State-of-the-art Technology

New  technologies allow us to do safer, more environmentally friendly dentistry.  Some of the technologies we use in our office include:

Digital x-rays, which reduce the amount of radiation to which a patient is exposed and eliminate the need for processing chemicals.

Diagnodent laser cavity detection.  The laser can read under the enamel surface and detect early cavities.  This reduces the need to aggressively treat suspicious areas of enamel.

Digital patient charting, which better allows us to track your child’s dental health (and any changes) over time, and reduces the amount of paper we use.

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Preventive Dentistry
The nursing infant, the school-age child, and the teenager all have unique dental requirements. The idea is to nip any dental problems in the bud while they’re still manageable – or to prevent them altogether –  it’s easier, and less costly. Oral hygiene pays!

The American Academy of  Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all agree that a child’s first dental visit should take place before the first birthday.  The earlier the dental visit, the better the chances are to prevent dental problems, and Dr. Cook can help by providing a personalized system of preventive dentistry for your child starting from their first dental visit.

Preventive Dentistry includes:

  • Brushing and Flossing Techniques
  • Evaluation of Dental Development and Jaw Growth
  • Fluoride and Xylitol Recommendations
  • Proper Diet
  • Sealants
  • Sports Safety
  • Thumbsucking/Pacifier Habit Counseling
  • …and of course, your commitment to regular dental visits!

At your child’s first visit and at every check-up after, Dr. Cook will design a personalized program of correct brushing and flossing instructions, diet counseling, and fluoride recommendations. Dr. Cook  may also advise you as to whether your child would benefit from sealants to protect molar teeth from decay.

Together, with your help, we will show you how to practice simple techniques to help prevent problems in your child’s growing teeth.

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Tooth decay is the most widespread dental disease among children, but is also the most preventable. Sealants are a proven way of preventing tooth decay, are made of clear or shaded resin and are applied to the chewing surface of the tooth. Brushing and flossing are effective in most cases, but the back teeth tend to have depressions and grooves which can be difficult, if not impossible, to clean. Sealants are used to fill these depressions so that decay cannot start. Adding sealants to an active oral hygiene regime can significantly reduce the occurrence of tooth decay.

Applying a sealant is quick and painless, taking only one visit. Research shows that sealants can be effective for many years. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects, sealants will last even longer. Early application of a sealant can protect your child throughout the most cavity-prone years and lay the foundation for a lifetime of dental health and a beautiful smile.

Sealants are very affordable and are covered by most dental insurance programs. Over the course of your child’s life, sealants actually save you money by helping prevent the need for more expensive and invasive dental treatment.

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Children with Special Needs

Special children sometimes need special attention to dental hygiene. Some children are very susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease or oral trauma. Others require medication or diets that are, unfortunately, detrimental to dental health. Still other children have physical difficulty with effective dental habits at home. Dr. Cook and her staff are trained specifically in dental care for patients with special needs.

Dr. Cook will customize a preventive strategy tailored to fit the needs of your child. Our office is designed to be physically accessible to special children. In cases where your child needs to visit our office for treatment, we are able to provide personalized services.

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Restorative Care
Sometimes, even when children and their parents put forth their best effort, cavities happen.  Dr. Cook offers compassionate, gentle dental treatment.  In addition to keeping abreast of the most modern techniques, Dr. Cook also is deeply concerned about providing your child with the best and most comfortable visit possible.  For some children, that may just mean taking the time to talk to them on their level, with lots of TLC and lots of explaining things in friendly, non-threatening ways.  For other children, who are either very young, more apprehensive, or who have special needs, it may mean more advanced techniques. For children who would benefit from it, we offer the option of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) in the office, or even treatment at the hospital under anesthesia.  Whatever your  child’s need, Dr. Beth is here to help!

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Sterilization Standards

What about safety?    We are as concerned about your child’s health as you are. That’s why our office meets or exceeds all government standards for sterilization.

We continually monitor our procedures for compliance with OSHA, Centers for Disease Control, and the American Dental Association recommendations.

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Examination: An examination involves more than looking at teeth. The health history reviews the general health of your child and indicates whether there is any need for special dental care. The examination charts health and disease of the teeth, gums, soft tissues and head and neck, and risk factors or areas of special concern are reviewed and analyzed.  Growth of the jaws and development of the teeth are also considered.  Oral habits (such as thumbsucking) are reviewed.  All these are used to create a diagnosis and treatment plan (including a customized plan for home care).

Cleaning and Fluoride: Teeth are cleaned to remove plaque (bacteria) and calculus (hard plaque) that can cause gum disease and tooth decay. Topical fluoride is applied to the teeth to make them stronger and more resistant to tooth decay. A thorough cleaning and fluoride treatment every six months has been shown to be an extremely effective way to prevent dental disease.

Oral Hygiene Instructions: Prevention is the most important part of our practice. We will provide you and your child with dental hygiene instructions that will help maintain good oral health at home.

Bitewing Radiographs: Bitewings are used to determine the health of the teeth and bone. Cavities and unusual tooth shape and size are apparent on bitewings.

Panoramic Radiographs: A panoramic radiograph provides an overall view of your child’s mouth and jaws. It reveals missing permanent teeth, extra teeth, abnormal growths, and other problems. A panoramic is normally taken when a child turns 6 years old (and/or the 6 year molars are erupting), and every 3-5 years thereafter.  A panoramic may also be taken if a child suffers trauma to his/her jaw.

Sealants: The chewing surfaces of children’s teeth are the most susceptible to cavities and least benefited by fluorides. Sealants (resin coatings) are applied to the tops of teeth and are highly effective in preventing tooth decay.

Tooth Colored Fillings: are used to restore front teeth or where cosmetic appearance is important. Tooth colored fillings are used to repair fractured teeth and/or areas of decay. The shade of restorative material is matched as closely as possible to the color of the natural teeth. Tooth colored fillings may also be used for back teeth. Composites requires excellent hygiene and a careful diet following placement on teeth.

Stainless Steel Crowns: are used to restore back teeth that are too badly decayed to hold fillings.

Pulp Treatment: is necessary when decay has spread to the nerve of the tooth. The procedure consists of treating the nerve of the tooth to avoid extracting the tooth.

Extractions: are done only as a last resort. If a primary molar is removed prematurely, a space maintainer will be placed. Teeth may also be extracted for orthodontic reasons.

Space Maintainers: are used when a primary tooth has been prematurely lost to hold space for the permanent tooth. If space is not maintained, teeth on either side of the extraction site can drift into the space and prevent the permanent tooth from erupting.

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas): May be required to relax very apprehensive patients and patients with gag reflexes.

General Anesthesia: Children with extensive dental needs or special medical conditions may require treatment in the hospital, under general anesthesia. Parents will be given more detailed information.

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