Questions and Answers
Can my child be “asleep” during dental treatment?
Yes, we work with a dental anesthesiologist. The dental anesthesiologist comes to our office for a scheduled visit, and Dr. Merlino can accomplish all of the needed dental treatment while the children are sedated.
What are dental sealants and who benefits from them?
The chewing surface of children’s teeth are the most susceptible to cavities. Sealants are adhesive coatings that are applied to the tops of teeth and can be highly effective in preventing tooth decay. Studies show that 4 out of 5 cavities in children under age 15 develop on the biting surface of back molars. Molars commonly decay because plaque accumulates in the tiny grooves of the chewing surfaces. Sealants prevent the cavities that fluoride cannot effectively reach. As a preventive mechanism, sealants are an important part of a cavity-free generation.
What are amalgams (silver fillings)?
Silver fillings or amalgams are used to restore or “fill” decayed areas in teeth. A tooth has five surfaces ( the chewing surface and four sides). The decay may involve any or all of these surfaces.
What are composites (tooth colored fillings)?
Composites or tooth colored fillings are used to restore teeth for which cosmetic appearance is important. Tooth colored fillings are used to repair fractured teeth and/or areas of decay. The shade of the restoration material is matched as closely as possible to the color of the natural tooth. A tooth colored filling that covers the entire tooth is called a strip crown.
What are Stainless Steel Crowns?
They are silver colored crowns used to restore teeth that are too badly decayed to hold fillings.
What is a Pulpotomy?
This procedure consists of treating the infected portion of the nerve to avoid extracting the tooth.
What is a Pulpectomy?
A pulpectomy is necessary when the nerve (pulp) of the tooth is dead or abscessed. The entire infected pulp is removed from the roots of the tooth and medication is placed in the root canals.
What is Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen?
Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is breathed by your child with oxygen during the restorative appointment. It is used to relax a mildly anxious child.
What are Space Maintainers?
They are used when a baby 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.
Why are “baby teeth” so important?
Primary teeth have been labeled “baby teeth”. However, the first tooth usually isn’t lost until 6 years of age and some primary molars must function until 12 or 13 years of age before they are replaced. Primary teeth are necessary for proper chewing, proper speech, the proper development of the jaws and for esthetics. Care of the primary teeth is important not only for proper function, but also to avoid a number of unpleasant conditions that result from their neglect.
Tips for helping children develop positive dental habits.
• Start by setting an example
• Make oral health a family effort
• Show children that daily brushing and flossing, limited snacking and a
regular dental checkup schedule are all part of a good dental hygiene
• Praise their efforts and their newfound independence when they are
able to brush and floss on their own
Do you accept insurance?
We are not participating providers to any insurance company. We will assist you in filing your insurance as a benefit to you, and there are some insurances that will pay their portion directly to us. We do request full payment for each visit. Once the insurance benefits have been verified, we can estimate what your portion of payment will be. We take cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express, and financing is available through CareCredit.
Do you allow parents to come back with their children?
As the parent you are welcome to accompany your child into the treatment area during the visit. Expect your child to do well and enjoy their visit to our office and chances are they will do just that!