Caring for the unique dental needs of children and adolescents is both rewarding and challenging. Understanding this, Dr. Rojas is skilled at helping your children relax and feel comfortable while providing them with the best dental care in The Woodlands and surrounding areas.
Dr. Rojas has a conservative approach to dentistry and will ensure your children’s comfort and well being at all times. We work hard to prevent cavities but when restorative care is needed we specialize in making the process as easy and pain free as possible.
The following pages describe the most common procedures that are performed at Enchanted Forest Pediatric Dentistry:
Dental fillings are used to treat cavities or to repair cracked or broken teeth. Dr. Rojas removes the decayed portion of the tooth and then fills the area to restore it.
The crown is a tooth shaped covering which protects the tooth. It is cemented into place and is meant to be there until the primary tooth comes out. A crown prevents food from lodging into the teeth and allowing for the atmosphere required for a cavity to arise.
A pulpotomy / pulpectomy is the partial or complete removal of nerve tissue from inside the tooth that has been contaminated with bacteria from a deep cavity or as a complication from a traumatic injury. A soothing medication is placed inside the tooth before the final restoration is placed.
X-rays taken at our office are an important part of evaluating your child’s overall oral health. We use all digital radiographic equipment which requires less radiation (90% less) than standard X-ray film. Dr. Rojas will interpret the X-ray and immediately see what is happening under the surface of the teeth and gums. Finding and treating those problems early can save you time, money and your child unnecessary discomfort.
How often we take X-rays depends on the child’s general oral health, age, risk for disease and any signs or symptoms we may see during the exam. Children require X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and more likely to be affected by tooth decay. We may recommend X-rays during the initial visit to establish a baseline which helps identify changes that may occur later.
We operate three types of X-ray equipment:
The Panorex X-ray takes a single picture of all your teeth and surrounding bones at once. fSometimes referred to as a full mouth X-ray, the Panorex provides a two-dimensional panoramic view of your mouth. The resulting X-ray includes more than just a couple of teeth at a time.
Enchanted Forest Pediatric Dentistry recently added a Nomad Pro2 handheld digital X-ray to its practice. The Nomad Pro2 moves to the patient’s location to provide added comfort to those little ones and to those that are worried about dental procedures.
Wall Mounted X-Ray
Dental X-rays are very safe and expose your child to a minimal amount of radiation. When all standard safety precautions are taken, today’s X-ray equipment is able to prevent unnecessary radiation and allows the dentist to focus the X-ray beam on a specific part of the mouth. A lead body apron or shield will be placed over the child’s body. We will make sure the shield covers your child’s neck to protect the thyroid gland.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year for most children. Some children need more frequent dental visits due to an increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns, or poor oral hygiene.
Evaluation of your child’s orthodontics begins with their very first visit by monitoring growth, development and occlusion (bite). Early dental problems such as open bites due to thumbsucking, crossbite or crowding can be treated by interceptive or early orthodontics.
Teeth cleaning removes debris that builds up on the teeth which irritates the gums and can cause decay. Fluoride treatment renews the fluoride content in the enamel which then strengthens teeth and prevents cavities. Hygiene instruction improves your child’s brushing and flossing skills which leads to cleaner teeth and healthier gums.
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occur on those hard to reach back teeth. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and more resistant to decay. Drinking water treated with fluoride as well as brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. Dr. Rojas will recommend fluoride supplements, if necessary.
Sedation during a dental appointment is used to provide a relaxing and anxiety-free experience for certain children receiving dental treatments. It enables individuals too afraid to go to the dentist to receive the dental care they need while avoiding the common apprehension known as “dental phobia”. Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and the American Pediatric Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit.
Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell our staff about any medications or medical treatments your child may be receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, Dr. Rojas will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre- and post-sedation instructions.
Regardless of the type of sedation dentistry your child receives, it is important to have a responsible caregiver accompany the child to the procedure and be available for positive support. The caregiver should stay with the child for an additional two to four hours after returning home.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous oxide is turned off and oxygen is administered for five to 10 minutes in order to flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although a few patients may experience minor nausea or constipation.
Oral sedation dentistry is now the most common technique used in the United States to quell patient fears. The technique is easy and requires no needles. Best of all, the sedation creates a comfortable experience by controlling anxiety and relaxing the patient. In reality, oral sedation dentistry maintains a level of consciousness and responsiveness in the patient for safety and cooperation.
Although some forms of sedation (such as nitrous oxide gas) may raise your threshold for pain, most dental treatments still require a local anesthetic injection. The injection of local anesthetic will temporarily block pain impulses from the affected teeth and gum tissue. However, this injection will be given after your child is sedated and comfortable, which means he/she most likely will not be bothered by or remember the sensation of having the injection.
Most dental procedures in children are completed using local anesthesia, however, very young, fearful or uncooperative children also require sedation through the use of an experienced dental anesthesiologist. Intravenous (IV) sedation is a deep sleep that insulates your child from the stress and discomfort associated with dental procedures. A dental anesthesiologist is a dentist who has completed specialty training in anesthesiology and has had extra training in pediatric anesthesia.