At Robert M. Kelso Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, dentistry for children is about more than bright, healthy smiles. Dr. Kelso wants to make sure your child’s visit is rewarding and fun, so there’s no fear of “next time”. As a parent himself, he knows how nervous children can be when they come to visit the dentist. Dr. Kelso takes extra time to earn the trust of both you and your child, to make sure each trip to the dentist is a pleasant, calm experience.
We encourage you and your child to ask questions and are always happy to address any concerns you have as a parent. We use simple explanations to answer your child’s questions and reassure them. If your child is anxious, ask us about our comfort dentistry options if they need it to complete their appointment or to keep calm through extensive dental work.
Your Child's First Visit
Dr. Kelso understands that you want the best for your child. At Robert M. Kelso Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we focus on providing the highest quality pediatric dental care possible. It’s completely normal for a child to be unsure or nervous about their first dental visit, but at our Knoxville dental office, they don’t have to be! Our practice is designed to make your child comfortable and excited to visit the dentist.
Regular Dental Checkups
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) advises that children be seen for a checkup every 6 months. These visits allow Dr. Kelso to closely monitor new changes in your child’s mouth and ensure that you, as a parent, have all the information you need to promote continued oral health in your child. Dr. Kelso may suggest additional checkups if your child is more susceptible to cavities, or if your child is showing signs of orthodontic problems.
Treatment for cavities in children depends on how severe the decay is as well as each child’s age and risk of future cavities. At Robert M. Kelso Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we typically treat cavities with discreet, effective tooth-colored fillings.
Baby teeth are not as strong as adult teeth. If your child’s tooth suffers a large cavity, the bacteria can damage the pulp inside the tooth, causing pain and inflammation. When the soft tissue inside the pulp chamber becomes infected or inflamed, Dr. Kelso might recommend a pulpotomy. Instead of removing the entire tooth, Dr. Kelso will put a medicated filling into the pulp chamber to try to keep the remaining pulp inside the tooth alive and healthy.
Protective Dental Sealants
Protective dental sealants are thin coats of plastic painted onto your child’s back teeth to protect their deep grooves and depressions from accumulating bacteria and food particles. Studies show that 88% of cavities in American school-aged children are caused by food and bacteria being caught in rear molars.
At Robert M. Kelso Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we typically apply a protective sealant to your child’s back teeth, premolars and molars. The sealant will last for several years, but we will continue to check it during your child’s regular dental appointments.
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped coverings cemented to a badly damaged tooth to restore the shape and functionality of the tooth. Dr. Kelso may recommend a crown for your child’s tooth if it has a large cavity, was broken or chipped due to trauma, or if the tooth hasn’t developed correctly.
Gentle Tooth Extractions
Unfortunately, sometimes a child’s tooth may be too badly decayed to save. In this case, Dr. Kelso will perform an extraction. An extraction may also be recommended if the tooth is severely fractured or is crowding other healthy teeth.
If your child is anxious, has special needs, or just needs extra help staying calm and comfortable, Dr. Kelso may recommend comfort dentistry using laughing gas. Laughing gas is a completely safe way to help children receive the dental care they need without anxiety or fear.
Once the dental treatment is over, the gas will be completely out of their system after just a few minutes. Laughing gas is widely considered to be low risk. At Robert M. Kelso Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, our goal is to always care for your child’s dental health in the safest way possible.
Teeth-Strengthening Mineral Treatments
Dental mineral treatments are safe and effective in decreasing the number of cavities in children. Dr. Kelso often recommends mineral treatments along with dental sealants to protect your child’s teeth. The treatment acts as a shield for the tooth’s outer enamel and can actually reverse early dental decay in some children.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted – but some do. In many situations, it’s best to pull the wisdom teeth before they jeopardize your smile as a whole. If your wisdom tooth’s growth can cause damage to neighboring teeth, or cannot fully erupt, we may consider extraction.
At the earliest, wisdom teeth are removed in the mid-teen years, but 3rd molars do not finish developing until closer to about 30 years of age.
Is your child due for a preventive checkup? Give Robert M. Kelso Family and Cosmetic Dentistry a call to schedule their kid's dentistry appointment with Dr. Kelso today!
For patients who would like a straighter smile, Dr. Kelso is proud to offer invisible braces.