Children's Dentistry of Central TX 
 
Phone: (512) 353-5500 1320 Wonder World Dr. Suite 103, San Marcos, TX 78666
 
 DENTAL TOPICS
 
We are pleased to offer the following services and technologies to our patients:
Oral Hygiene Care
Dental Cleanings and X-Rays
Bonding
Fillings
Sedation Dentistry
 
ORAL HYGIENE CARE
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums.  Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly.  Good oral health is important to your overall well-being. Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop.

In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:

  • Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
  • Use dental products which contain fluoride, including toothpaste
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months

The following are indications of good oral hygiene:

  • Your teeth are clean and free of debris
  • Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath is not a constant problem
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DENTAL CLEANING
A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take only between 25 and 30 minutes.  Cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup.  Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay.  A routine dental cleaning should include scaling, root planing and polishing.

Scaling: this is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces in a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar.

Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has lead to more modern methods such as electric scalers.  This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. To achieve best results, both electric and manual scaling methods are combined for dental cleanings.

Polishing: this is the last step in tooth cleaning and involves finishing the surface of the teeth to make them shiny and clean. 

X-RAYS
X-rays are a focused beam of x-ray particles passed through bone which produce an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed.  This provides the familiar black and white images doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems and disease.  Without an x-ray of the whole tooth and supporting bone and gum tissues, there would be no way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.  Back to top

SEALANTS
Sealants are used to fill narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing.  In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn't brush, but because they're too narrow to allow even one bristle into them.  To avoid cavaties developing over time, the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.  Back to top

BONDING
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is performed to repair damage caused by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for other cosmetic purposes. 

First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding.  A gel is applied so the resin will adhere to the surface of the tooth.  The composite is then placed on the tooth and the bonding agent hardens with intense light. The last step is shaping and polishing to give a lustrous finish.  Back to top

FILLINGS
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape.  If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.  A filling helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.

· Amalgam (silver) fillings are a more inexpensive choice and are tolerant to wear.  However, due to their dark color they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth.

· Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years and may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time.  They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.

If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown (or "cap") may be recommended.  Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated through root canal therapy or through a procedure called pulp capping.  Back to top

SEDATION DENTISTRY/DENTAL ANXIETY
Dental sedation is a technique that can be used when a patient suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia.  We are happy to offer a number of solutions for our patients to make their dental visit as comfortable as possible.  Sedation dentistry techniques enable patients who might otherwise avoid the dentist, to receive dental treatment necessary for a healthy smile. Depending on the extent of the anxiety or phobia, varying degrees of dental sedation can be utilized as described below.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide sedation, also known as “laughing gas” is commonly used to make treatment more comfortable.  This sedation is inhaled through a mask that allows you to breathe in the medication and induces a state of relaxation.  Local anesthetic will be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide to eliminate pain.

Oral Sedatives
This medication can be given to a patient the night before a dentistry procedure or 30 minutes to an hour prior to the dental appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety. Oral sedatives do not provide pain relief, so an injection of local anesthetic will also be administered.
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 ADVANCED PROCEDURES
CROWNS
Crowns are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown (also referred to as a cap) is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth.  A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment.

Crowns may be used to:

    • Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
    • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
    • Restore a fractured tooth
    • Cover a dental implant
    • Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
    • Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment  Back to top

TOOTH EXTRACTIONS
Good oral hygiene should always be practiced since the loss of a single tooth can have major impact upon your oral health and appearance.  Although dentists will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there still sometimes necessary occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted.  A tooth may need to be extracted for the following reasons:

  • Severe decay
  • Advanced periodontal disease
  • Infection or abcess
  • Orthodontic correction
  • Malpositioned teeth
  • Fractured teeth or roots
  • Impacted teeth

After careful examination and treatment, the dentist may advise to have a tooth extracted.  Before a tooth is removed, the dentist will take an x-ray in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone.  Based on the degree of difficulty, we may refer you to a specialized oral surgeon.

For a simple extraction, we will first apply a local anesthetic to prevent pain and discomfort. The tooth will be loosened with a tool called an elevator and then removed with dental forceps.  We will then provide you with care instructions to alleviate discomfort and ensure proper healing.  Back to top

NIGHTGUARDS AND MOUTHGUARDS
Custom designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may be hit.  Guards also protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.  Nightguards are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite.

If you have decided a guard is right for you, we will take an impression of your teeth which will then be sent to a lab to make a custom fit guard.  In most cases you can choose from a variety of colors and styles.  Back to top

 

1320 Wonder World Drive, Suite 103 •  San Marcos, TX  78666  •  512.353.5500