Our practice has provided a true "Dental Home" for children of all ages and backgrounds since opening in 1977. Our patients come from near and far to experience the warm, individualized care we provide. We pride ourselves in providing comprehensive dental care for children in a manner that is caring, gentle, and sensitive to the individual needs of each unique child. We understand that not every child is the same, so we have treatment options that are designed to help make dental treatment a comfortable and relaxing experience for everyone, including parents. In some situations, we feel that the best approach is to reserve some time for you to speak one-on-one with Dr. Groat to discuss treatment options.
We offer a wide variety of preventative and restorative treatments. We truly believe in the power of prevention and we strive to provide our patients and parents with the tools and knowledge to prevent dental problems before they occur. The foundation for a lifetime of oral health can be built at a young age with the development of good habits early in life. We enjoy seeing our patients grow through the years and we feel privileged to be a part of their lives along the way.
Click the links below for more information on each subject.
ORAL HYGIENE CARE
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your child’s 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 child’s 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 that contain fluoride, including toothpaste
- Rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist advises you to
- Make sure that your children under 12 drink fluoridated water
As a part of your child’s checkup visits, we will review these recommendations and provide brushing and flossing instruction. We strive to provide individualized preventative care and if your child will benefit from additional preventative products (such as xylitol or prescription-strength fluoride gel), we will discuss these as well.
SEDATION FOR DENTAL ANXIETY
Dental sedation is a technique that can be used when a patient suffers from dental anxiety, dental phobia, or are simply too young to cooperate for dental treatment. We are happy to offer a number of solutions for our patients to make their dental visit as comfortable as possible.
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 odorless gas is inhaled through a small mask that is placed on the nose during treatment. It induces a feeling of relaxation. Local anesthetic will be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide to eliminate pain.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is another technique to guide a child’s behavior during dental treatment. Medications are given to help increase cooperation and to reduce anxiety or discomfort associated with dental procedures. Sedative medications cause most children to become relaxed and drowsy. Unlike general anesthesia, oral conscious sedation is not intended to make a child unconscious or unresponsive. It often helps anxious children cope better with dental treatment.
General anesthesia is a controlled state of unconsciousness that eliminates awareness, movement, and discomfort during dental treatment. General anesthesia may be indicated for children with extensive treatment needs who are extremely anxious, fearful, or for the very young who do not understand how to cope with dental treatment in a cooperative fashion. It can also be helpful for children with special healthcare needs. In our practice, general anesthesia is provided by a Dental Anesthesiologist who continuously monitors the child during the procedure.
SPECIAL NEEDS CARE
As pediatric dentists, our doctors have extensive training and experience in the care for children with special needs. People with significant medical, physical, and mental disabilities often present challenges to dentists. Our energetic and compassionate team understands what it takes to provide the highest level of care for these patients. We are also able to provide dental care in a hospital setting when necessary. Our goal is to treat our patients with the highest level of care in a manner than is comfortable, compassionate, and sensitive to their specific needs.
Accidents happen (especially among children!). As your child’s “Dental Home”, we are always available to assist when their dental health is at risk. If you face a dental emergency, please call us immediately. We understand that many emergencies don’t occur during business hours, so you can always reach us through our answering service at (310)832-5133.
- Knocked Out Baby Tooth: Call us as soon as possible. The tooth should not be replaced in the socket because of the potential risk of damage to the developing permanent tooth.
- Knocked Out Permanent Tooth: Find the tooth and rinse it gently with water. Don’t scrub the tooth or clean it with soap – use water only. If possible, replace the tooth in the socket immediately and hold it there with clean gauze or a wash cloth, then call our office immediately. If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place it in a clean container with cold milk (preferably), saliva, or water. Call our office immediately! The faster you act, the greater the likelihood that the tooth can be saved!
- Chipped or Fractured Tooth: Call us as soon as possible. Quick action may help to save the tooth, prevent pain and infection, and possibly reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling if the lip was injured as well.
INFANT ORAL HEALTH CARE
Many parents wonder about when they should bring their child in for their first dental visit. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a dentist for their first visit within 6 months following the appearance of the first tooth, or by their first birthday. The most important reason is to begin a thorough prevention program to prevent a condition known as Early Childhood Caries (formerly known as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). It’s never too early to establish good dental habits. During this initial visit, we will provide oral hygiene instructions and preventative information tailored to the needs of your child.
X-RAYS AND DIGITAL 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.
In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using up to 90% less radiation than conventional film x-rays. Using this technology, we are able to take an x-ray of your mouth by using a small sensor which records the image of your teeth and sends it to a computer. The result is a highly detailed image of your mouth that can easily be enhanced to better diagnose dental concerns and determine the very best treatment for each case.
The dentist performs most of his dental procedures while wearing a pair of funny looking glasses called surgical telescopes. These powerful glasses have magnifiers on them, allowing the dentist to see fine details that would go unnoticed to the naked eye.