Durham, NC’s Best General Pediatric Dentistry Office

North Carolina General Pediatric Dentistry

While our team at DINO Kids Dental is skilled in preventive pediatric dentistry and orthodontic treatments for kids, our team is also incredibly knowledgeable in general children’s dentistry. General pediatric dentistry includes routine services that kids will undergo more than once, such as routine dental exams and cleanings with our team. Our NC general pediatric dentistry services include those services that are necessary to maintain your child’s oral health and protect their smile for years to come. From routine visits to cleanings to fillings to preventive pediatric dentistry in Durham, NC, DINO Kids Dental is your one-stop solution for comprehensive pediatric dentistry!

The main service within general pediatric dentistry is routine exams and cleanings with our team. We recommend, as does the American Dental Association that kids be seen for routine exams and cleanings every six months. This cadence allows our team to regularly assess your child’s teeth and gums, signs of oral health disorders, and possible complications and catch them early on.

Our goal is early intervention so that we can stop gum disease and other common oral health concerns in their tracks. It’s also important to note that some kids, depending on their oral health may require more frequent dental visits to address their own specific oral health complications or to have their treatment monitored more regularly. If you have questions about routine exams, cleanings, pediatric dentistry, or other dental services for kids, speak with our team at DINO Kids Dental today to learn more! 

Pediatric Dental Fillings

A pediatric dental filling becomes necessary when a cavity develops in a patient’s tooth. This is a small hole in the surface of the tooth that is the result of decay and plaque buildup, and fillings help to “fill” this space to prevent future decay. We use fillings made of a composite resin material. This is a standard procedure we provide in our general pediatric dentistry services in Durham. We use tooth fillings that are made to match the color of the tooth to make them as hidden and discreet as possible. This depends on where exactly the cavity is located and what filling solution is most effective for your child’s needs.

Our team at DINO Kids Dental will always speak with patients and perform full assessments before making any suggestions regarding which type of dental restoration a child should receive.  

A child giving two thumbs up for general pediatric dentistry
A child holding 3 toothbrushes and being kissed by mom and dad

Pediatric Dental Crowns

Dental crowns may become necessary when a baby tooth is too compromised to receive a filling. The crown, also known as the “cap”, will allow your child to eat, speak, chew, and otherwise use their teeth normally. A cap restores the full function of the top portion, or crown, of the tooth, restoring both the tooth’s function and aesthetic appearance. When it comes to pediatric dental crowns for kids, there are several common questions that parents will have regarding dental crowns, why their child may require them, and which type of dental crowns will best suit their child’s needs:

Dental crowns are restorations, typically made from porcelain, that are meant to restore the function, feel, and appearance of the top portion of the tooth, called the crown. Given that crowns are most commonly used to restore decay that can occur with aging, parents often ask why crowns would become necessary in pediatric cases. Dental crowns are used in pediatric dentistry when there is excessive decay in the baby teeth, or primary teeth, or a baby tooth has not erupted as the surrounding teeth have. Crowns may become necessary when a child is experiencing severe decay, cavities, and other deterioration of the tooth structure. Crowns are stronger and can last longer than dental fillings in children, but both will fall out when the child loses the tooth. Other reasons why a child may require a dental crown can include decayed teeth, and the fact that the tooth enamel of baby teeth is not as string as that of adult teeth, therefore infection and decay can spread from tooth to tooth easily. Another reason that dental crowns may become necessary is to assist with the size and shape of an underdeveloped baby tooth, speech and bite development, or to protect teeth from further decay. 

There are a few main types of crowns that are used in pediatric cases depending on the specific needs of that child and what goals our team is trying to accomplish through the use of crowns. Stainless steel crowns are the most common type of dental crown, and are ideal for restoring molars and are also the most cost-effective crowns option for patients. They can vary in size and are also typically easy to apply. Our team may also use “strip crowns,” which are easy-to-apply composite resins, similar to bonding, that help to add material to a tooth in order to restore its function or size. Composite crowns are also an aesthetically-pleasing option as they help to preserve your child’s natural tooth color. You may also opt for white crowns, which, as their name implies, are colored as natural teeth and do not contain any metal. They are easily the most visually-appealing version of pediatric crowns and are made to be fully natural looking and feeling. 

