Pediatric Dentist Services

The Dentist for Kids in Vancouver, Washington!

 

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Exam, Cleaning and Fluoride

TheĀ American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends having your child's teeth cleaned twice a year. Preventive dental exams, teeth cleaning, and topical fluoride treatment are important tools used to maintain good dental health. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen for their first dental exam by their first birthday. However, children under the age of 3 years may be somewhat fearful and not ready to cooperate for teeth cleaning and topical fluoride treatment. Therefore, if your child is under the age of 3 years, Dr. Lubisich will complete a full dental examination and familiarize your child with our staff and office.

Preventing dental decay begins when your child's very first tooth erupts, and it is important to familiarize yourself with the procedures available. While all children can benefit from dental exams, teeth cleaning, and fluoride treatments, children that have permanent molars can further benefit from a preventive procedure known as dental sealants. Sealants are one of the most effective procedures available for preventing tooth decay in the biting surfaces of permanent teeth. Sealants are recommended for permanent molars, and the application is simple and painless.

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Composite Fillings

Drs. Lubisich restores cavities using both silver amalgam and white composite materials. White fillings are filled composite resins that are aesthetically pleasing in every area of the mouth. Children's composite resins can be easily and effectively used to restore your child's teeth. Dr. Lubisich will make certain that your child is completely comfortable during the entire treatment procedure.

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Root Canal

A cavity that involves the nerve (pulp) of the tooth may cause a child to experience intense pain. Although the pain may actually subside for a period of time using ibuprofen or antibiotics, it will return unless the tooth is properly treated. When the nerve of the tooth is infected, it must be treated to restore the child to good dental health.

A pediatric root canal procedure is referred to as a "pulpotomy." The purpose of root canal treatment is to maintain the vitality of the affected tooth so that the tooth will not be lost early. Early loss of posterior (back) primary teeth may cause future problems with the eruption of permanent teeth. Therefore, it is best to avoid early loss of primary molars by properly treating the nerve of infected teeth with a pulpotomy. Dental caries (cavities) and traumatic injury are the main reasons for a tooth to require pulp therapy. The pulpotomy root canal procedure removes the infected pulp tissue within the crown of the tooth. A medication is placed to calm the nerve of the tooth and prevent bacterial growth. The pulpotomy is followed with a final restoration such as a composite crown or stainless steel crown.

After the pulpotomy (root canal procedure) is complete, your child should feel much better. We expect all pain to subside and for your child to enjoy all of their regular activities.

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Stainless Steel Crowns

Dental crowns are used to treat primary teeth that are structurally compromised because of extensive decay. Stainless steel dental crowns are used to treat back teeth, because they are stronger than white crowns and able to withstand the biting force of the back molars. Dental crowns used to treat front teeth are white and aesthetically pleasing. Dental crowns are attached to the tooth and fall out naturally when the primary tooth is lost.

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Professional Teeth Whitening

There are various teeth whitening products that can be used to whiten teeth for your older child. Professional teeth whitening products are somewhat expensive while over the counter products cost a bit less. You must first determine how strongly you feel that your child will be in completely following all of the product recommendations. Professional teeth whitening products require two separate office visits. At the first appointment, impressions are taken of the teeth that are to be whitened. The impressions are then made into clear, soft plastic trays that can be used with a bleaching gel compound to whiten the teeth. At the second appointment, the plastic trays are fit to the teeth and complete product instructions are reviewed. It will be important for your child to follow all recommendations to obtain the optimum results.

Over the counter products such as Crest White Strips are available in the dental hygiene area of grocery stores and discount centers. Over the counter products differ from whitening gels dispensed by a pediatric dentist in formulation and strength. However, if you are interested in a cost effective procedure and taking into consideration your child's willingness to thoroughly follow through, these products may be right for you.

It is important to understand that with both professional products and over the counter products, compliance is important. Improvement in teeth shade is usually seen in about two weeks. However, the length of time that the teeth remain lighter is dependent on several factors. Drinking tea, dark sodas, and even regular diets can cause the teeth to darken. Teeth whitening is not a permanent procedure and "touch-up" whitening is usually necessary.

In an effort to determine the best procedure for your child, it is best to discuss your questions with Dr. Lubisich.

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Extractions

Dental extractions often bring anxious thoughts for both children and parents. However, with the use of anesthesia and management techniques the extraction procedure will be a comfortable experience. Your child will feel pressure during the tooth extraction, but he should not feel any pain. The entire dental extraction procedure will be explained to your child in "kid friendly" terms. We expect your child to be pleasantly surprised with the ease of the entire experience.

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Mouth Guards and More

Habit Appliance

Sucking is a natural reflex and provides a sense of security for many children. However, school aged children that suck their thumb or finger may find that their habit causes social distress. School aged children that want to stop their sucking habit may find a thumb appliance to be helpful. Thumb appliance therapy requires one appointment to take the impression and one appointment to actually place the appliance in the mouth.

Mouth Guard

When a child begins to participate in recreational activities and organized sports, traumatic injuries to the teeth may occur. A properly fitted mouth guard is an important part of athletic gear. The mouth guard can act as a cushion to protect the teeth from injury. If your child is young and losing teeth, his/her mouth will be continually changing and mouth guards may need to be changed more often. Therefore, you may purchase an over the counter mouth guard from stores such as Wal-Mart or Target. Once your child has a full set of permanent teeth, you may choose to have a mouth guard professionally made in our office.

Night Guard

Parents are often concerned about a child who grinds their teeth during sleep. This type of grinding is referred to as bruxism. The majority of cases of pediatric bruxism do not need to be treated dentally. However, if excessive wearing of the teeth is present, then a mouth guard may be indicated. Dr. Lubisich will be happy to discuss your concerns regarding bruxism.

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