CaringSmiles 4u | Our Dental Services in Indianapolis

                Juanita R. Taylor, DDS

                                        4615 Lafayette Rd.  Suite B
                                     Indianapolis, IN 46254

317-968-9700

Our Dental Services
 


Digital Dental Radiographs (X-rays)

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Radiographs (X-Rays) are a vital and necessary part of your child’s dental diagnostic process.  Without them, certain dental conditions can and will be missed.

Radiographs detect much more than cavities.  For example, radiographs may be needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment.  Radiographs allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination.  If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends radiographs and examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay.  We begin taking x-rays at the age of 3, unless visible decay is observed in the mouth.   With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental x-ray examination is extremely small.  The risk is negligible.  In fact, the dental radiographs represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem.  Lead body aprons and shields will protect your child. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary x-rays and restricts the x-ray beam to the area of interest.  High-speed film and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure. 

 

Dental Exam and Prophy (Cleaning)

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Regular dental check-ups and preventive dental care provide your child with a healthy smile.  Plan your child’s first dental visit within six months after the first tooth erupts, but no later than the first birthday.  Consider it a “well baby checkup” for your child’s teeth. (ADA)  It is recommended to brush your child’s teeth twice a day and floss daily. 

The dentist gently examines your child’s teeth and gums, checking for decay and other problems.  The hygienist will brush their teeth with a toothbrush or spin brush depending on the age of the child. It is also important to have the tongue cleaned, as food debris and bacteria will rest on the tongue.  We will schedule your child for his or her next dental visit at 6 month intervals. 

 

 

 

 

 

Fluoride

flouride.pngFluoride is an element, which has been shown to be beneficial to teeth.  However, too little or too much fluoride can be detrimental to the teeth.  Little or no fluoride will not strengthen the teeth to help them resist cavities.  Excessive fluoride ingestion by preschool-aged children can lead to dental fluorosis, which is a chalky white to even brown discoloration of the permanent teeth.  Many children often get more fluoride than their parents realize.  Being aware of a child’s potential sources of fluoride can help parents prevent the possibility of dental fluorosis.

Some of these sources are:

  • Too much fluoridated toothpaste at an early age.
  • The inappropriate use of fluoride supplements.
  • Hidden sources of fluoride in the child’s diet.

 

Two and three year olds may not be able to expectorate (spit out) fluoride-containing toothpaste when brushing.  As a result, these youngsters may ingest an excessive amount of fluoride during tooth brushing.  Toothpaste ingestion during the critical period of permanent tooth development is the greatest risk factor in the development of fluorosis.

Excessive and inappropriate intake of fluoride supplements may also contribute to fluorosis.  Fluoride drops and tablets, as well as fluoride fortified vitamins should not be given to infants younger than six months of age.  After that time, fluoride supplements should only be given to children after all of the sources of ingested fluoride have been accounted for and upon recommendation of the dentist.

Certain foods contain high levels of fluoride, especially powdered concentrate infant formula, soy-based infant formula, infant dry cereals, creamed spinach, and infant chicken products.  Please read the label or contact the manufacturer.  Some beverages also contain high levels of fluoride, especially decaffeinated teas, white grape juice drinks manufactured in fluoridated cities.

Parents can take the following steps to decrease the risk of fluorosis in their children’s teeth: 

  • Use baby tooth cleanser on the toothbrush of the very young child.
  • Place only a pea sized drop of children’s toothpaste on the brush when brushing.
  • Account for all of the sources of ingested fluoride before requesting fluoride supplements from your child’s dentist.
  • Avoid giving any fluoride-containing supplements to infants until they are at least 6 months old.
  • Obtain fluoride level test results for your drinking water before giving fluoride supplements to your child (check with local water utilities).

 

Sealants

A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where four out of five cavities in children are found. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth.

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Before Sealant Applied        After Sealant Applied

 

Mouth Guards

mouthguards.pngWhen a child begins to participate in recreational activities and organized sports, injuries can occur.  A properly fitted mouth guard, or mouth protector, is an important piece of athletic gear that can help protect your child’s smile, and should be used during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth.

Mouth guards help prevent broken teeth, and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw.  A properly fitted mouth guard will stay in place while your child is wearing it, making it easy for them to talk and breathe.