Speak with our team at DINO Kids Dental today to learn which crowns option may be best for your child!

The crowns process begins with a consultation with our team, or a routine exam or hygiene appointment, where our team would identify the specific oral health concern that would require the use of crowns to correct. We would then schedule a treatment appointment that would be used to place the crown, which can usually be completed in a single visit. Our team would begin with a numbing agent in the surrounding tooth and gum area that will help your child remain comfortable while the crown is placed. Nitrious oxide, or “laughing has” may be used to achieve further relaxation as some children experience more anxiety than others during dental appointments. Our team may also give your child medicine through a syrup or other ingestible agents. Our team may also use intravenous injection or another sedation agent depending on the exact level of comfort that your child requires. We then place a dental dam over the tooth that will be treated, which provides our team many advantages such as carefully isolating the tooth from the surrounding area and controlling the collection of moisture around the tooth. Then, any visible plaque is removed from the tooth and the surrounding area, and the crown is then placed. Some crowns are fitted and adjusted after being placed, so in these cases, our team will remove any excessive crown material and polish the crown once in its final shape. 

After a crowns procedure, children may feel some discomfort or slight pain for up to a full day after their procedure. This discomfort is the response of the tooth’s inner material to the new restoration, and can typically be alleviated with ibuprofen and other over-the-counter pain medications for kids. If your child’s mouth was numbed during their crowns placement, advise them not to chew or bite this numbed portion of their mouth or tongue as some children will do. 

After crowns are placed, your child may communicate that their bite feels “off” or “doesn’t feel right,” in which case their crown may need further adjusting to achieve a perfect bite. While living with crowns, your child should avoid particularly hard foods to avoid any chipping, and should also avoid sugary foods and beverages, which are both positive dietary steps to take whether you’re a crowns patients or not! Avoid sugary drinks and foods helps to avoid decay and promotes healthy tooth and smile development.

Want to learn more about dental crowns for kids? Speak with our team at DINO Kids Dental to learn if crowns may be the the right dental solution for your child!

Pediatric Tooth Extractions

Pediatric tooth extractions may become necessary when there are no options to restore due to advanced decay or fracture. Furthermore, a tooth may be recommended for extraction if has compromised function and poor internal (pulpal)- which can pose a risk of infection to other teeth. Infected teeth and decay should always be avoided with a strong oral health regimen as well as by avoiding sugary foods and beverages. When it comes to pediatric cases, however, kids may also require extractions due to a tooth causing crowding in the mouth (the most common example of these teeth would be “wisdom teeth”) or rare cases of children being born with “extra” teeth.

In both cases, these teeth can be extracted before they erupt to avoid these teeth causing complications with the eruption of other adult teeth. Cases of teeth needing to be extracted would be first identified during a consultation, routine exam, or hygiene appointment with our team. Then, we would formulate a treatment plan and schedule upcoming visits to proceed with an extraction if this is the best possible treatment route for your child’s oral health. It is possible that we may recommend referral to a specialist for your child’s extraction should we deem it necessary.

Here are some helpful post-extraction tips and guidelines for patients to best help your child heal:

  • Do not allow your child to drink with a straw,
  • Do not allow your child to aggressively rinse their mouth out with water, 
  • Provide a soft food diet of soups and similar foods, and avoid any foods that are hard or crunchy.
  • If your child is experiencing any mild pain or discomfort, ibuprofen and other over-the-counter pain medications for kids are effective. 
  • If any swelling occurs where the extraction tooth is placed and in the jaw, place a cold pack on the side of the mouth where the swelling is occurring. If this swelling does not subside, please call our team for guidance. 

