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Your child’s teeth are important for their long-term health. Choosing a dental health professional who specializes in children’s dental health issues is the first step in the life-long care of their teeth.
UPDATED 24 – AUGUST – 2017
What is a Pediatric Dentist?
A children’s dentist has two to three years of training in addition to graduating an accredited dental program in college. Their additional training includes child psychology, cognitive behavioral therapies for children, and pharmacology. This type of dental health professional specializes in dental health issues in babies, children and adolescents.
You want to choose a dental health professional that encourages children to have a life-long appreciation of oral health. This will ensure your child has a beautiful, healthy smile for years to come. A dental health professional specializing in pediatrics has this specific goal in mind.
Dr. Engel and his staff will guide parents and their children about how to accomplish great oral health. This includes how to clean a baby’s teeth, how to encourage children to brush properly, and what to do in case of pain or other dental emergencies.
The dental office can be a scary place for children. The tools and instruments necessary to keep the teeth healthy can be frightening. A children’s office understands this and specifically addresses this issue for children.
Aside from fixing and maintaining oral care issues, a children’s office strives to make dental visits comfortable and as enjoyable as possible for children. The entire office is centered around alleviating the fear and apprehension children may feel about the dentist.
It is very important to instill trust and comfort in children while they are young at the “tooth doctor”. You want your children to develop great, life-long oral health habits. This includes visiting a dental health professional at least twice a year through adulthood. Children who are comfortable turn into adults who are comfortable.
Treatments and procedures are explained to children in terms that they can understand. The noise the suction makes is less scary if it is Mr. Thirsty taking a drink. The tools aren’t so frightening when children think of them as counting tools. In addition to explaining procedures, children are given prizes like stickers and pencils when they are finished with their cleanings. This promotes a fun atmosphere, rather than a formal, medical office feeling.
Children are Not Just Little Adults
Alleviating fear is just one of the advantages of taking your child to a pediatric professional. A child’s mouth is very different from an adult’s mouth and presents unique challenges. Baby teeth are quite different from adult teeth and need to be treated as such. When a baby tooth gets a cavity in it, there may be different options used to treat it as opposed to treating a cavity in an adult tooth. Often times, adult teeth start to come in crooked. KinderSmiles can diagnose whether or not a child may need orthodontic work later on based on X-rays and evaluations done in the office.
There are occasions when children have more extensive dental issues going on in their mouths. For very young children, having multiple cavities and other work done can be traumatic. Instead of multiple visits and numerous shots to numb the mouth, the work may be done under general anesthesia all at once. This removes the need for multiple office visits and traumatic injections.
Newer and Better
The dental health field is constantly evolving. Pediatric dentists are constantly learning about new and better treatments for children. In addition to staying on top of new additions to children’s dentistry, a child’s dental health professional can offer treatments like sealants and fluoride treatments to help stave off cavities and tooth erosion as children grow into adults.
Pediatric dentists have special training in sedation for children. Our office can use sedation, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), or in some cases general anesthesia to put children at ease during treatments.
Children have different dental health concerns than adult patients. Baby teeth need to be treated differently than adult teeth. A children’s dental health professional is specially trained to evaluate and treat babies, children, and adolescents. For other health issues, children usually see their own pediatrician and not a doctor who treats adults. This is because there are special health issues relating to children that necessitate a doctor with training in pediatrics. Dental health concerns are the same.
Composite fillings are tooth colored fillings that fill cavities left behind by tooth decay. These fillings can be placed in both baby teeth and adult teeth. In some cases, when decay is not extensive, these cavities can be filled without the need for numbing agents. Our staff will explain the procedure to both you and your children in a way that is easily understandable.
The advantages of using composite fillings versus older amalgam, or metal fillings, include longevity and appearance. Composite fillings last longer than amalgam so the chances of them needing to be replaced in the future are lessened. They are also the same color as the surrounding tooth and are more attractive than older metal fillings.
There is More
Sometimes baby teeth get “stuck” and won’t come out on their own. When this occurs, the baby tooth may need to be extracted to make room for the adult tooth coming in. Our staff will assess the issue and create a plan to remedy it.
When decay in the tooth has become extensive, it may be necessary to place a crown over the tooth. A pulpotomy, or removal of the material inside in the canal, may also be necessary. Placing a crown on a baby tooth is much different than the procedure adults may be aware of. Because the baby tooth will fall out eventually, it is not usually necessary to place a custom made crown over the tooth like adults have. It is a much quicker procedure as well, with less discomfort than an adult procedure.
A broken tooth, whether it is a baby or adult tooth, is an emergency situation for children. Depending on the degree to which the tooth is broken, it may need extensive intervention or may need to simply adjusted a bit. Dr. Engel can assess the tooth and address any concerns.
The Earlier The Better
Most people think of orthodontic treatment as beginning in the teenage years. However, many things can be addressed and adjusted earlier than this in order to shorten the length of orthodontic treatment. Dr. Engel will provide guidance and offer suggestions to prevent lengthy treatments in the future.
In addition to these specific treatments, KinderSmiles has the expertise to guide parents about the best way to care for their children’s teeth. From recommendations about what types of foods to eat, to how best to clean your child’s teeth, Dr. Engel’s staff guides parents and their children every issue affecting the teeth.
The Right Choice
Choosing a health professional who specializes in pediatrics is important for the long term dental health of children. Specialized training, a comfortable office environment, child-specific treatment plans, and alleviation of fears are all reasons to contact KinderSmiles, experts who specialize in children’s dental health issues.
400 Kinderkamack Rd
Phone: +1 201-262-0211
Why Choose a Dentist that Focuses on Pediatric Patients?
Dr Engel holds a speciality license in pediatric dentistry from New Jersey and New York. He also has attained sedation certification, which allows for in-office oral sedation options, and he’s on staff at Hackensack University Medical Center. As an attending pediatric dentist at HUMC, Dr Engel retains operating room privileges, allowing for an array of treatment modalities and anaesthesia options.