We are your one-stop shop for all things dental that your child may require! We pride ourselves in offering a full scope of services to keep your child’s teeth healthy and beautiful. We believe good oral hygiene starts here in our office, and strive to give your child the tools they need to preserve their smile and prevent future complications down the line.
It’s recommended by the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Dental Association that children visit a dentist by their first birthday or first tooth eruption. The advantages are numerous, giving us time to identify and reduce any risk factors or future complications. Your child will also be provided with a toothbrush cleaning, a fluoride treatment, and the tools to take care of their smile.
Our doctors will gently and carefully assess the state of your child’s oral health to identify any possible concerns. If certain treatment plans are recommended, they will first consult with you — the parent — to find a solution that is right for you, your child, and your budget. To help your little one better understand the role they play in their own oral health, our doctors will explain in easy-to-understand terms what exactly is going on and being done, so the child isn’t necessarily afraid or anxious.
X-rays are useful for all patients and can detect more than just cavities. With X-rays, our team can accurately diagnose and treat conditions that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Additionally, we pride ourselves on offering digital X-rays, which reduces exposure to radiation by around 70 to 80 percent. Your child’s safety is of utmost importance to us.
A prophylaxis cleaning (also known as a dental cleaning) can be performed using various instruments depending on the child’s specific needs. While cleaning your child’s teeth, the pediatric dentist will remove microbial plaque and calculus, and polish hard surfaces to minimize plaque buildup. They will then go over a customized plan step-by-step to prevent the likelihood of future complications.
Fluoride is used in small amounts during dental visits to prevent tooth decay, promote the strengthening of the teeth, and reduce the attack of acid on teeth. Fluoride treatments can have a positive effect on your child’s tooth development when combined with a healthy, balanced diet and good oral hygiene.
It sometimes can be impossible to clean the tiny grooves and pits that food and bacteria build up in. If gone unchecked, this can place your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants – made of clear or shaded plastic – help in reducing tooth decay by “sealing” those grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth. Sealants help keep your child cavity-free and your wallet full!
When children lose baby teeth too soon, our dentists recommend a space maintainer. Space maintainers are appliances made of metal or plastic and are custom fit to your child’s mouth to prevent the shifting of teeth or other complications. Space maintainers are often times undetectable and are an effective and inexpensive way to keep your child’s teeth where they should be and often save parents a fortune by reducing the need for braces later down the line.
When a baby tooth becomes infected, it can actually do damage to the future permanent tooth. It can even spread and possibly cause severe face, head, and neck infections. If this is the case, an extraction of the tooth may need to be done.
Our team members are trained to make children feel comfortable with our treatments without all the fuss. “Tell-Show-Do” is a behavioral management technique when one of our pediatric dental team members names a dental instrument, demonstrates the instrument by using it to count your child’s fingers, then applies the instrument in treatment. In just three easy steps, the patient is often calm and less afraid.
Using positive reinforcement to reward desired behaviors is an integral part of the patient-doctor dynamic. This helps the patient understand that being on their best behavior will be beneficial for them. The social reinforcers we utilize are:
Nonsocial positive reinforcers used in the office include:
In the rarest of occasions, protective stabilization will be utilized for those patients who have special needs or are too little to understand what’s going on. This protects everyone involved and is used with nothing but the utmost care and only with parent permission.
Nitrous oxide/oxygen (also known as laughing gas) is a safe and effective way to reduce dental fear or anxiety. It’s given through a mask that is placed over the child’s nose and allows them to relax without putting them to sleep. Once treatment is completed, it quickly dissipates from their system through the act of breathing normally. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes it as very safe and effective with no lingering side effects.
Oral sedation is a good option for children who have a more intense fear of the dentist. It’s an oral medication that calms your child by making them drowsy and docile. When the doctor prescribes the medication, she will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
General anesthesia is a controlled state of unconsciousness perfect for eliminating awareness, movement, and discomfort during dental procedures, and is typically reserved for those with special needs or extreme dental fear or anxiety. This form of anesthesia is conducted at an outpatient location where all the right precautions can be taken to protect your child while they’re under general anesthesia. The risk of a serious reaction to general anesthesia is in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000 patients. This is by far better than the assumed risk of driving a car. Dr. Ayala will discuss the benefits and risks of general anesthesia and why it is recommended for your child.Learn More