Pearly Smiles’ Philosophy
We know that you need to trust your kid’s dentist. The Pearly Smiles Pediatric Dentistry team takes an honest, compassionate and joyful approach to treating our patients. Since dental decay progresses much faster in baby teeth than in adult teeth, we encourage regular visits to the dentist starting at age one. It’s in these pivotal visits that our team teaches kids lifelong healthy oral care habits through that focus on preventative care. The below services are provided in our South Bay pediatric dentistry to prevent tooth decay, catch restorative issues early on and build a positive association with dental visits:
Recommended Age of First Visit
Within first six months
after the first baby tooth arrives
No later than
his/her first birthday
To care for the teeth and gums of your little ones is our goal. Preventive oral care starts at infancy and incorporates it into daily life routine. It is our philosophy to include discussion about diet, eating habits, and caring for teeth and gums at each visit
It is important to set a foundation of good dental habits for your child. We are here to help you establish that through dental checkups to make sure your little one's teeth and gums are healthy. It is important to start keeping the mouth healthy, even before they have teeth. At Pearly Smiles we want to set up a dental home for your little ones at FIRST birthday.
Prevention of dental disease is our top priority. Routine dental evaluations are an important way to assess the dental health of your child, to diagnose and formulate a plan to eradicate and manage disease. Regular dental visits are as important as regular visits to the pediatrician. At each cleaning visit, our highly trained dental staff will remove the plaque from the teeth prior to having Dr. Mori check the teeth.
Fluoride is a non-invasive medication used to reduce the risk of dental caries. It is applied topically in the dental office and it strengthens teeth. Fluoride is applied twice a year during the routine cleaning visits. If you have any questions feel free to ask us prior to the visit.
A sealant is a tooth colored material that covers the grooves and tissues of the teeth to help protect those surfaces from dental decay (cavities). Children typically receive sealants around age 6 on their permanent first molars and around 12 on their permanent second molars. In some cases sealants are indicated on primary teeth. At each visit Dr. Mori will evaluate and recommend sealants to protect your child’s teeth.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a non-invasive treatment option for small cavities, using a topical medicine that is painted on the tooth instead of a more invasive surgical (drill and fill) approach. It is a great option for kids that are young as it is quick, easy and painless. It also arrests 80% of cavities when applied twice a year. It does permanently stain the teeth and it is not an option for deep cavities.
Cavities are 5x more common than asthma! Although our goal is to be cavity free for life, rest assured the science of dentistry has advanced. We have options for different restorative material depending on the extent and location of the cavity.
Composites are white fillings used to restore the original structure of a tooth after getting infection with cavities. When cavities are small and do not involve the nerve of the tooth, we can rebuild the tooth with composite that mimics the tooth color.
As cavities progress and cause more tooth damage, a filling will not be successful in restoring the form and function of the tooth. A crown would be the best option to get longevity and strength from that tooth.
When the cavity extends to the nerve of the tooth, the only way to ensure vitality of it is to perform a pulpotomy. A pulpotomy is a simple procedure and can be done in a similar setting as fillings, etc.
There are many options today to arrest decay without actually drilling the teeth and using local anesthetics. A few of the options for non-drill dentistry are SDF applications, using SMART (Silver Modified Atraumatic Restorative Treatment) that combines SDF and Glass Ionomer Cements, Hall crowns, and so forth.
Some children are not candidates for nitrous oxide or oral sedation because of level of anxiety, age.
NITROUS OXIDE + OXYGEN
Our Torrance Pediatric Dentistry knows that all children are not the same! We have a practice tailored to kids, with gentle, caring manner to ensure comfort throughout the whole process. However, a child may feel anxious during treatment, and Nitrous oxide/Oxygen is a safe, effective technique to calm a child’s fear of the dental visit. Nitrous Oxide is very safe. It is the safest sedative used in dentistry. It is mild, easily taken, and quickly eliminated out of the body. Your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes when breathing in the nitrous oxide/oxygen. Nitrous Oxide can be great for reducing the gag-reflex. Our staff will give you specific instructions concerning eating or any other directions prior to the appointment.
Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen is not effective for some children, including those who have severe anxiety, nasal congestion, and extensive treatment needs. Dr. Mori will evaluate and discuss options of various sedation methods depending on the needs of the patient.
Oral Conscious sedation is a drink that your child will take in the office prior to dental treatment. Oral Sedation is very dependent on the temperament of the patient and the consumption of the whole “drink”, as for those reasons it is not a service that we offer at our office.
GENERAL ANESTHESIA / IV SEDATION
IV Sedation is recommended in some cases due to extreme apprehension, children in need of extensive dental work, or special needs patients. When using advanced hospital-level equipment and monitoring, safe and effective anesthesia services can be provided in the dental office.
We offer this service in Office with our Board Certified Anesthesiologist. If needed our office staff will go over the process and required information prior to booking an appointment.
EXTRACTION / EMERGENCY
Emergency pediatric dental services are designed to quickly relieve a child of oral pain caused by toothaches, abscesses, cavities or trauma. Extractions are needed when extreme decay causes the tooth to be non-restorable, fractured or broken tooth that is too damaged. Other times are when there is overcrowding and the orthodontist would need teeth removed to prepare for braces.
ORTHODONTICS / SPACE PRESERVATION
Baby teeth serve an important purpose of preserving the space for permanent teeth developing underneath them. If a baby tooth comes out prematurely sometimes a space maintainer is utilized in order to preserve that space to allow the permanent successor space to come in. Other times space maintainers can be utilized to preserve as much space as possible on children.
A frenectomy is a procedure used to correct a congenital condition in which the lingual (tongue) or labial (upper lip) frenulum is too tight, causing restrictions in movement and function that can cause significant difficulty with breastfeeding, and in some instances, other health problems like dental decay, tooth crowding, speech difficulties, airway issues, atypical facial growth, and digestive issues.
When it affects the lingual frenulum (under the tongue), this condition is commonly called a tongue-tie (the medical term is ankyloglossia). It is estimated that 40% of the population has this condition, so your lactation consultant, doctor, bodyworker, speech therapist, or other whole-body health provider may feel that this minor procedure is warranted to improve symptoms.