovery phases. This allows the pediatric dentist to perform the dentistry under more ideal circumstances and helps prevent the development of a lifelong fear of dental treatment.
Why would a child require general anesthesia?
Here are a few reasons why we may suggest this for your child.
- Some children, due to age and high anxiety cannot cope with traditional dental treatment. Their fear and anxiety causes them a tremendous amount of stress.
- Children with special needs are also candidates for this type of treatment.
- In the event extensive work is required, it is much easier on a young patient to be placed under general anesthesia to have the procedure done, than to endure long hours in the dental chair, or repeated visits.
GA Physical Form for Physicial or copy and paste this address:
Dental injuries are the most common oral facial injury sustained in sports. Mouthguards protect the teeth, lips, checks, and the tongue from trauma. If your child is involved in a sports team where dental trauma could occur, such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey and softball, we recommend a custom mouthguard. We specialize in fitting children for high quality mouthpieces to safeguard their teeth. The following are some questions and answers for you concerning protecting your child while playing sports.
When should my child wear a mouthguard?
Mouthguards should be worn while playing any sport that involves contact or the possibility of falling. This includes not just organized sports at school, but also activities with friends. We see just as many injuries from bike riding or playground play as we do from organized sports.
Why are mouthguards important?
Mouthguards hold top priority as sports equipment. They protect not just the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, and tongue. They help protect children from such head and neck injuries as concussions and jaw fractures. Increasingly, organized sports are requiring mouthguards to prevent injury to their athletes. Research shows that most oral injuries occur when athletes are not wearing mouth protection.
When should my child wear a mouthguard?
Whenever he or she is in an activity with a risk of falls or of head contact with other players or equipment. This includes football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, even gymnastics. We usually think of football and hockey as the most dangerous to the teeth, but nearly half of sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)
While the ideal way to treat teeth with cavities is to remove the decay and place a filling or crown, there is an alternative, non-invasive treatment; Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF), that can be used in some instances.
SDF is a clinically applied treatment that controls active dental caries and aids in preventing further progression of the disease. SDF has a dual mechanism of action. The silver component acts as an anti-microbial and kills the bacteria associated with the cavity, while the fluoride prevents further demineralization (breakdown) of tooth structure.
Application of SDF is simple and non-invasive. The affected teeth are isolated with cotton and dried. The SDF is applied to the area with a small brush and allowed to remain on the tooth for one minute. A fluoride varnish is then placed and patients are instructed not to eat or drink for one hour.
Side Effects: A cavity treated with SDF will turn black. This is an indication that the decay in the tooth is arresting. If SDF comes in contact with skin or gums (which does occur from time to time) a temporary discoloration occurs. If the patient has a silver allergy, SDF cannot be used.
Once the decay has been arrested the teeth can be restored in the future if needed or desired.