Dental injuries happen often, and always when you least expect them. The injury is usually followed by panic and confusion. When in doubt, call us! We will always accommodate you into our schedule to provide any necessary treatment on the same day that you contact us about a dental emergency. For more advice on managing dental emergencies at home, please read the section “Managing Dental Emergencies” below.
Early Infant Oral Care
We love seeing babies at our office! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by one year of age. For more information, please see our “First Visit” page within the “New Patients” section in the top menu.
Young Children’s Dentistry
The innocence of young childhood is precious. We understand that sometimes new experiences and new faces can be intimidating. Our staff are expertly trained in working with children to put them at ease and bring out their playful curiosity. We have quiet treatment spaces set aside for those who need it, as well as additional materials to help make their care as effective yet easy as possible.
We make it our goal, in the design of our office space and scheduling arrangement, that your child will feel right at home with us regardless of age. We understand the unique dental and emotional needs that come with each stage of life leading to adulthood. What’s even better, many adolescents require orthodontic evaluation and treatment, and having an orthodontist in-house not only makes things more convenient for you, but also leads to better oral health outcomes as our two specialties come together to optimize care on both fronts.
The primary focus of our in-office dental care is dental disease / cavity prevention. This consists of several components that we routinely implement:
- Timely dental visits
- Thorough dental cleanings
- Fluoride varnish
- Sealants (Read more about sealants on our Dental Topics)
- Silver Diamine Fluoride
Silver Diamine fluoride is a material that can be applied to small cavities with the goal of “arresting” them, or getting them to stop growing. It doesn’t make them go away, but it is a great holdover for children who are otherwise unable to sit comfortably or safely for a filling. It will discolor the cavity area, but often this area is already discolored, and even if not, usually a dark healthy spot is preferred over an area of decay and infected tooth structure.
Fillings and Pulp Therapy
We utilize the latest white filling materials to increase the quality and longevity of our restorations (fillings), and have a variety of materials to choose from depending on the size and location of the cavity we are treating. We have silver filling material available as well, which still has its place under certain circumstances.
When a cavity or trauma has exposed the nerve (pulp) of the tooth, we are able to diagnose the health of the nerve and provide the appropriate vital or nonvital pulp therapy to preserve the tooth if possible. This typically involves a layer(s) of material that are placed beneath the filling. Read more on our Dental Topics page.
Extractions and Space Maintainers
When teeth are beyond repair, are not falling out, or are not fitting in the mouth, we are equipped to comfortably remove baby teeth and most adult teeth.
When there is early loss of a tooth or naturally insufficient space, space maintainers are often desired. We are able to make single tooth or multiple-tooth space maintainers, which will preserve the gap until the new tooth is ready to grow in.
Nitrous Oxide / Sedation Dentistry
Nitrous oxide, also known as Laughing Gas, is a very safe and effective means of reducing anxiety in children who are young and/or nervous about dental care. When used properly and combined with behavior guidance techniques of a pediatric dentist, it is an excellent resource that generally tends to help make otherwise difficult experiences much easier for children. Individuals on nitrous oxide are not asleep, but instead typically experience a euphoric “dream-like” state, and this state is quickly reversed within minutes at the end of the procedure.
For children who need a lot of dental care and/or who are unable to sit in the dental chair safely to receive the dental care that they need, Dr. Lavoie has privileges at local facilities where he can perform treatment under General Anesthesia administered by a medical team. This not only gets all the care completed in one visit, but the care is often of better quality (vs working on a child who cannot sit still), and the child’s developing psyche is protected from a traumatic memory.
Tongue and Lip Tie Surgery
Dental frenums are muscle attachments that connect the lip and tongue to the mucosa and gingiva (gums). When too tight, they can make it difficult to clean the tops of the front teeth, can directly or indirectly lead to gingival and periodontal disease, and can also cause undesirable spacing of the front teeth. In these cases, we coordinate with orthodontists to resolve these issues, first by closing any spaces and then reducing the frenum attachment through a procedure called a frenectomy.
There are two ways to complete the frenectomy – with a laser or with a scalpel/scissors. We are fortunate to have a dental laser, which allows us to perform the procedure with minimal to no discomfort to the patient, no bleeding, faster treatment time, faster recovery time, and generally better results.
For adolescents who have all of their permanent teeth and desire to get them whiter, we are able to make custom bleaching trays.
For children who have other discoloration of one or several teeth due to the way they developed or after orthodontics, resin bonding is a simple procedure we can perform to restore the natural color of the tooth.
We recommend that all athletes wear sports guards to prevent dental injuries! Regardless of the sport, why risk it? There are over the counter guards which work just as well, but if added comfort or esthetics is desired, we are able to create a custom guard.
We also advocate for night guards for children with permanent teeth who are still grinding or clenching, especially if tooth wear if visible or if TMJ pain begins to develop. We also make night guards for younger children with severe grinding.
We are partnered with a very talented on-site orthodontist who can conveniently take care of all your braces, Invisalign, fixed and removable appliance (retainer) needs. Please call for more information!
Other services we provide include:
- Building up undersized teeth to full size
- Treatment for sensitive teeth
If there is a service you do not see listed that you are interested in, please call us! Chances are it is something we can take care of for you. If not, we will have a recommendation of another great local provider who can.