4949 Westown Pkwy Suite 150
West Des Moines , IA 50266-6716
(515) 225-0066

Emergency Dental Treatment

Let’s say your child falls, bumps his mouth and is bleeding.  This will get any parent’s adrenaline pumping as your child is in distress.  If your child does not lose consciousness, has no headache, nausea or vomiting, and the injuries are limited to the mouth, call our office.  In other words, IF YOU HAVE A DENTAL PROBLEM, CALL YOUR DENTIST.  The emergency room does not have a dentist on staff and can’t help if your child gets a tooth knocked out or other similar injuries.

After 5:00 pm, you can get in touch with our doctor on call by calling our office and following the menu to press the appropriate number to be connected.  We care for your children not just during business hours and are available 24 hours a day if you are concerned.  As specialists in pediatric dentistry, Dr. Matt and Dr. Diana have been trained extensively on traumatic dental injuries and have comprehensive experience with emergencies. 

This is an example of a dental emergency. This child fell and hit her mouth and her tooth was pushed out of the socket. Dr. Diana was able to see her in our office after hours to help get her out of pain and on the road to recovery.

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Age 1 for your child’s first visit

When should a child first see the dentist?  

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend children see a dentist within six months of the eruption of their first tooth or by their first birthday!

Some say that this is too young to see a dentist.  As specialists in pediatric dentistry, our doctors know that it is never too early to find a dental home and that cavities and other oral problems affect some children when they are very young.  Dr. Diana and Dr. Matt look for cavities, gum problems, oral diseases and pathology as well as your child’s overall development and growth.  Our goal is to help prevent problems that our patients may face rather than just reacting when things go wrong, such as cavities or trauma.  We want to be a dental home for your child so that we can answer all your questions and be ready if and when you should ever need us for treatment.

What are dental problems that young children may face?

Believe it or not, some children develop cavities as young as 12 months old.  Our doctors also look for gum problems, oral cancer, your child’s bite and their overall growth and development.  Sometimes signs of diseases or conditions that affect the body are first diagnosed by a dentist because of a dental problem.  Some children have lip ties or tongue ties that we can release with our laser.  Another common issue with this age group is when they are learning to walk, sometimes a child will fall and bump their mouth.  This can cause movement or displacement of teeth or gums.  Call our office if your child ever takes a serious tumble so that we may advise you.

Example of a Young Child with Cavities

This is a picture of a child who is only nineteen months old.  She has cavities on her two front teeth.  One of the cavities is so large that it has caused the tooth to die, and an infection has resulted.  You can see the infection in the gums as a yellow area above the teeth on the left of the photo.  When teeth are infected, the treatment is almost always extraction.  

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Why do your child’s teeth need sealants?

 Because they’re groovy, baby! -Austin Powers

Preventing cavities is much easier than fixing them!  Thorough toothbrushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily are the best ways to keep your teeth clean and healthy.  But what about the areas the toothbrush can’t reach?  The areas between teeth where touch can be cleaned by floss and the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces can be protected by applying dental sealants.

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Shark Teeth

Shark bait, hoo ha ha!  Finding Nemo™ was released in 2003 and is still a favorite of ours.

“Shark teeth” or as pediatric dentists call them, ectopically erupting mandibular incisors.

Our office receives phone calls every week from concerned parents saying their child has “shark teeth” or extra teeth.  Sometimes, when front teeth start coming in, the baby teeth aren’t lost yet.  This results in a “double row” of teeth.  Click Read More below to see the rest of this article!

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Silver Diamine Fluoride

What if I told you that I could simply paint a liquid on your child’s teeth to help STOP THEIR DECAY at its current point and help prevent cavities from forming WITHOUT DRILLING OR INJECTIONS?  Silver diamine fluoride does just this. 

Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is a colorless liquid that is painted on cavities to help stop and prevent tooth decay.  SDF contains silver, which has been used as an antibiotic for thousands of years. 

We offer silver diamine fluoride (SDF) treatment in our office.  This exciting technique is becoming more and more popular around the world because it does not require local anesthesia injections, drilling on teeth, or sedation of any form.  It is inexpensive and very easy to apply, taking only a few minutes for the application.  This allows us to target the bacteria that are causing decay and prevent decay on other tooth surfaces. 

SDF is a great option for patients who are not ready for traditional dental treatment and are at high risk for developing more cavities.  The silver ion in SDF causes the cavity to turn from a tannish-brown color to black.  This staining is permanent on the tooth.  Teeth that are treated with SDF can still be treated with fillings or crowns at a later date if the parent or guardian desires, when the child is more cooperative, or if esthetics are a concern.

New York Times article about SDF

At Des Moines Pediatric Dental Center, we are always striving to provide the most up-to-date treatments and options for our patients!  Call us at 515-225-0066 to set up an evaluation or if you are curious to learn if this is an option for your child!

We offer laser treatment for lip tie and tongue tie!

Dr. Diana and assistant Laurisa modeling our special laser safety glasses!

We offer laser treatment for lip tie and tongue tie.  Some infants have difficult breast or bottle feeding due to lip or tongue ties.  This condition is the result of an abnormally strong frenum (attachment) of the child’s lip or tongue such that it hinders movement and therefore, feeding.  If not corrected, these children can have speech and dental issues later in life.

We use a state-of-the-art laser to release the lip and tongue ties.  Laser treatment has many benefits, including less discomfort, no bleeding and typically we perform this treatment without injected anesthetics.  Call our office at 515-225-0066 to set up an evaluation!

 

Four Common Dental Myths, and The Facts Behind Them


Ah the internet. It can be a fantastic resource to access an infinite amount of knowledge and data, or it can be used to spread baseless rumors that confuse otherwise intelligent people. Unfortunately, the internet has made it much easier for people to share healthcare myths that can mislead people into making unhealthy decisions. Below are a few dental myths, and the facts behind them.

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Four Keys to Avoid Cavities in 2017

Happy New Year! 2016 is behind us, which means that it’s time to start 2017 off the right way – with a healthy smile! Below, we’ve outlined some important rules to follow that will help keep your family’s teeth healthy this year.

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Tooth Friendly Stocking Stuffers


Those of you celebrating Christmas are quite familiar with stockings, and have surely filled them with little gifts on more than one occasion. This year, we suggest balancing out some of the candy and tiny treats with some mouth-healthy stocking stuffers!

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Tooth-Healthy Foods for Babies Beginning Solid Diets

As your baby begins eating solid food, it can be tough to plan a diet that’s convenient and healthy for their teeth. The market is oversaturated with choices, and just about every baby food producer can make a compelling argument for their product. However, there are certain foods that are markedly better than others, and most share one important trait: they’re whole fruits and vegetables. Below are a few of the best foods for babies just beginning to eat solids.

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