What is a Pediatric Dentist?

The Pediatric Dentist has received 2-3 years of advanced specialized training. The Pediatric Dentist is dedicated to providing the best care for children from birth through teenage years. All children need the Pediatric Dentist’s approach in dealing with their behavior, guiding their growth and development and helping to prevent future dental problems.

Your Child’s first dental visit.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should be seen for their first dental visit by their 1st birthday, Routine care should begin by age 2. You can make the first visit enjoyable and positive. Your child should be informed of the visit and told that the Pediatric Dentist and staff will explain all of the procedures and answer all their questions. Becoming overly informative about the visit is usually misinterpreted by the child. It is best to not use terms that might cause unnecessary fear, such as “needle”, “shot”, “drill”, “pull”, or “or “hurt”. Pediatric Dentists make every effort to use words that convey the same meaning but are pleasant and non-frightening.

What will happen at my child’s first visit?

You will be asked to provide us with a detailed medical history. This will be reviewed to insure there is no reason not to have dental treatment. Your child will receive a comprehensive examination with necessary x-rays so that any problems can be diagnosed and plans of action developed to correct any problems. Your child will have a dental prophylaxis (cleaning), and receive a fluoride treatment. Following this, a staff member will present findings to the parent and discuss prevention of dental problems, how diet can influence dental problems, the roll of fluoride in preventing problems and how you can help your child with brushing and flossing. Dr. Cobb will then answer any questions you have and provide more detailed information to you as needed.

Why are the primary teeth important?

It is very important to maintain the primary teeth. Neglected cavities, because decay is spread from tooth to tooth, can lead to problems with the permanent teeth. Primary teeth aid in proper chewing and eating, provide spaces for permanent teeth and help to guide permanent teeth into proper position. Maintaining healthy primary teeth permits the normal development of the jawbone and face. While the front teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (canines and molars) are not replaced until age 9-13.

Dental X-Rays

Radiographs (X-Rays) are vital and necessary to help diagnose any problems your child may have. Without these, some problems will not be detected until too late.

X-Rays are used for more than just caries (cavity) detection. X-rays are used to survey erupting teeth, and determine if teeth are missing, diagnose bone disease, evaluate the results of injuries and plan orthodontic treatment. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care can be easier for your child and more affordable for you.
We recommend that X-rays be taken once per year and as needed in special circumstances. Further, we recommend a full mouth evaluation (Panorex) beginning at age 5 and every 5 years afterward.

We make every effort to minimize the exposure to radiation of our patients. We use the highest speed film available, use lead shields and body aprons and the most up to date equipment that restricts the beam to only the area of interest. With these safeguards, the amount of radiation exposure is extremely small.

My child needs a crown; can’t you just “fill it”?

The Stainless Steel Crown (SSC) is the most predictable restoration that Pediatric Dentists use on primary (baby) teeth. We have learned through many years of experience that because primary teeth are so small, they don’t hold large fillings very well. The filling doesn’t fail, the tooth breaks. Because of this problem, Stainless Steel Crowns (SSC) were developed to surround and protect the remaining tooth after all the decay has been removed. Pediatric Dentists, based on experience and training, know when a Stainless Steel Crown would be the treatment of choice for your child and use this restoration accordingly.