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Issaquah Pediatric Dentistry

We Love Kids at Issaquah Dental Health!

issaquah dental health pediatric dentistIssaquah Dental Health prides itself on meeting the dental needs of all ages of people. We have trained staff, as well as Dr. Herzog who is a parent of two young children, who know how to communicate with your little ones. We are committed to making sure all our pediatric patients feel comfortable and we work hard to foster a positive attitude toward dental care to last a lifetime.

When Should Your Child First Visit the Dentist?

When should your child have their first visit? As a general rule, six months after eruption of the first tooth is the best time to bring your child in for his/her first check-up. We will review your child’s exposure to fluoride and customize a plan to ensure your child isn’t at increased risk for cavities. By age two, the child should be well on his or her way to a full set of teeth and self brushing can start, but we always encourage parents to follow up with re-brushing.

Bring your kids in to enjoy their dental visits. We have toys in our waiting room and kids have an opportunity to pick from our treasure box after their visit.

Pulpotomy/Pulpectomy

In the event your child’s primary tooth has extensive decay, or has been damaged by trauma, action may be needed to restore the integrity of the tooth and prevent infection from spreading to surrounding teeth. After digital X-rays are taken, our office will be able to correctly assess the extent of the infection and recommend one of two options: a pulpotomy or a pulpectomy.

Pulpotomy

If the decay or trauma is confined to the crown of the tooth, a pulpotomy may be recommended. When a cavity goes really deep, close to the pulp of a tooth, or even into the pulp, the pulpal tissue becomes irritated and inflamed. A pulpotomy is when the inflamed pulp chamber, usually on a baby molar, is removed. The dentist will remove all the infected material in the pulp of the crown only, leaving the living tooth root intact. After a pulpotomy on a baby molar, the empty space will be filled with dental cement and a stainless steel crown will be placed to restore the tooth.

Pulpectomy

If the infection involves tissue in both the tooth crown and the tooth root, a pulpectomy may be the best option. In a pulpectomy, the entire pulp material is removed from both the crown and the roots. After numbing your child’s tooth, the dentist will remove the pulp and nerve tissue from the crown and from the canals of the roots. Next, the pulp chamber and root canals will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Next, the dentist will be able to fill the tooth and tooth roots with dental cement, and finish with a stainless steel crown.

Crowns

Crowns are cemented onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of the tooth above the gum line. Basically, the crown becomes the tooth’s new outer surface. Stainless steel dental crowns are considered the best temporary restoration to save a primary tooth until its permanent tooth can erupt and take its place. Saving the primary tooth, if possible, is very important. A primary tooth can be restored with a stainless steel crown during one appointment. A crowned tooth needs to be brushed and flossed just like other teeth.

Dental Abcess in Children

An abscessed tooth is a dental condition in which the nerve, also called dental pulp, has become infected. The infection usually occurs when a dental cavity goes untreated and bacteria spread deep within the tooth. Left untreated, an abscess can progress to a serious, life-threatening bacterial infection throughout the entire body. This is especially harmful to children, because their immune systems are not fully developed.

Signs Your Child May Have an Abscess

  • Continuous sharp or throbbing pain
  • Pain when chewing
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Swollen neck or jaw
  • Bitter taste in the mouth or bad breath

Treatment of an Abscess

If an abscess occurs in one of your child’s primary or baby teeth, it will most likely need to be extracted. Depending on the location of the extraction, a space maintainer may be necessary until the permanent tooth emerges to prevent the surrounding teeth from drifting into the open space.

If your child’s permanent tooth has an abscess, the treatment options consist of root canal therapy to clean and remove the infection, or tooth extraction. Dr. Herzog may also choose to add an antibiotic to your child’s treatment plan. This will prevent the infection from spreading further into the jaw and bone tissue.

Tooth Abscess Prevention

The good news about a dental abscess is that it’s easily preventable! Schedule regular exams at our office to monitor and address any cavities present in your child’s mouth. Also, making sure your child follows effective home-care practices, such as brushing twice a day and flossing, and eliminating excess sugar in his or her diet, are simple ways you can prevent an abscessed tooth.

Gum Disease in Children

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis or periodontal disease, is an infection that occurs in the gums, deep tissues, and bones that support the teeth. It can affect children if proper oral health practices aren’t followed. If the disease is not treated, gum disease can ultimately lead to tooth loss.

How Gum Disease Starts

Your child’s mouth naturally produces a sticky substance called plaque. Without adequate brushing and flossing, plaque builds up on the teeth.

The bacteria in plaque produce poisons, or toxins, that irritate the gums and cause infection. As the infection increases in severity, it breaks down the bones and tissues that hold your child’s teeth in place.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

The initial stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, is the mildest form of gum disease and is common in children.

During this stage, the gums become swollen and red, and may bleed after brushing or flossing. Gingivitis is frequently painless, so your child might not mention it. With professional treatment and daily attention to oral hygiene, gingivitis can be reversed before it progresses.

Untreated gingivitis may develop into periodontitis, the more extreme form of gum disease.

Aggressive periodontitis can affect your child even if he/she is otherwise healthy. Localized aggressive periodontitis is found in teenagers and young adults. It mainly affects the first molars and incisors, and is characterized by the severe loss of jaw bone.

Generalized aggressive periodontitis may begin around puberty and involve the entire mouth. It is marked by inflammation of the gums and heavy accumulations of plaque and tartar. Eventually it can cause the teeth to become loose.

Signs of Gum Disease

Because gum disease can exist without pain or discomfort, it’s important to be aware of the possible warning signs that may indicate a problem.

  • Gums appear red or swollen
  • Gums feel tender
  • Gums bleed easily during brushing or flossing
  • Gums recede or pull away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Any change in the way teeth come together in the biting position

If you suspect that your child may be suffering from gingivitis or periodontitis, make an appointment with our dentist immediately. We can diagnose the problem, determine how far the disease has progressed, and recommend an appropriate treatment.

Call today to schedule your child's dental visit at Issaquah Dental Health.

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