Pediatric Dental Services
Digital Intra-Oral Cameras
When it comes to helping you understand your child’s dental examination, diagnosis or treatment, intra-oral cameras allow you to see what the dentist sees. These instant images of your teeth can be saved as stills or video — or even printed out — so you can know exactly what’s happening in your child’s mouth.
Dental sealants are clear composite resin coatings that are painted over the chewing surfaces of the back teeth — the place where your child is most likely to get tooth decay. Sealants act as an effective barrier against sugar, acid, bacteria, and plaque to protect the deep grooves of the back teeth. A sealed tooth is far less likely to develop a cavity. A tooth with a cavity is sick, making your child’s mouth and overall health compromised.
Composite resins are generally appropriate for small to moderate-sized restorations — which encompass the most common types of fillings. They are non-metal, durable, fracture-resistant, and able to withstand chewing pressure. Both scientific studies and clinical experience have shown that tooth-colored restorations (fillings) are safe, reliable, and long-lasting. Plus, they look great. Not only do tooth-colored fillings offer an aesthetic alternative to “metal” or “silver” (dental amalgam) fillings, they may also allow for a more conservative treatment method that preserves more of the tooth’s structure. When you put these advantages together, it’s no wonder some dentists say we’re moving toward a “post-amalgam” era. Whatever the situation, the best way to determine whether tooth-colored fillings are right for you is to come in and consult with Dr. Rishita Jaju. She will explain the appropriate options and help you select the best way to proceed with any recommended treatment. Either way, you’ll be able to achieve — and keep — a healthy-looking smile.
When the decay is too large compared to the size of the rest of the tooth structure, then fillings are no longer adequate. A dental ‘crown’ or a ‘cap’ are coverings placed over damaged teeth to strengthen them, and allow them to look and function normally again. Dr. Rishita Jaju offers Tooth-Colored NuSmile Zirconium Crowns, which are durable and blend in naturally with the rest of a child’s smile. Stainless steel crowns are also available for some cases. Both options will be discussed to see what works best for you and your child if a crown is needed to save a tooth.
Extractions & Space Maintainers
Sometimes a child may need help “wiggling out” or extracting teeth. A tooth may need to be extracted due to extensive decay, trauma, or a baby tooth refusing to fall out! Dr. Rishita utilizes Waterlaser to make extractions simple and comfortable for children. If a child loses a baby tooth prematurely, a “space maintainer” may be needed to hold the space open until the permanent tooth comes in to fill it. This appliance will help your child’s bite develop properly — and hopefully avoid the need for braces later on.
Children that have mild behavioral and cooperation concerns can use Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to help with reducing the gag reflex or mild levels of anxiety. The child gets to choose a scent for a small mask to rest over their nose for the Nitrous Oxide to flow through during the appointment. Throughout their treatment the child remains awake and can continue watching their choice in movie. After the visit, the child receives 100% fresh Oxygen and the Nitrous Oxide leaves their system in a matter of only a few minutes!
Children who have certain respiratory or neurological special needs require care in a hospital setting. It is provided by using a combination of intravenous drugs and inhaled gases, and puts a patient into a completely-unconscious state. A breathing tube is inserted to control the airway with use of respiratory machines. Dr. Jaju maintains medical privileges at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC and is able to provide care for her most fragile patients at that facility.