At Poughkeepsie Pediatric Dentistry, we have the philosophy of treating our patients as if they were our own children. Our mission is to provide comprehensive dental treatment and education for children and adolescents in a friendly atmosphere that encourages children to enjoy their dental experiences. Click on the services below to learn more about them.
Dental Cleanings and Hygiene Instructions
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and American Academy of Pediatrics recommends every child see a dentist by the time their first tooth erupts and no later than their first birthday. Establishing a dental home early will encourage healthy habits that last a lifetime and ensure that your child receives preventive care. Routine dental cleanings and exams are important for your child to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent tooth decay and disease. Your daily home care is also critical, but the professional cleanings remove mineralized plaque that can develop despite good brushing and flossing, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach.
During the appointment, your child’s teeth will be polished and scaled to remove the plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces and under the gum line. He or she will get to choose a fun toothpaste flavor like cookie dough or bubble gum before sitting back to watch a kid-friendly movie overhead while their teeth are cleaned. The hygienist will spend time reviewing your child’s dietary intake and daily dental hygiene routines. She will encourage healthy eating habits and instruct proper brushing and flossing techniques at each check up visit.
We follow the American Academy of Dentistry and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines for taking dental X-rays. Dental x-rays will be taken as needed during their routine cleaning appointments to check for cavities in between their teeth, survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone disease, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. We will always minimize your child’s radiation exposure by providing 100% digital equipment that uses 90% less radiation than traditional dental x-rays and prescribing x-rays on an individual basis which depends on your child’s individual risk factors for oral disease. Your child will also wear a lead body apron with a thyroid collar during the process. If you have any concerns about x-rays for your child, please discuss them with our staff.
A Fluoride treatment in the form of a varnish (a sticky coating which minimizes ingestion) will be applied to your child’s teeth at the end of each check up visit or more often depending on their cavity risk. Your child will be able to eat and drink right away, just nothing hard or sticky or too hot for 4-6 hours. Fluoride is a safe and effective way to help your child’s teeth stay strong and cavity-free. We will also discuss optimal fluoride intake from all sources; i.e. Fluoridated water, toothpaste and mouth rinsing to help keep your child’s teeth strong while minimizing the risk of Fluorosis (white or brown spots) on their developing adult teeth.
Poughkeepsie Pediatric Dentistry focuses strongly on prevention and wants to help our patients grow up cavity-free. We strongly encourage you to have your child’s teeth sealed because it is one of the most effective and easy ways to help prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities and can be applied to baby molars and adult premolars and molars. They should be applied as early as possible after the adult tooth erupts and before cavities get a chance to form. The chewing surfaces are the most likely areas to get cavities and toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves of back teeth. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food. Sealants generally last several years and the cost of sealants is very low compared to getting cavities fixed
Mercury-Free White Fillings
We care about the safety of dental materials and will not place mercury containing silver (amalgam) fillings. Instead we place BPA-free white (composite fillings) which are safe and aesthetic. They look so great that no one will know your child had a cavity.
Pediatric Crowns (Stainless Steel or White Zirconia)
A Stainless Steel or White Zirconia Crown may be recommended for your child after a baby root canal is performed or if there is extensive damage to a back baby tooth from cavities or trauma. They are recommended when a traditional filling is not considered strong enough to protect the tooth until it will naturally fall out. (Keep in mind that the baby molars do not fall out until 11-14 years of age) The difference between stainless steel and white crowns is mostly cosmetic but the pros and cons to each crown can be discussed with your child’s doctor prior to placing it.
Baby Root Canals (aka Pulpotomy or Pulpectomy)
A cavity that involves the nerve (pulp) of the tooth may cause a child to experience intense pain. Although the pain may actually subside for a period of time using ibuprofen or antibiotics, it will return unless the tooth is properly treated. When the nerve of the tooth is infected, it must be treated to restore the child to good dental health.
