Looking for a comprehensive pediatric dental office in San Antonio? Brooks Pediatric Dentistry has your family covered! We offer top-notch preventive and restorative dental care for kids as well as dental sedation to make their experiences in our office more relaxed and pleasant. Want to learn more about the services we provide? Feel free to get in touch with our friendly front office team!Get In Touch
First Oral Exams (0-3 Years)
The American Dental Association recommends that kids begin visiting the dentist regularly by the time they turn one or when their first tooth falls out, whichever happens first. While these visits may be short and your child may not have many teeth yet, these early visits are crucial for creating a long-term treatment plan and identifying and treating issues as early as possible. Scheduling these visits for your child can save time and money down the road.
Check-Ups and New Patient Exams
Kids should visit the dentist just as often as adults, or at least twice per year. These appointments can include routine cleanings, dental exams, fluoride treatments, dental sealant applications, dietary and nutritional counseling, and providing you and your child with specific oral hygiene instructions. If your child is a new patient, we will also spend extra time getting to know them and what they need from our team.
During your child’s dental exams, our experienced team will take a look at their teeth and gums for visible signs of dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease. We also use dental X-rays to take a look inside the teeth and the jaw. X-rays are essential for creating treatment plans that involve restorative services like fillings and root canals and for planning orthodontic treatment. Digital X-rays also emit far less radiation than traditional X-rays.
Routine Cleanings & Exams
Biannual dental visits are important for kids of all ages. Regular dental exams allow our team to examine their teeth and gums to ensure everything looks great or diagnose and treat any issues that have arisen. Cleanings help to remove plaque that has collected in hard-to-brush areas, which reduces the patient’s risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen and protect tooth enamel. Fluoride treatments from a young age can actually help to build stronger tooth structures and even reverse very early signs of tooth decay. These quick and easy treatments can be done after a dental cleaning, and the patient just has to avoid eating, drinking, or brushing their teeth for 30 minutes afterward.
BPA-Free Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are ultra-thin clear coatings that are applied over the molars. Once applied, sealants prevent harmful bacteria from collecting in the grooves of the teeth and causing cavities. Dental sealants don’t take very long to apply, can last for many years, and are only noticeable to a trained dental professional. Once sealants start to wear down, they can be removed and reapplied to ensure the teeth are always protected.
If your child knocks one or more of their baby teeth out too early, they may need a space maintainer to ensure that their adult teeth have room to grow in properly. If a baby tooth is lost before the adult tooth is ready to come in, other teeth may start to fill in the gap that’s left behind, which can cause crowding and other orthodontic problems. Space maintainers hold the space open until the adult tooth begins growing in.
When tooth decay occurs, it must be removed and replaced with a filling before it gets bigger and potentially causes more problems. Our office uses composite (tooth-colored) dental fillings to seamlessly replace decayed areas on teeth. Composite fillings are virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the tooth, and they also do not require as much of the natural tooth to be removed as with silver fillings.
Pediatric Dental Crowns
Our office provides both silver and tooth-colored pediatric dental crowns. Silver crowns are more durable, while tooth-colored crowns blend in with the surrounding teeth. Crowns are used to cover teeth that have been through excessive decay and damage and need a little extra support and protection from a dental restoration. If a crown is placed on a baby tooth, it will come out when the tooth is lost.
Sometimes a stubborn baby tooth needs to be removed because it’s blocking an adult tooth from growing in. In other cases, a tooth needs to be removed as part of an orthodontic treatment plan or because it has been damaged. Regardless of the reason, our office offers gentle tooth extraction procedures for kids that are quick, efficient, and painless.
Baby Root Canals/Pulpotomies
Root canals can be performed on both adult and baby teeth, and they can become necessary when an infection occurs inside a tooth. Our team will carefully create a small hole in the top of the tooth, clean out the infected tissue, and seal the tooth. Most root canals require a dental crown to be placed over the tooth once the treatment is complete to protect and support the tooth’s structure.
One way our office likes to make dental care seem less scary and intimidating for kids is by using the tell-show-do method. First, we explain what we are going to do (e.g. apply dental sealants, floss their teeth, etc.) before showing them the tool that we will be using to do it. This provides an opportunity for patients to ask questions and makes dentistry feel less foreign.
Keeping dental visits as positive as possible from beginning to end can make a huge difference in how your child views dental care. Our friendly team members are always quick to tell patients what a good job they are doing and how brave they are to reinforce good behavior and help each child continue to exhibit positive behavior in the dental chair.
There are cases in which it is important for the safety of the patient and everyone around them that they receive partial or complete stabilization, especially in cases where a dental drill, needles, or other dental equipment is present. Our team only uses restraints when absolutely necessary and with parent’s permission, and the staff or parent can perform stabilization.
Dental sedation works well for kids who are undergoing lengthy or invasive dental procedures or kids who regularly experience dental anxiety. Our team always works with parents to determine which of our dental sedation options will be the safest and most effective option for their child. Our choices for dental sedation include:
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, involves wearing a comfortable nose mask for the duration of the treatment while a steady stream of nitrous oxide gas is administered. Nitrous oxide can make patients feel happy, relaxed, or giddy, and the effects wear off within minutes of breathing normal air.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Patients take an oral medication prior to their appointment that puts them in a sleepy, dream-like state of consciousness. Patients are not rendered unconscious with this form of sedation, although it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep. We always take every patient’s overall health and medical history into consideration before prescribing medication.
General anesthesia is used for more advanced services or for patients who have trouble sitting still during dental treatments. General anesthesia is a controlled state of unconsciousness that prevents awareness and discomfort during the procedure. These treatments are performed on an outpatient basis at a nearby hospital.Learn More Contact Us