Posts for category: Dental Procedures
For many people, especially young children, having a dental procedure done can cause a bit of anxiety. It makes sense. No one finds it extremely fun or comfortable to have someone else’s hands in their mouth, or hear the sound of a dental drill right by their ear. At Anderson Pediatric Dentistry, we try to alleviate as much fear and anxiety as possible by thoroughly explaining the procedure to both patient and parent. We know that a calm and friendly demeanor can go along way in gaining trust and we encourage the patient with positive engagement along the way.
For some patients, however, this may not be enough. And that’s okay. We understand! In the case of an anxious patient, or for longer procedures, it may be beneficial to offer our patients a mild sedative, or calming drug. Many times, this will be in the form of nitrous oxide.
What is nitrous oxide, and will it really make you laugh? Nitrous oxide is often called “laughing gas.” It’s a very safe and mild sedative that your child’s dentist will give to your child while they are seated in the dental chair. It’s administered through a face mask which carries oxygen and medication to your child as they breathe. Your child will be asked to breathe through his or her nose, rather than their mouth and the sedation will take place within a few minutes. Your child will remain awake and coherent throughout the entire procedure, but the nitrous oxide will help them remain calm and relaxed and probably give them a “happy” feeling. Once the procedure is complete, the gas will be turned off and your child will continue to breathe pure oxygen for several minutes to clear the out any remaining gas from their system.
Why use any sedation?
Sedation may be used to manage special needs or anxiety, especially when several procedures need to be completed at the same time, if the safety of the child is compromised due to them moving or struggling, or even when a child has a strong gag reflex. While the sedation medication will not control pain or discomfort, it will allow your child’s dentist to provide the anesthetic shots to numb the area, work safely and more quickly on your child and ease your child’s anxiety so that he or she has a better experience in the dental chair.
Use of sedation medication during pediatric dental visits can be a helpful tool that will allow your child to have a better experience at the dentist and help set them up for a better relationship with the dentist for life. By avoiding negative experiences and bad memories at the dentist, you are helping pave the road for better oral care for life. And that’s definitely Something to Smile About!
Anderson Pediatric Dentistry wants to give you and your child Something to Smile About! Call us today at 864-760-1440 to schedule an appointment for your child today!
X-rays are a highly beneficial tool in the world of dentistry. An x-ray can help to diagnose tooth decay, gum disease and infections that may not be visible on the surface of the tooth. X-rays help monitor growth and development and allow the pediatric dentist to see potential problems before the tooth erupts. They also help screen for bone loss or pathology that may not be visible or currently be symptomatic. Without an x-ray, many of these problems could go undiagnosed. By using an x-ray as a reference, your dentist will be better equipped to prepare tooth implants, dentures, braces, and other similar treatments.
However, like many things in life, there are drawbacks to dental x-rays, as well. Exposure to radiation can be harmful to humans, as it damages cells. Pediatric dentists and parents are, therefore, wise to know the truth about the radiation from x-rays and balance the benefits with any possible drawbacks.
Anderson Pediatric Dentistry adheres to the ALARA principle. ALARA stands for "as low as reasonably achievable". This principle means that we strive to expose our patients to as little radiation as possible, using as few x-rays procedures as we can, while still providing the best patient care. We also follow th recommended practive guidelines to reduce exposure when performing x-rays. To do this, we use three basic protective measures in radiation safety: time, distance, and shielding. By usinf the following techniques, we are able to limit radiation exposure to our patients:
· Use of the fastest image receptor (the fastest film speed or digital speed)
· Reduction in the size of the x-ray beam to the size of the image receptor whenever possible
· Use of proper exposure and processing techniques
· Use of leaded aprons and, whenever possible, thyroid collars
While x-rays do expose individuals to radiation, it’s important to remember that we are all exposed to certain levels of radiation in our everyday life. Eating a banana, living in a brick home and even watching television expose you relatively small levels of radiation each day. As pediatric dentists, we weigh the benefits of treating dental issues with the potential harm. A routine exam, which includes 4 bitewings is about 0.005 mSv. This amount is less than one day of natural background radiation and about the same amount of radiation exposure one would receive from a short airplane flight of 1-2 hours. (www.xrayrisk.com/faq.php). Using digital X-Rays, as we do at Anderson Pediatric Dentistry, significantly reduces this amount to be even less.
