How can we help you?
Patient education is an essential part of the services we provide at Bethlehem Town Family Dental. When you understand the impact that your oral health can have on your life, you’re more likely to be proactive about dental care.
Nobody expects you to know everything about dentistry, which is why we’re available to answer all your questions. The more information you have, the better prepared you are to make important decisions when the time comes. All the answers below are written by our team instead of some template that is used by hundreds of other dental offices.
We are proud to say that we treat patients of all ages in our office! Our doctor had worked in an office that saw more than 50% kids for 3 years. We have ceiling TVs and nitrous oxide sedation to help with treating kids and we constantly find ways to make the reception area more kids-friendly. We also work closely with local pediatric dentists and will refer to them if the patient requires further sedation. Call today to schedule your child's appointment.
Nitrous oxide gas, also called laughing gas, is a very mild sedative gas that acts within minutes. The gas does not put the patient to sleep, it simply relaxes the patient and makes them happier.
Nitrous Oxide vs. IV Sedation
Patients often confuse nitrous oxide gas sedation with IV sedation, these are not the same. Nitrous oxide gas sedation is best used on anxious patients that are concerned about the local anesthetic injections, concerned about the loud sounds of dental procedures, or for pediatric patients. If patients require further sedation we will refer them to the right specialists for IV sedation.
The Effects of Nitrous Oxide
While you are under the effect of nitrous oxide gas, you will feel less anxious, happier, and you may laugh at silly things such as the shows on TV that we have installed on the ceiling. You may feel some tingling in the fingers and toes, sleepiness, and "funny", these are all normal responses. If you feel light-headed or nauseated, we will turn the gas down to ensure your comfort. After the procedure is completed, the gas will take a few minutes to leave the body and you will feel normal again. Using the gas does not hinder you from driving or perform normal daily activities. You do not have to ask a friend or relative to accompany you unless you are under 18. Please visit our nitrous oxide gas page for more information and give us a call if you have any concerns.
Stainless Steel Crowns (SSCs) have become a controversial topic recently and we are here to explain our position. SSCs are pre-fabricated crowns that snap onto primary teeth, or baby teeth, to restore function. When baby teeth develop large cavities, we have to chase the decay and remove them. After removal of large decay, SSCs could be needed if the cavity has reached the nerve or if there isn't enough remaining tooth structure to put a filling on.
Why Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is used because this thin metal is able to be bent and snap onto teeth, effectively grabbing the teeth securely. Porcelain crowns don't allow flexing because it will fracture the crown. Porcelain is commonly used for adult crowns, but not for pre-fabricated baby teeth crowns.
At Bethlehem Town Family Dental, we strongly believe in conservative dentistry. This means if the baby tooth only requires a filling then that's what we will do. We will only do an SSC if the teeth condition requires it, not because of anything else. If we recommended an SSC for your child, we will provide a detailed explanation and show you the large cavity on the x-ray and whatever is visible in the mouth. If your child's oral condition requires multiple SSCs, we may refer your child to a pediatric dentist to complete the work under deeper sedation.
We Want to Do Right By You
Our long-term goal is to gain the community's trust through good and responsible service. We will never randomly place a bunch of SSCs on your child's teeth for no reasons. Please call to inquire more information regarding SSCs and our practice.
Follow ADA and AAPD Recommendations
Both the ADA (American Dental Association) and AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommend that you bring your child for their first visit when their first tooth erupts. For children from one to three years old, we’ll do a simple oral exam to make sure everything is developing properly. We’ll also review proper home care with parents to ensure good oral hygiene for the child.
We Meet Your Child Where They're At
If your child is receptive, we would attempt to do a child cleaning on their baby teeth. But we don’t want to frighten your child if they’re not receptive, so we may choose to reschedule the cleaning for another time.
For kids four and older, we are usually able to do an exam, a child cleaning, and x-rays if needed. In most cases, we usually don’t take x-rays until around the age of five or six.
However, if we see cavities on a younger child, we will try to take x-rays to make sure we can get a full view of what’s happening inside their teeth and find all the cavities present. This way, we can treat the cavities early and restore the child's oral health. If the patient does not allow us to take x-rays, we would try again in six months.
At Bethlehem Town Family Dental parents are always allowed to be in the room with their child! Leaving your children alone with a few strangers can become worrisome and we understand your concerns. Some parents choose to be with their children during their dental visit while some parents choose to stay in the waiting room. The decision is entirely up to you, and we respect whichever choice you make.
Keeping Baby Teeth Healthy is Important
Even though baby teeth will eventually be lost, they should be kept healthy in the mouth until they are ready to fall out. We treat baby teeth and restore them because if the baby teeth are lost too early, your child could develop spacing problems and they could eventually require braces.
The baby teeth essentially hold the space for the adult teeth that are underneath, and if the baby teeth are lost too early space can close up. Then, when the adult teeth need to come in, there’s not enough space, and the tooth will likely come in at a bad angle, direction, and position.
A Child's Dental Health Stays With Them as an Adult
Also, if the baby teeth have untreated cavities, the bacteria in the cavities could also affect the adult teeth that are already developing in the gums. We do not want adult teeth to come into an oral environment full of dental decay. For all these reasons, we recommend treating these cavities early so we avoid losing the baby teeth and maintain a healthy environment for the adult teeth.
If you’d like to learn more about your young child’s dental care, please call our Glenmont dental office. We look forward to welcoming you and your child to our family!