Preventative

Dental Exam

Generally performed once every six months. Includes general review of the child’s medical and dental history, general examination of face, head and neck. Your child will receive an examination of teeth, bite, gums and overall dental development.

Teeth Cleaning

A cleaning done at the dental office every 6 months is important in keeping your child’s gums and teeth healthy and strong. An office cleaning uses a special type of toothpaste called prophylaxis paste. This procedure removes stains on teeth caused by food or certain bacteria and deposits (calculus or tartar). Clean teeth and mouth allows the dentist to examine the many tiny grooves, pits and fissures of teeth which harbor plaque and bacteria. In addition, this procedure is non invasive, painless and helps introduce the child to the dental environment.

X-rays

Dental X-ray examination provides valuable information that your dentist could not collect otherwise. With the help of radiographs (the proper term for pictures taken with X-rays), your dentist can look beneath the visible oral tissues. X-rays pose a far smaller risk than many undetected and untreated dental problems. Generally x-rays are taken as follows: Bitewing x-rays once every 12 months, periapical x-rays once every 12-16 months & panoramic x-rays once every 36-60 months.

Dental Sealants

Sealants play an important role in the prevention of tooth decay by protecting the chewing surfaces of your child's teeth. Sealants keep out plaque and food, and reduce the risk of tooth decay by filling in pits and fissures on the chewing surface of molars. Since the sealant is only on the biting surface of the tooth, areas on the side and between teeth are still at risk for decay. Good oral hygiene and nutrition continue to be very important in preventing decay. A total prevention program includes regular visits to the dentist, the use of fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and limiting the number of sugar-rich foods that are eaten.

Sport Mouth Guard

A mouth guard offers protection during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth. A properly fitted mouth guard can help prevent broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw.

Space Maintainer

When a baby tooth is lost early through decay or injury, adjacent teeth could shift and begin to fill the empty space. When permanent teeth emerge, there's not enough room for them and this results in crooked or crowded teeth and difficulties with chewing or speaking. A space maintainer is used to hold the spot left by the lost tooth until the permanent tooth emerges

Restorative Treatment of Cavities

White Fillings

White fillings or composite/resin fillings are mercury-free non-metallic fillings. This is the only material used for filling teeth in our office. We do not use any material that contains mercury.

Pulp Treatment (Pulpotomy/Pulpectomy)

Inside each tooth is the pulp which provides nutrients and nerves to the tooth, which runs like a thread down through the root. When the pulp is diseased or injured by severe decay, the pulp tissue dies leading to infection and a dental abscess. In place of removing the tooth, the pulp is treated which allows the tooth to remain in the mouth until the end of its natural life. The procedure involves removal of dead tissue and placement of medicated materials in the root canal. Following this, a stainless steel crown is placed over the tooth to make it strong.

Extractions

Teeth are extracted or removed when they are unsalvageable by any treatment. This may be due to decay, infection or trauma. Teeth are also extracted for orthodontic reasons when there is inadequate space in the jaws to accommodate all teeth. With careful use of nitrous oxide, topical anesthetic and local anesthetic, extractions are performed on children with minimal discomfort.

Crowns

A crown is necessary when there is extensive decay or abnormal shape due to decay or injury. A crown can make the tooth stronger and improve its appearance by restoring its shape and size. For front teeth a stainless steel crown with white facing is used and for back teeth an all stainless steel crown is used. If you prefer, for back teeth a crown with white facing can be provided; however, such a crown is not as durable as one without a white facing.

Orthodontic Treatment/Appliances

We evaluate a child’s bite at an early age and monitor growth and development. Bite problems such as cross bite, under bite, over bite should be treated early to allow for proper growth of face and jaws. Teeth in incorrect positions undergo abnormal wear and tear compromising appearance and function.

Children needing comprehensive orthodontic treatment may be referred to an orthodontist. Please click here for Orthodontic Treatment Resources.
Orthodontic Treatment Resources

Appliances For Habits Such as Thumb Sucking

Children suck on things because sucking is one of a baby’s natural reflexes and as infants get older it serves many purposes. It may make them feel secure and happy and helps them learn about their world to suck on their thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects. Young children may also suck to soothe themselves and since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may help induce sleep. After permanent teeth come in, thumb sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the jaws and alignment of the teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth. The intensity of the sucking determines whether or not dental problems may result. If you notice changes in your child’s teeth – appearance or shape, an appliance can be made to discourage the thumb sucking habit.

Patient Management

Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen (“Laughing Gas”) Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is nitrous oxide/oxygen?
A: This is a type of mild dental sedation where a blend of two gases - nitrous oxide and oxygen is used. It is delivered via a nasal mask and enters the system through the lungs. At the end of each treatment, it is eliminated after a short period of breathing oxygen, and has no lingering effects.

Q:How will my child feel when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen?
A:Your child will smell a sweet, pleasant aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. Since it produces a feeling of giddiness or euphoria, it is commonly called “laughing gas”. It has the effect of raising the pain threshold and may even make the time appear to pass quickly. This type of sedation is indicated for a child who is worried by the sights, sounds or sensations of dental treatment.

Q:How safe is nitrous oxide/oxygen?
A: Very safe. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It has the following qualities: it is well tolerated, not addictive, has quick onset, is reversible, can be adjusted in various concentrations, and is non-allergic. Your child remains fully conscious- keeps all natural reflexes- when breathing nitrous oxide/ oxygen..

Q:Are there any special instructions for nitrous oxide/ oxygen?
A: First, for this type of sedation to be effective, your child must not eat any food at least 3 hours before the dental visit. Occasionally, nausea and vomiting occurs when a child has a full stomach. Second, inform Dr. Banaji about any respiratory condition for your child, as it may limit the effectiveness of nitrous oxide/oxygen. Third, inform Dr. Banaji if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.

Q:Will nitrous oxide/oxygen work for all children?
A: Since all children are not alike, every service is tailored to your child as an individual. Nitrous oxide/oxygen may not be effective for some children, especially those who have severe anxiety, nasal congestion, or discomfort wearing a nasal mask. Dr. Banaji will review your child’s medical history and inform you if nitrous oxide/oxygen is recommended for your child.

Q:How We Keep Young Children Still During Treatment?
A: To help keep a child still, we may use the papoose board, which is like a “safety blanket”. In general, it is used for uncooperative children below 5 years of age in order to stabilize and secure them during dental treatment. An assistant may hold your child’s head to prevent movement so Dr Banaji can perform treatment safely and as efficiently as possible. To help keep the mouth open, a “mouth pillow” may be used. In general, these methods are an alternative to using any type of sedation. Prior to using the papoose board, the parent is always informed and consent obtained. It is never used without informed consent.