PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY

Children should be seen by a dentist beginning as early as age one.

Not only does this introduce your child to the sights and sounds of the dental process from an early age, but it makes them more comfortable with the dental experience as they need procedures later on in life. This is the first step in guiding your child to proper oral health and teaches them good oral hygiene techniques from the beginning of their life. Our team of dentists and hygienists really go the extra mile to make children feel comfortable. We offer pediatric dentistry in a warm and inviting environment to children of all ages.
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ROOT CANAL THERAPY (ENDODONTICS)

What is a Root Canal?

At the core of the tooth is soft tissue (otherwise known as pulp). The hollow area that houses this soft tissue contains a space towards the top of the tooth called the pulp chamber. This pulp chamber is connected to the root of the tooth via pipe-like canals, giving rise to the term “root canal”. The blood vessels in these canals provide nutrition to the tooth. Occasionally, the internal soft tissue of the tooth becomes infected and can result in a serious infection if left untreated. Root canal treatment should take place before the infection gets too serious.Technically “root canal” is not the name of the procedure but refers instead simply to the thin tubes that connect the pulp chamber and the tip of the tooth’s root. In fact, the procedure that laymen refer to as a “root canal” is actually known as a pulpectomy to dentists. A pulpectomy is an endodontic treatment to cure an infected root canal. In the old days, damage to the core of a tooth usually meant it had to be removed. Today, however, a “root canal” procedure (or pulpectomy) disinfects and refills the inside of the tooth, thus preventing pain and limiting damage to the tooth.

The Root Canal Treatment Procedure

The tooth is first anesthetized then a hole is made down into the pulp. Dr. Takahashi uses tiny instruments to extract the remaining pulp from the tooth, thoroughly disinfecting the tooth canal in the process. Once disinfected, the interior of the tooth is filled with an inert material that helps prevent further infection.

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PERIODONTICS

Gum disease treatment

Periodontitis, or Pyorrhea, is a disease involving inflammation of the gums (gingiva), often persisting unnoticed for years or decades in a patient, that results in loss of bone around teeth. This differs from gingivitis, where there is inflammation of the gingiva but no bone loss; it is the loss of bone around the teeth that differentiates between these two oral inflammatory diseases. Defend against gum disease by:

  • Brushing teeth after every meal.

  • Checking to see if bleeding is present during or after brushing. If so you’ll need to brush and floss more often or more thoroughly and need your teeth cleaned professionally.

  • Flossing at least once per day using proper flossing methods. Not flossing allows bacteria to build up to dangerous levels.

  • Decreasing the quantity and frequency of your sugar consumption. Sugar helps plaque grow.

  • Visiting your dentist twice a year.

Dr. Takahashi treats gum disease with root planing and scaling, antibiotics, and surgery when necessary.

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Periodontal or gum disease is a chronic infection caused by an accumulation of plaque around the gum line and can lead to everything from chronic bad breath to much more serious problems, such as the loss of your teeth. Aside from your mouth and teeth being at risk, it can also affect other aspects of your overall health and can leave you susceptible to diabetes and heart disease. While many of the symptoms associated with this disease are common, often times, the warnings signs go unnoticed until it is too late. For this reason, it is vital to your overall health and well-being that having your gums checked twice a year as part of your comprehensive dental plan.

ORTHODONTICS

In the past, orthodontic treatments were reserved for pre-teens and teens that suffered from difficulty with their overbite. Today, it is more common for adults to seek orthodontic treatment as well. In fact, nearly 30% of all orthodontic patients in the United States are adults. Of course, it does pay to start orthodontic treatment as early as possible, typically as early as age seven, for maximum effectiveness.
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of problems involving the alignment of teeth and jaws. The technical term for these problems is malocclusion, which literally means, bad bite.

Orthodontic treatment involves the design and use of corrective appliances to bring the teeth and jaws into proper alignment. During your comprehensive exam, your dentist can discuss whether or not orthodontic care is appropriate for your teeth, and if so, which treatments you would need.

WISDOM TEETH EXTRACTIONS

Third molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, are usually the last four of 32 teeth to erupt (surface) in the mouth, generally erupting between the ages of 17 to 25. They are located at the back of the mouth (top and bottom), near the entrance to the throat. The term “wisdom” stems from the idea that the molars surface at a time typically associated with increased maturity or “wisdom”. In most cases, inadequate space in the mouth does not allow the wisdom teeth to erupt properly and become fully functional. When this happens, the tooth can become impacted (stuck) in an undesirable or potentially harmful position. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to infection, damage to other teeth, and possibly cysts or tumors.

Reasons to remove wisdom teeth

While not all wisdom teeth require removal, wisdom teeth extractions are most often performed because of an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay or infection, or as a preventative measure to avoid serious problems in the future. If impaction of one or more wisdom teeth is present, and left untreated, a number of potentially harmful outcomes can occur, including:

  • Damage to nearby teeth: Second molars (the teeth directly in front of the wisdom teeth) can be adversely affected by impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in tooth decay (cavities), periodontal disease (gum disease) and possible bone loss.

  • Disease: Although uncommon, cysts and tumors can occur in the areas surrounding impacted wisdom teeth.

  • Infection: Bacteria and food can become trapped under the gum tissue, resulting in an infection. The infection can cause considerable pain and danger.

  • Tooth Crowding: It has been theorized that impacted wisdom teeth can put pressure on other teeth and cause them to become misaligned (crowded or twisted). This theory isn’t universally accepted by all dental professionals, and it has never been validated by any scientific studies.

Wisdom teeth examination

Dr. Takahashi will want to initially conduct a thorough examination of the wisdom and surrounding teeth. Panoramic or digital x-rays will be taken in order for him to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if a current problem exists, or the likelihood of any potential future problems. The x-rays can also expose additional risk factors, such as deterioration or decay of nearby teeth. Early evaluation and treatment (typically in the mid-teen years) is recommended in order to identify potential problems and to improve the results for patients requiring wisdom teeth extractions. Only after a thorough examination can Dr. Takahashi provide you with the best options for your particular case.

What does the removal of wisdom teeth involve?

Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, generally performed under local anesthesia, intravenous (IV) sedation, or general anesthesia by a specially trained dentist in an office surgery suite. The later two options will require a referral to our excellent team of oral surgeons. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be released with post-operative instructions and medication (if necessary), to help manage any swelling or discomfort.

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