Call the office to inquire about custom and store-bought mouth protectors.

 

Tooth Extractions

Some teeth are diagnosed as non-restorable due to gross decay or abscess.  At this time an extraction is recommended.  If this is the diagnosis and determined treatment, the dentist will prepare you for the procedure. 

Your third molars are more commonly called "wisdom teeth." Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.

In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.

To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, you may be referred to an oral surgeon to have the procedure completed. A referral form will be given to you for scheduling that appointment. 

 

Space Maintaining Appliances

If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, you may need a space maintainer to "save" the space. What does that mean? Baby teeth are there for a reason. One key reason is that they save space for the permanent tooth, which will erupt into its position when the baby tooth is lost normally.

If a primary tooth has to be removed early due to decay and an abscess, a space maintainer may be recommended to save the space. If the space is not preserved, the other teeth may drift resulting in crowding and orthodontic problems. If it is a front tooth then you don't need a space maintainer. However, you can place a pediatric partial to replace the teeth for cosmetic reasons.

Now "Spacers" may be in there for a while, but they are not permanent. They are removed when the new tooth  erupts or the abutment teeth get loose.

 

Kinds of Space Maintainers:

1. Fixed Space Maintainers:

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Unilateral

A. Band and Loop: Replacement of one tooth on one side of the mouth.

 

B. Distal Shoe type. Used when the first permanent molar has not erupted.

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Bilateral:

A. Lower Lingual Arch: These are usually cemented with bands on the back teeth on both sides of the mouth connected by a wire just behind the anterior teeth.  This will eliminate the need for two unilateral spacers. They are most useful if there is more than one tooth missing or you are trying to keep the lower incisors from tipping.

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B. Maxillary Nance:  This bilateral spacer may incorporate an acrylic button resting on the palate.

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Pedo Denture

Sometimes a baby tooth gets knocked out or has to be removed due to dental disease. The child may be without the anterior teeth for quite some time depending on the age of the child. Placement of a pedo denture helps with the appearance and self esteem of the child.

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If the missing baby tooth is in the front, you really don't need a space maintainer. Can't you make a partial with a fake tooth on it for looks? Well, you can but you don't have to. There are several types of "Pediatric Partials" to replace knocked out baby teeth. The normal time a front permanent tooth takes to come in varies, but is usually around seven years old. So, if your three year old has lost his tooth early, he will be without something there for about three or four years. Does he care? No, probably not. He can eat and speak just fine even with all four front baby teeth gone. It's us parents that get all bent out of shape over the appearance of the teeth.

These partials are more difficult to do of there is not a lot of room between the gums and the bottom teeth or other related concerns. It is somewhat difficult to take care of these things, but most kids do well. I usually only do these on "cooperative" patients. Keep in mind that kids are rough on their teeth and they are rough on things like this partial. Many times I see the fake teeth get broken off or some other kind of problem. The younger the child the more likely there will be a problem. For these reasons and others, I do not do many "partials" like this.

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Here are a couple of photos of different kinds of pedo partials. You can do one tooth or up to about four teeth. In fact I think it looks better when you have more than one tooth because there is not just one tooth that stands out as being "fake". It is attached to the back baby teeth with orthodontic bands. The partial is removed when the new teeth are ready to erupt.

 

Here's one in place (the fake teeth are the upper four middle teeth):

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Teeth Whitening

whitening.pngYour teeth will darken over time. Changes in the color of your teeth can be caused by such factors as the food and beverages consumed (like coffee, tea and soda). Other known factors for discoloration may include childhood medications or illnesses, tobacco use or improper oral hygiene.

Our office offers whitening trays for safe and effective whitening at home over a period of 1-2 weeks.  You will get an impression taken of your teeth and your trays will be fabricated from the impression. You will return to the office 1-2 weeks for tray try in and delivery of the trays.  You will be given a solution kit of whitening gel to take home with you.  Whitening Gel gently breaks down stains on your teeth to put the sparkle back in your smile! We also recommend occasional touch-ups with the take-home gel.

We do not recommend this procedure for pregnant women or children under age 13.  It is important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen post-whitening to preserve your bright, white smile.