There are ways for parents and dentists to help minimize the need for x-rays. Request a visual exam be done prior to consenting to x-rays. If you have current x-rays from a previous dentist, make sure to transfer these to your current dentist to eliminate the need for repeat x-rays. While dental x-rays are considered extremely safe, and often essential, it’s important to understand the procedures and any potential exposure to radiation so that you can be sure that the benefits outweigh the inherent risks.
If you have questions or concerns, never hesitate to discuss the need for x-rays with your pediatric dentist so that you can best care for and protect your child’s dental and overall health.
Anderson Pediatric Dentistry strives to be your go-to resource for pediatric dental health. If you are looking for a dental home for your child, we welcome you to call our office today at 864-760-1440. Let us give you Something to Smile About!
It’s the day of the year when people come together to celebrate their Irish descent. Towns go green, literally- from green clothes to green rivers and even green food and beverages. The ironic part is that most of the people celebrating aren’t even Irish and don’t even know who St. Patrick was, (Click here to learn about St. Patrick) but that doesn’t stop people from being “Irish for the day.” It is, after all, a really fun holiday.
According to CNBC, emergency dental visits skyrocket by 77% the day after St. Patrick’s Day. The information was gleaned from analysis from Sikka Software, which found that March 18 is consistently one of the busiest 10 days of the year for dentist. It goes without saying that alcohol plays a large role in this spike, with bar fights and face plants being responsible for many of the chipped or missing teeth cases that dentist will see. Apparently, some people take the term “fighting Irish” a bit too far.
Luckily for Anderson Pediatric Dentistry, most of our patients won’t be involved in the more extreme St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans. However, we thought it was a great time to review what to do if your luck runs out and you find yourself facing a dental emergency. Remember, sometimes the tooth can be saved if handled appropriately.
We encourage you to become familiar with the information below so that you will know what to do if you find yourself faced with a dental trauma.
If a tooth is knocked out:
1) Pick the tooth up by the crown (the part you bite with) and DO NOT touch the root (the two little legs that go in the gums).
2) Adults and older children that have knocked out a permanent tooth, gently rinse it in clean water and place it back in the socket the right way. Apply gauze and pressure to hold it in place until getting to the dentist office.
If you are unsure of the proper placement, you can place the tooth in your cheek and hold it there until getting to the dentist office. The saliva will clean the root and keep it moist.
For small children and baby teeth, do not place the tooth back in the socket. This can damage the permanent tooth below. Since most small children cannot hold the tooth in their cheek without swallowing it, placing it in a container of milk and heading to the dentist office is the best option. Make sure to bring the tooth with you. (If the parent is comfortable doing so, he or she can place it in his/her own cheek to keep it moist and in saliva.)
Remember, we want to keep the tooth moist. Saliva is the best option, followed by milk. Do not wrap the tooth in a napkin and allow it to dry.
3) Call our office and let us know you are on the way! You need to see the dentist as soon as possible for the best chance at saving the tooth.
What to do if a tooth is chipped:
If a tooth is chipped, try to find any pieces that have come off, as sometimes it’s possible to reattach them. Make an appointment for an office visit as soon as possible and bring the pieces with you.
Anytime there is a severe injury, loss of consciousness or uncontrollable bleeding, seek help immediately from the Emergency Room. For less traumatic injuries, call our office at 864-760-1440 to schedule a time to be seen as soon as possible. Often, a quick phone conversation can help us to determine the next step. Cheers!
