Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions About Our Practice

  • Maintain a positive attitude prior to the appointment. Many people have had uncomfortable, traumatic experiences at the dental office that have led to dental trauma. Our goal is to make the dental office a fun place for children. If you or your child are anxious for the upcoming appointment, we invite you to tour the office prior to your visit. Frequent visits to the office will expose your child to the bright colors and fun environment of our office. The familiarity with the office can greatly assist in desensitizing an anxious child (and parent!).
  • Speak in child-friendly terminology. While we are not advocating lying to children, it is often counterproductive to speak with a young child in adult terminology. For this reason, it is helpful to avoid terms like “shot, poke, hurt, extraction, pull your tooth, etc.”
  • Youtube, Videos, Books. Preparation through demonstration. Kids like to see other kids doing well at the dentist. If you are able to introduce the dental office through positive stories or videos, it is often a great supplement.
  • DO NOT use the dental visit as discipline or a scare tactic. Doing this will teach your child that the dental visit is a punishment. For example, you would not want to say, “If you do not behave, the dentist is going to pull your tooth out.” If older children are attempting to scare the younger children, I strongly encourage parents to intervene to avoid creating dental fear.
  • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas): A light form of anxiolysis that allows for a more enjoyable dental experience. Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that reduces anxiety, suppressed the gag reflex, and increases pain tolerance.
  • Moderate Sedation: We utilize oral medications in combination with nitrous oxide to achieve a deeper level of sedation. Moderate sedation has advantages for anxious children that require a limited amount of treatment. While moderate sedation is considered a safe form of treatment, it comes with significant variation in emotional response. Some children respond very favorably to oral sedation while others became quite agitated. Additionally, oral sedation gives the dental team approximately 15-45 minutes to accomplish treatment. For these reasons, if a child requires extensive treatment or is not a candidate for sedation, we often recommend treatment with general anesthesia
  • We do not currently offer oral sedation due to State of Illinois permitting. Once we attain our permit, we will update our website to reflect this new treatment option
  • General Anesthesia: Multiple medications are given under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. With general anesthesia, the medications fully suppress the child’s reflexes and response to painful stimuli. This allows the dental team to complete all necessary treatment in one appointment.
  • We are in the process of finding a hospital partner to offer anesthesia.
The first dental visit should happen within 6 months of the first tooth erupting, but no later than 1 year old. Generally, we will continue to see children at 6-month intervals. That interval may be shortened or lengthening depending on your specific needs.
Properly fitting athletic mouthguards are critical to protecting the teeth and supporting jaw bone. Dental trauma at a young age is not only complicated, but expensive. For every tooth lost due to trauma, a patient should expect to pay $10,000-20,000 per lost tooth over their lifetime.
Proper diet is an important component to both oral and general health. Four things must be present to create a cavity: 1. Tooth 2. Bacteria 3.Food 4. Time. “Food” for bacteria that cause cavities are refined carbohydrates. This includes not only sugar, but also carbohydrates from salty snacks. The bacteria will convert these sugars to acid which leads to breakdown of the teeth. Examples of foods that increase risk of cavities are fruit snacks, fruit roll-ups, chips, crackers, soda, juice, sports drinks, etc. Better food choices for oral health include fresh fruits/vegetables, nuts/legumes, meats, cheeses, white milk (in moderation), and water.
Parents are encouraged to join their child for the visit. Since young children are unable to effectively care for their teeth without supervision, we believe in educating both patients and parents.
Dental X-rays are essential to the dental exam. Dental x-rays at the proper time allow the dental team to find cavities at much earlier stages. Additionally, we are able to look for abnormalities, pathology, missing/extra teeth, tooth angulation, tooth development, etc. The first set of bitewings (the smaller dental xrays with an intraoral sensor) is typically acquired between ages 3-5, depending on the spacing in each child’s teeth and their ability to tolerate the xrays. Delaying xrays leads to inaccurate diagnoses, larger cavities, and increased treatment cost.
All children should use a fluoridated toothpaste as soon as the first tooth erupts. Children under 3 should use a “smear” of toothpaste approximately the size of a grain of rice. Children over 3 can use a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste. Following these recommendations allows for the topical benefits of fluoride while also limiting the ingestion of toothpaste. Most ADA-approved, fluoride toothpastes are appropriate. We do not recommend the routine use of whitening toothpastes due to the abrasive nature of these toothpastes.

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