Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA)?
An Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA) plays an important role in a dental office, preparing duties that include patient, chair and administrative work. Each EFDA is required to have state and radiology certifications, in addition to meeting the necessary guidelines to work in this field. Their responsibilities may include, preparing treatment rooms before procedures, reviewing dental records, ensuring each patient is comfortable and taking and developing x-rays. An EFDA may also provide technical assistance to the pediatric dentist, such as applying anesthesia or pain medication during a cavity filling.
Who is Children’s Dental Health?
Children’s Dental Health is a leading, regional provider of pediatric dental services. Our dentists and dental staff are knowledgeable, passionate, and specially trained to provide the best dental care possible to every child, including those with special needs. We strive to make children feel calm and comfortable during their visit with the dentist. We also provide a fun atmosphere where children can play and be entertained by video games and movies before being seen by the dentist.
Why choose a pediatric dentist vs. a family dentist?
Pediatric dentists are specialists in treating the unique needs of children. A pediatric dentist has completed an additional two to three years of specialty training beyond dental school. He/she specifically treats the oral health needs of infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs. Pediatric dentists are skilled at using smaller equipment designed for a child’s mouth and better understand the intricacies and importance of baby teeth in a growing child. They also focus more attention on educating patients and parents about preventive care to help children avoid complications such as decay, infection, speech problems, and cosmetic issues. Furthermore, Children’s Dental Health completes a detailed risk assessment on each patient so it can provide additional support and services to the children who need it the most.
How often should my child see a pediatric dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children start seeing a dentist every six months, by their first birthday or once their first tooth emerges.
Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
It is important to remember that oral health affects more than the health of your teeth. Cavities in baby teeth cause pain and swelling that can be tremendously uncomfortable for your child. Oral infections can enter the blood stream and lead to other serious health problems. Bacteria can quickly ‘jump’ from one part of the mouth to another, thus resulting in infections and cavities in new erupting adult teeth.
DMD vs. DDS: What’s the difference?
There is absolutely no difference between a DMD and a DDS degree in the United States. According to the American Dental Association: “The DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) are the same degree. They are awarded upon graduation from dental school to become a general dentist. The majority of dental schools award the DDS degree; however, some award a DMD degree. The education and degrees are, in substance, the same.”
What food restrictions should I know about before or after my child’s visit?
It’s best to have your child avoid eating anything heavy within 30 minutes before your child’s appointment. Children shouldn’t eat for 30 minutes after fluoride treatments. Following a visit involving the use of Novocain, children should not eat anything crunchy or chewy until the numbness wears off (usually about 2 hours); however, they can eat soft, mushy foods after their visit.
How do dental sealants work?
Although fluoride use has greatly reduced the incidence of cavities in children, its success is limited in the deeper parts of the tooth. Sealants are recommended as a safe, simple way to help your child avoid cavities, especially for molars, which are hardest to reach. They are easily, quickly, and comfortably applied, and they may effectively protect your child’s teeth for many years.
Toothpaste: when should we begin using it, and how much should we use?
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or clean washcloth and water. Parents should use a very tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste (too much fluoride can make a baby sick) to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt, along a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush.
How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help establish a lifetime of healthy habits for your child.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Come see us as soon as possible.
What kind of fillings do you use on patients?
Children’s Dental Health is proud to use white, not silver, fillings on our patients. There are a variety of reasons why our dentists choose to use white fillings versus silver fillings. For instance, white fillings are mercury-free, and mercury is viewed by some as being toxic. There is also less removal of the tooth structure when using white fillings. If done correctly, the white filling is less sensitive to hot and cold, making it a better filling for children. Silver fillings tend to weaken the teeth and make them more susceptible to breaking, while white fillings bond to the natural tooth and restore most of its strength. The best thing about white fillings, and why our dental staff choose them, is that they match the natural color of the patient's other teeth. No one can tell that a filling is even there!
What constitutes a dental emergency?
A broken/chipped/fractured tooth, painful toothache, or other dental issue that causes your child pain is considered an emergency. If your child faces a dental emergency, give us a call immediately. We are here to assist when your child’s dental health is at risk.
If your child is bleeding profusely, or you believe they may have a more serious medical injury, please call 9-1-1 or take your child to the nearest emergency room.
How can I tell if my child is getting enough fluoride?
Fluoride protects teeth by supplying the enamel with important nutrients and minerals. Our doctors can help you understand how much fluoride your child is getting with a regular oral exam and consultation. Toothpaste is one important source of fluoride, but many communities also add fluoride to their water supply.
What is sleep dentistry, and why would a pediatric dentist recommend it?
Occasionally, a pediatric dentist will recommend that a child undergo sedation to safely and comfortably allow all proposed dental treatment to take place. Rest assured, our dentists are specially trained in the safe administration of pediatric dental care under general anesthesia, and during these procedures, are accompanied by registered nurses and anesthesiologists, and state-of-the-art technology. Our dentists perform sleep dentistry in a safe, comfortable environment: one of our three AAHC-accredited outpatient surgery centers. We will only ever perform these procedures in our surgical centers to ensure the best outcome for your child.
Your child may fall under this category if:
- He/she is not relaxed or calm enough for treatment to be performed safely.
- He/she needs a large amount of restorative work that can best be done in one long appointment.
- He/she needs extractions or other treatment that might be hard for the child to tolerate while awake.
- He/she has a disability that limits the child’s ability to understand directions and be treated safely.
What Our Other Customers Are Saying
"Not only is the office great visually, the staff and doctors know how to treat children with respect and caring attitudes. My boys are very comfortable here. With the movies playing and…" Read More
"I took my very shy 2-year-old here for his first dentist appointment. He loved the hygienist and the doctor - I was shocked at how well the visit went! Great staff!!! They…" Read More
"During our visit the staff was all smiles and they enthusiastically spoke to my kids. The hygienist explained things in a way to help him understand what they were doing/what they were…" Read More