Some children are born with lip or tongue tie disorder that may be related to the teeth, and in some cases, may be caused by an orthodontic problem. Led by Drs. Kevin Nietzer and Kathleen Monn, the dental team here at Anderson Pediatric Dentistry in Anderson, SC, provides corrective treatment for tongue lip-tie issues. Read on to learn more!
What Is a Lip or Tongue Tie?
There are some dental cases where the muscles in the child’s mouth interfere with the function of their lips and tongue. It can cause them to have a verbal impairment (such as a lisp), trouble nursing as an infant, or general dental discomfort. A lip tie is caused by an enlarged muscle connector called the labial frenum. The labial frenum creates a connection between the upper lip and the area between the front teeth and it can create a large gap. A tongue tie is caused by an abnormality of the lingual frenum, which is the connective tissue between the tongue and the bottom of the mouth. It causes difficulty when speaking and eating.
A frenectomy is a dental surgery to remove or reduce the frenum muscle to alleviate issues with tongue lip-tie. In some cases, orthodontic treatment with metal braces can resolve issues with lip ties and large front-tooth gaps in children. When visiting our Anderson office, either Dr. Nietzer or Dr. Monn will likely recommend that you have these matters corrected as early as possible. They can have a significant effect on their quality of life.
Additional Tips for Your Child's Smile
Maintaining your child’s orthodontic and general dental health is important both to their overall wellness as well as their self-esteem. Here are a few tips for how to keep your child’s smile in tip-top condition:
- Like adults, children should visit the dentist at least twice per year for checkups.
- If an orthodontic treatment is needed, explain the benefits your child will enjoy after the required period of wearing braces.
- After orthodontic treatment, encourage the use of retainers. Mouthguards are essential if your child is an athlete.
Call for an Appointment
The look and quality of your child’s smile will become more and more important as the years progress. Do everything you can to ensure that their teeth, lips, and tongue look right and feel comfortable. Call (864) 760-1440 today to schedule a tongue lip-tie appointment with Dr. Kevin Nietzer or Dr. Kathleen Monn at Anderson Pediatric Dentistry in Anderson, SC, today!
In a world where everything is getting, smaller, quicker and more efficient, it makes sense that pediatric
dentistry is following. Anderson Pediatric Dentistry is proud to offer laser dentistry in our office with our state-of-the-art WaterLase Laser.
While most of our procedures are still done the traditional way, laser dentistry can offer our patients an alternative treatment plan.
WaterLase dentistry uses laser energy and a gentle spray of water, allowing us to perform a wide range of dental procedures without the heat, vibration and pressure of a dental drill. For many procedures we are able to use less anesthetic, meaning less shots for your child. Using the WaterLase laser for dental procedures is usually, faster and more comfortable for the child, so we may be able to do more extensive treatments in less appointments. The laser can also be more precise, allowing us to save more healthy parts of the tooth and gums.
So, what do we use the WaterLase laser for and when is it an option?
The WaterLase laser at Anderson Pediatric Dentistry can be used for many treatments, ranging from cavities to periodontal disease. It can treat areas on the gums, as well as the teeth.
But, perhaps its most exciting and beneficial use for our clients, is for tongue and lip-tie treatment. The WaterLase laser offers us a quick and precise treatment option to help infants and young children who are suffering from negative impacts due to a tight frenulum causing tongue and/or lip-tie.
If your infant or young child is suffering from tongue and or lip-tie, their pediatrician may recommend a procedure called a frenectomy, in which the tight connective tissue that is causing the problems, is cut. A frenectomy done using our WaterLase Laser, uses cool water to make the incision, causing virtually no bleeding or pain, no risk of infection and almost instantaneous healing for infants. It’s also quicker, which is always a benefit with babies and young children.
If your child has tongue-tie, lip-tie or both, a frenectomy may be the correct treatment plan to enable them to nurse and/or eat better, thus allowing them to thrive and grow. Give us a call today at 864-760-1440 so that we can schedule an appointment to discuss if our Waterlase laser is right for you. Let us ease the discomfort and help your child have Something to Smile About!