Speak with our team at DINO Kids Dental today to learn more about why kids may require extractions. 

A child smiling after a visit to a general pediatric dentist
A toddler brushing her teeth

Oral Cancer Screenings

At DINO Kids Dental, our team isn’t just passionate about helping your child achieve and maintain a healthy smile – we’re passionate about promoting overall health and wellness while helping kids get excited about their health. That’s the full definition of general pediatric dentistry we provide in Durham, NC! Our team knows that oral health is closely tied to other medical conditions and that oral health is a strong indicator of overall health. Oral cancer screenings should always be a part of routine dental exams for kids, as early signs of oral cancer can be identified at an early age when there’s the best chance of being able to minimize or eliminate these symptoms. Even if your child is experiencing no symptoms of oral cancer whatsoever, it’s always a good idea to rule out oral cancer and ensure that your child is safe from this serious condition, which can often manifest without any symptoms. Parents can look for the below signs to identify potential oral cancer:

  • Red and white spots in the mouth and gums, or any other general type of sore that does not resolve after 2-3 weeks.
  • Bleeding sores. 
  • Lumps in the mouth and throat. 
  • Pain and tenderness in the mouth or on the gums. 
  • Complications with chewing and swallowing food, or discomfort when eating.

Our team at DINO Kids Dental has years of experience in performing oral cancer screenings and possesses the skills and tools needed to perform effective and convenient screenings to help protect your child from this serious condition. While rare, if a child possesses early warning signs of oral cancer, these signs can often be most effectively addressed when caught at an early age. 

In addition to having screenings done in our office, kids and parents alike can take these steps to avoid oral cancer:

  • Avoid the use of tobacco in any form as well as alcohol, or take steps to limit the consumption of alcohol as much as possible. 
  • Be conscious of your diet and eat a healthy mix of proteins, carbs, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals. 
  • Take steps to protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen and limiting overall time spent directly in the sun. 
  • Request that your dentist performs an oral cancer screening at your next checkup, and also ask the same of your child’s dentist. Screenings in-office are the best opportunity for any potential signs of oral cancer or any other oral health concern to be caught early on before they have the chance to develop. 

Overall Health Assessments

Oral health is strongly correlated with overall health, which is why our team of professionals is passionate about your child’s overall health! We take the time to discuss not just oral health with your child but also diet and physical activity – we want to get kids excited about maintaining and improving their smiles and overall health to promote healthy living for years to come!

Oral health is strongly correlated with overall health, which is why a strong oral health regimen and keeping the mouth clean of bacteria and decay is a vital step toward promoting overall health in kids. There are several steps that all kids should take early in life to promote strong oral health and to help them develop a strong oral health regimen:

  • Twice-daily brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush. 
  • Be sure to floss every day to remove tough plaque and food particles. 
  • Use a new toothbrush every few months.
  • Be conscious of diet and eat healthy foods.
  • See our team at DINO Kids Dental every six months for professional cleanings and exams! 

Getting kids to think positively about their oral health and taking steps to protect it from an early age helps your kids ensure bright and healthy smiles for years to come while also protecting their general health overall. 

Speak with our team at DINO Kids Dental today if you have questions regarding kids dental health!

A child shrugging their shoulders
A child, mom, and dad brushing their teeth

Paperless Charting

To make the treatment process as easy and convenient as possible, our team at DINO Kids Dental has implemented paperless charting for easy transfer of dental health records and other electronic paperwork. This system also allows our team to monitor and treat patients as accurately as possible! All patient information is safely and accurately stored in our electronic database, making lost or inaccurate patient documents a thing of the past. Overall, our fully digitized charting process helps to make for the easiest, most convenient and the most enjoyable treatment process possible! Speak with our team of veterans specialized in pediatric dentistry today to begin the new patient process, and say hello to tomorrow’s dental experience today!

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