949. 916. 9798

23321 El Toro Road, Suite C  |  Lake Forest  |  CA 92630

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What is a pediatric dentist?


Pediatric dentists have an extra two years of specialized training after dental school and are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years.  Infants, adolescents, and teenagers all need different approaches in dealing with behavior, guiding their growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems.  With the additional education, pediatric dentists have the training which allows them to offer the most up-to-date and thorough treatment for a wide variety of pediatric dental problems.



At what age should I take my child to the dentist?


According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should visit the dentist by his/her 1st birthday or after the eruption of the first tooth.   Beginning dental care at an early age allows guidance for caring for your child's teeth and opportunities to address preventive issues that are important for healthy teeth and a pleasing smile. Early visits also help establish a positive relationship between the dentist and your child.



Why are baby teeth so important?


It is very important to maintain the health of primary teeth (baby teeth).  Neglected cavities can cause pain and infection, and it can also lead to problems which affect the developing permanent teeth.  Primary teeth are important for (1) proper chewing and eating, (2) providing space for permanent teeth and guiding them into position, and (3) permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles.



Why does my child need dental x-rays?


Radiographs (x-rays) are a necessary part of your child's dental diagnostic process.  We can only see so much with the naked eye and without radiographs, there may be hidden cavities between the teeth that may go undetected. Radiographs also help survey developing teeth, evaluate results an injury, or plan for orthodontic treatment.  If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child, and more affordable for you.


Our office will request bitewing radiographs twice a year in children with a high risk for tooth decay. Panoramic radiographs are taken every 3-5 years to help evaluate the growing adult teeth.


With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental x-ray examination is extremely small.  The risk is negligible.  In fact, the dental radiographs represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem.  Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. Today's equipment restricts the beam to the area of interest.  Our office also employs digital radiography which allows us to decrease the amount of radiation exposure.



What are sealants, fillings, and crowns?


A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) for the back teeth (premolars and molars), where most cavities in children can form.  This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque, and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth.  However, cavities between the teeth are not protected by sealants.  As long as there is no cavity in the tooth, sealants are recommended for all children as a preventative measure.


If your child has a cavity, the decay is removed and a filling is placed.  A white composite filling is recommended to restore the tooth. Only in certain situations is a silver amalgam filling indicated.  In our practice, when a tooth needs a white composite filling, a sealant is placed over the filling and the remaining tooth surface for added protection.


In a primary tooth, if a cavity is too large to restore with a filling, a crown may be recommend or the tooth may need to come out.  If the cavity touches the nerve but an abscess/infection has not formed yet, it may be possible to save the tooth by performing a nerve treatment called a pulpotomy and enclosing the whole tooth in a stainless steel crown.



What can be done about a cut or bitten tongue, lip, or cheek?


Apply ice to bruised areas.  If there is bleeding, apply firm pressure with a clean gauze or cloth.  If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or it cannot be controlled by simple pressure, take the child to the emergency room.



What can I do about my child’s toothache?


Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly.  Rinse the mouth with warm salt water or use dental floss to dislodge impacted food or debris.  DO NOT place aspirin on the gum or on the aching tooth.  If the face is swollen or the pain still persists, contact our office as soon as possible.



My child knocked out her permanent tooth! What should I do?


Find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the crown, not the root portion.  You may rinse the tooth, but DO NOT wipe or handle the tooth unnecessarily.  Inspect the tooth for fractures. If there are no fractures, try to reinsert it into the socket.  Have the patient hold the tooth in place by biting on a gauze.  If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing milk.  If there is no milk, place the tooth in a cup containing the patient's own saliva.  DO NOT place the tooth in water.  Call our office immediately or go to your nearest emergency room.  Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.



Our son has fractured his tooth. What do you suggest?


Rinse debris from injured area with warm water.  Place cold compresses over the face in the area of injury.  Locate and save any broken tooth fragments in milk.  If your child experiences severe pain, contact our office as soon as possible.



What age patients do we serve?


We see children from birth through their college years.




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9:00 - 5:30

9:00 - 5:30

9:00 - 5:30

9:00 - 5:30

12:00 - 5:00

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23321 El Toro Road

Suite C

Lake Forest, CA 92630


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