Preventive Care and Hygiene in Dripping Springs, TX

Smiles of Dripping Springs proudly provides the very best preventive care and hygiene services in Dripping Springs, TX and beyond because our dentists have been cleaning and fortifying growing smiles for 25 years – and going!

A visit to Tooth Town is no ordinary trip to the dentist! Our unique, imaginative environment is filled with calming distractions that reduce anxiety and build trust from the very start. Here, kids learn that developing healthy dental habits is not only smart, but it’s also a whole lot of fun!

Preventive Care & Hygiene

Regular check-ups and dental cleanings are the best ways to keep smiles healthy well into the future. We prevent tooth decay by providing child-friendly education that’s easy-to-understand, supportive, and fun!

We utilize the latest dental technologies while upholding high standards of care to give your child the thorough attention they deserve. Our team will take digital x-rays and apply teeth-strengthening mineral treatments to fortify their teeth. We have searched the world over to bring the best hygienists to Smiles of Dripping Springs’ Tooth Town and you’ll feel it from the moment they greet you with their trademark smiles and silly laughs!

During their preventive care and hygiene visit, we will provide your child with a thorough exam and will recommend further treatment or home care, if necessary.

And, remember, Smile of Dripping Springs straightens teeth, too! Included in this visit is an orthodontic evaluation and orthodontic growth and development will be discussed.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are thin coatings of dental-safe material designed to cover the external portions of your child’s molars. These safeguards “fill in” deep ridges in the teeth that may be most vulnerable to stuck food and future decay. Because only the biting surface portion of the tooth can be masked with sealants, it’s important that the neighboring teeth are brushed and flossed well. Although sealants may be effective in preventing cavities, your child’s smile will still need plenty of daily care!

The American Dental Association recognizes that sealants can play a very important role in the prevention of tooth decay and recommends that kids receive dental sealants as soon as their adult molars erupt. Typically, sealants last for around a decade in patients that brush, floss, and attend routine dental appointments. Whenever your child visits the office, our team will check the condition of the sealants to ensure that they are still intact.

Digital X-Rays

Did you know that Smiles of Dripping Springs exclusively uses digital x-rays? Digital x-rays are the top choice in preventive dentistry because they emit less radiation, offer rapid results, and are better for the environment.

Cosmetic Bonding

If your child has a gap between their teeth or is suffering from a chipped or broken tooth, we may recommend cosmetic bonding in lieu of veneers.  Using a custom-shaded composite resin, it offers long-lasting repairs for:

  • Gaps between teeth
  • Irregularly shaped or chipped teeth
  • Fractured or cracked teeth
  • Discoloration and decay
  • Short teeth
  • Protection of exposed roots (due to receding gumlines)

Tooth-Colored Fillings & Restorations

We use long-lasting tooth-colored materials that are custom-shaded to match the rest of the patient’s smile.

Tooth-Colored Crowns

When cavities are too large to be treated with conventional fillings, we use tooth-colored crowns to provide durable protection to the tooth.

During your child’s crown treatment, we will remove all decay from the area and recreate the look of your child’s natural tooth using a crown. As with all of our restorations, your child’s crown will be custom-shaded and custom-shaped to meet their unique needs.

Stainless Steel Crowns

Very large cavities can destroy the structural components of the tooth. If this happens to your child, we may recommend a stainless steel crown – otherwise known as an SSC – made to decrease the risk of tooth fracture and infection. This pre-fabricated silver tooth cap will cover the entire tooth, reaching just below the gum line for added support.

We use stainless steel crowns to:

  • Repair decayed teeth that can’t support a traditional filling
  • Fractured teeth
  • Proceeding pulpotomies and pulpectomies
  • Treat hypoplastic teeth

Typically, we can fit and finish stainless steel crowns in as little as one appointment. Our doctors will cement the cap into place and it should stay comfortably put until it naturally comes off as the permanent tooth erupts.

Space Maintainers

Space maintainers are recommended to children who have lost a baby tooth prematurely or before a permanent tooth is ready to erupt. The tool is designed to hold a “space” for the permanent tooth so that it erupts following a healthy, natural pattern.

Typically, space-maintaining devices are recommended to children who have prematurely lost a tooth due to decay or an oral injury. When left untreated, the neighboring teeth could become confused, shifting towards each other to fill in the gap. As a result, this permanent tooth could create a crooked and/or crowded smile, which can lead to difficulty speaking and chewing. Many children who do not get this problem addressed could be facing orthodontic care that they might otherwise not need.

Ideally, we insert the space maintainer shortly after the baby tooth is lost. The spacer will be removed once the necessary permanent teeth have erupted.

Our dentists use a variety of space maintainers to keep our patients’ smiles healthy including:

  • Band-and-loop
  • Lower lingual holding arch
  • Nance
  • Distal shoe

After your child’s space maintainer is inserted, we simply ask that you bring them in for twice-yearly visits to have it assessed. In terms of care, know that your child should avoid sticky, crunchy, or soft foods. As a parent, you should help them clean the wires around the empty space each and every night.

Pulpotomy

A pulpotomy is a common dental procedure in which the dental pulp or top portion of the nerve is removed after the discovery of an infection. After the pulp is removed from the tooth, we will medicate the area to safeguard it from further infections.

The advantage of a pulpotomy is the removal of the diseased/exposed portion while preserving the remaining healthy nerve tissue in the root, allowing the tooth to be maintained until the permanent tooth erupts. The remaining portion of healthy nerve tissue is then protected by placement of an antibacterial medicament and a crown. The only alternatives to a pulpotomy are 1) pulpectomy or 2) extraction of the tooth with proper space maintenance. 

Pulpectomy

A pulpectomy is a dental procedure in which the entire nerve (the portion in the crown and root of the tooth) is completely removed. A pulpectomy is necessary for instances when inflammation, infection, or degenerative changes have progressed into the root of a tooth.

Damage to the nerve becomes evident when a pocket of pus (abscess) forms on the gum tissue near the tip of the tooth root, or a radiograph reveals root resorption. The procedure for a pulpectomy is the complete removal of the nerve, reshaping and disinfecting of the canal(s), followed by placement of a medicament and crown. The only alternative to a pulpectomy is the extraction of the tooth. Although initially cheaper, extraction generally requires further treatment including a space maintainer to avoid shifting of the teeth.

Labial Frenectomy (for infants and adolescents)

The frenum is a connective tissue membrane that is attached to the upper lip and upper gum and lower lip and lower gum. It serves no beneficial function but can cause problems related to breastfeeding, speech, eating, and tooth position. We perform frenectomies on infants and adolescents who are experiencing trouble eating or speaking due to this condition.

Habit Behavior Correction

Though thumb, finger, and pacifier habits are considered normal for very young infants and children, these routines could compromise their oral health if continued for too long.

Most children stop sucking on thumbs, pacifiers, or other objects on their own between the ages of two and four with little or no harm done to their teeth or jaws. However, some children repeatedly suck on a finger, pacifier, or other objects over long periods of time. In these children, the upper front teeth may tip forward and the palate may become more narrow. We will carefully monitor the way your child’s teeth come in and jaws develop. For most children, there is no reason to worry about the habit until the permanent teeth are ready to come in.

Orthodontics

With the SMILES Total Treatment™ program,  you’ll have peace of mind knowing your child’s dental and orthodontic needs are being closely monitored at every hygiene visit.

Schedule Your Child’s Dental Cleaning Or Preventive Care Service At Smiles Of Dripping Springs

The road to a lifetime of healthy smiles starts right here. Call today to schedule your child’s dental appointment!

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