St Croix Kidds Pediatric Dentistry has provided personalized dental care to thousands of families. Our patients come from near and far to experience the warm, individualized care we provide. We pride ourselves in utilizing the most modern equipment and methods available.
In order to provide nothing but the best to our patients, our office uses state-of-the-art technologies in all our procedures. These new technologies allow us to detect dental concerns at early stages, treat your dental issues with precision, and provide stunning and customized restorations. Our premium dental software system maximizes your time and our office efficiency. When you visit our office you can be confident that you are receiving the finest and most advanced in dental care.
More than half of children over age six have some degree of tooth decay. When cavities are left untreated, they can lead to pain, infection and even tooth loss. Fortunately, as pediatric dentists, we aim to treat cavities before they grow and cause complications, such as pain or infections. Tooth colored fillings (composite or glass ionomer resins) are used to repair fractured teeth and/or areas of decay. The shade of the restorative material is matched as closely as possible to the color of the natural teeth.
When a cavity has become very large it can progress through the tooth layers to the pulp or nerve of the tooth. When the bacteria in the cavity reaches this area, your child can experience pain or swelling. If the pulp is not treated and the infected areas are not removed, the bacteria will continue to cause infection. If this occurs, the tooth will become abscessed and painful requiring early removal of the tooth.
To prevent the tooth from abscessing and to relieve any discomfort we can perform a pulpotomy. We often refer to this as a “baby root canal”. However, this is not as complicated or difficult of a procedure as a root canal on a permanent tooth. To perform a pulpotomy, we remove the cavity and the diseased pulp, then place a medication in this area before restoring the tooth with a crown. The obvious benefit is that the tooth is saved and holds the space for the developing permanent tooth below it. The disadvantages are teeth that receive nerve treatments likely require a crown to be placed on the tooth to provide adequate strength. Occasionally, the bacteria invade the nerve completely and a pulpotomy fails and the tooth must be removed, but the risk is low.
There may be instances where teeth need to be extracted or removed when they cannot be saved by any other treatments. A tooth may need to be extracted due to severe decay, advanced periodontal disease, infection, orthodontic request, malpositioned teeth, fractured teeth/roots or impacted teeth.
After careful examination and treatment, the dentist may advise to have a tooth extracted. Before a tooth is removed, the dentist will take an x-ray in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. The dentist will discuss different sedation and local anesthesia options to help ease your child’s anxiety.
A baby tooth usually stays in until a permanent tooth underneath pushes it out and takes its place. One of a baby tooth’s most important jobs is holding the place for permanent teeth until they erupt. Unfortunately, some children lose a baby tooth too soon due to trauma or dental disease. When a tooth is lost too early, we may recommend a space maintainer to prevent future space loss and dental problems. If a primary molar tooth is lost prematurely, the other teeth around it can drift together and cause crowding. To keep this crowding from occurring, a space maintainer can be used to hold open the empty space left by a lost tooth. They steady the remaining teeth, preventing movement until the permanent tooth takes its natural position in the jaw. It’s more affordable – and easier on your child – to keep teeth in normal positions with a space maintainer than to move them back in place with orthodontic treatment. The procedure for making and placing a space maintainer can be placed at the time of extraction or may require another appointment depending on the type needed. The space maintainer will remain until the back permanent teeth begin to erupt at which time it is easily removed. While wearing a space maintainer it is important to avoid sticky candy or chewing gum.
A frenectomy is a procedure that releases the frenum from its attachment, allowing for proper tooth alignment and full range of motion for the tongue.This procedure can be both preventive and corrective. The treatment can correct an infant’s inability to breastfeed, reduce a mother’s breast pain and also prevent later issues such as palatal development, tooth spacing, and dental caries. The procedure can also prevent issues with speech, swallowing, and gum disease. If detected before a child’s permanent teeth erupt, a frenectomy can prevent frontal gaps that might require orthodontics if left untreated . Traditional surgery with a scalpel or scissors can bruise or crush tissue. When we use the LightScalpel CO2 laser, only an intense beam of laser light interacts with the tissue. There is no mechanical trauma to the tissue. The CO2 laser has the unique ability to vaporize or ‘erase’ tissue. The CO2 laser can be used to make incisions, as well as to remove unhealthy tissue. The CO2 laser is so precise that we can selectively remove only a few cells at a time, if needed.
Dental caries that have extended to a larger portion of the tooth structure and cannot be restored with tooth colored fillings will require a full coverage crown. The tooth can be prepared and the crown cemented in a single appointment. It is sufficiently durable to last until the primary tooth exfoliates. A crown is placed following a “baby root canal” since a good portion of the crown is lost during this procedure. We have stainless steel and white zirconia options.
We always prefer to complete dental procedures in the least invasive manner possible. Most children are able to complete treatment with nitrous oxide and local anesthetic, but some patients require general anesthesia. These patients are typically either very young, have special needs, or have extreme dental anxiety. We offer outpatient hospital sedation at Minnesota Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Minnetonka. We also offer in office general anesthesia with a dental anesthesiologist that occurs in our office in Hudson or Blaine. If your child requires general anesthesia to complete dental treatment, the dentist will discuss your options with you, and our staff will help you schedule and coordinate the procedure.
A deposit will be required prior to scheduling the procedure, and it will apply to your balance. To find out more about our sedation services, you can call us or stop by and ask to speak with our hospital Coordinator.