A pediatric root canal procedure is referred to as a “pulpotomy.” The purpose of root canal treatment is to maintain the vitality of the affected tooth so that the tooth will not be lost early. Early loss of posterior (back) primary teeth may cause future problems with the eruption of permanent teeth. Therefore, it is best to avoid early loss of primary molars by properly treating the nerve of infected teeth with a pulpotomy. Dental caries (cavities) and traumatic injury are the main reasons for a tooth to require pulp therapy. The pulpotomy root canal procedure removes the infected pulp tissue within the crown of the tooth. A medication is placed to calm the nerve of the tooth and prevent bacterial growth. The pulpotomy is followed with a final restoration such as a filling, a white zirconia crown or stainless steel crown.
After the pulpotomy (root canal procedure) is complete; your child should feel much better. We expect all pain to subside either immediately or within a few days of the procedure.
A dental extraction, which is often referred to as getting a tooth pulled, is a common procedure performed by pediatric dentists. Extractions may be necessary due to extensive dental cavities causing pain or infection, dental trauma or for orthodontic reasons. Most extractions are easy and routine and can be performed within the comfort and familiarity of our office. If Dr. Noskow feels that the extraction is more complicated, your child may be referred to an Oral Surgeon.
In order to ensure that your child has a pleasant experience we recommend both Nitrous Oxide (to help them relax) and a local anesthetic (to numb the area). Rarely will your child require stitches. The area will heal on its own. It is important that you monitor your child so that they do not bite their lip or tongue. If there is sustained bleeding at home, try placing cotton gauze over the extraction site and have your child bite firmly for 30 minutes. You may also wet a tea bag and have your child bite on it gently. The tannic acid will stop bleeding naturally within 15 minutes. Have your child keep their fingers out of their mouth. Your child may eat a soft diet as soon as the numbness wears off, avoiding acidic food and drinks, such as tomato sauce and orange juice. Do not drink from a straw for the first 48 hours. Brush the area carefully and gently. Your child should relax after surgery, as strenuous physical activity may increase bleeding. You may start rinsing with a warm salt-water solution after 24 hours. Make your own salt water by mixing 1 tsp (5 g) of salt in a medium-sized glass [8 fl oz (237 mL)] of warm water. Give your child Tylenol or Motrin as per label instructions to control any discomfort they may experience. Return to the office in 7 days for follow up.
If you have any concerns about pain, bleeding or healing, contact us immediately.
When a tooth is lost prematurely due to cavities or trauma, a spacer is often recommended to hold the gap open for the adult tooth to erupt later when it’s ready. Space maintainers help prevent shifting and crowding of the adult teeth.
Sports Mouth Guards
Once your child starts playing competitive sports such a hockey, basketball, football etc. we strongly recommend that they wear a sports mouth guard to protect their adult teeth from fracturing due to trauma. While over-the-counter sports guards are readily available, the comfort and fit of a custom-made sports guard is unparalleled.
Behavior Management & Sedation/Anesthesia
At Poughkeepsie Pediatric Dentistry we see many different children with many different challenges. While some children will accept dental treatment without complication, others have more anxiety and express more emotion during such procedures. Dr. Noskow will assess your child’s anxiety level and recommend the appropriate behavior management technique. We all share the same goal: to complete your child’s dental treatment in a safe, comfortable setting. These goals may be reached through the help of sedative materials to relax and comfort your child.
Tell. Show. Do.
We use this technique on virtually all young patients. We explain to our patients what we’re going to do. We show them what we’re going to do. And then we do it.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Many children are calm, at ease, and secure in a pediatric dental office. Sometimes, however, a child feels anxious during treatment. Your child may need more than a gentle, caring manner to feel comfortable. We offer nitrous oxide/oxygen (sometimes called laughing gas or happy air) to make treatment easier for your child, who is mildly anxious. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes nitrous oxide/oxygen as safe and effective for treating children.
Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. When inhaled, it is absorbed by the body and has a calming effect. Normal breathing eliminates nitrous oxide/oxygen from the body. Your child will smell a sweet, pleasant aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. If your child is worried by the sights, sounds, or sensations of dental treatment, he or she may respond more positively with the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen.
Nitrous oxide/oxygen is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It is non addictive. It is mild, easily taken, and then quickly eliminated by the body. Your child remains fully conscious, keeps all natural reflexes, when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen. Beneficial effects of nitrous oxide include the following:
- reduced anxiety
- pain reduction
- altered perception of time (appointments seem short)
- visual fear reduction (nose mask blocks child’s view of dental instruments and other things that could potentially frighten the child)