We warmly welcome your family to our pediatric dental practice. We pride ourselves on creating a relaxed environment for children and adolescents and use the latest technology to keep your child’s teeth healthy. Located in East Somerville, our friendly staff provides comprehensive and preventive care for patients as early as one year old. We offer services for patients with special medical needs, nitrous oxide sedation and hospital dentistry for the very anxious. At Somerville Pediatric Dentistry, we emphasize prevention and work with families and their children to customize a comprehensive preventative program to maintain healthy teeth and instill good brushing and dental care habits.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist?
A pediatric dentist specializes in treating infants, children, adolescents, and children with special needs. A pediatric dentist has two or three years of specialty training after dental school. He or she is best qualified to meet the special needs of children and their oral health.
Why are baby teeth important?
Primary teeth or “baby” teeth are important for a number of reasons. They provide proper function and help maintain good nutrition for your child. Baby teeth are important in speech development and reserve the space for the permanent teeth. Early lost of primary teeth from decay or trauma can affect the permanent teeth. Finally, a healthy smile builds confidence.
How can parents prevent tooth decay?
Good oral hygiene at home removes bacteria and leftover food that combines and form cavities.
1. For infants, use a wet washcloth to wipe the teeth and gums. Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle with milk, juice, or any sugar containing drink.
2. For older children, brush their teeth twice a day, eat a well-balanced diet, and avoid frequent snacking on foods containing sugar.
3. Drink only water between snacks and meals
4. Visit your pediatric dentist every six months
What should I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?
You should remain calm. First find the tooth, hold it by the crown, and avoid handling the root. If it’s dirty, rinse it gently in cool water, replace the tooth in the socket, and hold in place with a cloth. If you cannot place the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a glass of milk. Call and go to see your pediatric dentist immediately.
What is nitrous oxide?
Nitrous Oxide, commonly referred to as “laughing gas,” is a colorless, almost odorless gas. When it is inhaled, it has a calming effect on the patient. The relaxed state it produces in the patient allows him to respond more favorably to treatment. Nitrous oxide is very safe. The child remains fully awake and alert and can respond easily to stimuli. It is eliminated quickly from the body with normal breathing.
What is general anesthesia?
General anesthesia is a management technique that uses medications to cause the child to become unconscious and asleep while receiving dental care. It is provided by a physician or dentist who has special training in anesthesia. Children with severe anxiety and/or inability to cooperate are candidates for general anesthesia. These children may be young or have compromised health or special needs. They usually require extensive dental treatment and their anxiety cannot be controlled with conscious sedation techniques.
When should I take my child to the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that the first dental visit should take place shortly after the first tooth comes in or no later than the child’s first birthday. Thereafter, a routine visit every six months can help prevent unnecessary dental treatment.
What can I do for my child’s toothache?
You can rinse the area with warm salt water; floss the area to remove any impacted food; apply a cold compress on face if it is swollen; give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain, and see your dentist as soon as possible.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are clear or shaded plastic protective coating placed on back teeth to prevent cavities. These teeth tend to have natural groves and pits where most cavities begin in children.
How can I prevent dental injuries?
You can reduce mouth injuries for children by having them wear mouthguards when participating in sports. Always use a car seat for young children and require everyone to wear their seat belts in the car. Child proof your home to prevent falls and electrical injuries such as children biting on electrical cords. Finally, you can prevent unnecessary toothaches with regular dental preventive care.
What is conscious sedation?
Conscious sedation is a minimally depressed level of consciousness that retains the patient’s ability to independently and continuously maintain an airway and respond appropriately to physical stimulation or verbal command. For phobic or fearful patients who want to be totally relaxed and have little memory of their appointment, conscious sedation is often recommended.
Visiting the dentist is not always your child’s favorite activity and can be scary or stressful at times. At Somerville Pediatric Dentistry, we strive to provide your child with a stress free, welcoming environment. We cater to the needs of your child and create the most comfortable setting possible to ensure they get the experience they deserve, every time.
Financial Information and Insurance
The cost of your child’s treatment may vary depending on your specific concerns and treatment plan. Our team will discuss the cost of treatment with you during your initial examination and provide payment plan options. We accept most dental insurance plans, including MassHealth, Delta Dental and Blue Cross Blue Shield.