Rio Rancho, NM Pediatric Dentist Services
Cabezon Pediatric Dentistry provides Rio Rancho’s children with quality dental services, all within a fun, fantasy type of environment! Your child may even feel like royalty when they’ve finished with any of our dental services, which include:
Regular Dental Cleanings and Check ups
Professional dental care is necessary to maintain dental health. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that each child should have a dental exam 6 months after the arrival of the their first tooth, or no later than their first birthday. How often a child returns to the dentist depends on individual need and risk factors. It is typical to be seen for an exam every 6 months, however we may recommend more frequent visits if there is a need.
A dental visit in our office usually consists of a dental cleaning, usually done with a rotary rubber cup, or toothbrush. The doctor will prescribe dental x-rays depending on the individual need of the patient and according to the guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
The doctor will then perform an exam evaluating the teeth, gums, intraoral structures, and growth and development of the teeth and jaws. A fluoride application will also be recommended based on the need of the patient. For more information on fluoride, please see the fluoride section of the services page of our website.
A Dental sealant is a material that is placed into the pits and fissures of teeth that are susceptible to caries (cavities) in their pits and fissures. These are mostly the back permanent molars. It is estimated that cavities in the pits and fissures of permanent molars account for 80-90 percent of all caries in permanent molars. Dental Sealants can reduce the chance of getting cavities in the permanent molars by 80 percent.
Placing dental sealant is a very simple procedure. First, the tooth is washed and debris is removed. A special cleaning material called dental etchant is placed to prepare the tooth so the sealant can bond to the tooth. The sealant material is then applied to the tooth and a special light cures (makes the sealant hard) the sealant. Our dental sealant is BPA free. Some patients may say the teeth feel funny after biting on them, but become accustomed to the sealants after a day or so.
Dental fillings are used to “fill” the holes left in teeth as a result of the decay process. Usually simple fillings in primary (baby) teeth can be placed without using any local anesthesia (shots) when using nitrous oxide. (see sedation on services page). The doctor uses a dental hand piece and bur to remove the decayed tooth tissue. The tooth is then prepared using an etch and bond system. The filling is placed, smoothed and polished. Our tooth colored resin fillings are BPA free. We only place amalgam (silver) if specifically requested by the parents of our patients.
Your child can resume all normal daily activities immediately following their appointment.
In some cases, a cavity in a baby tooth can be so extensive that a regular filling may not fully restore the tooth. In that case, a crown will need to be placed on that tooth. These primary teeth crowns differ from permanent teeth crowns in that they can be placed in only one visit. For the front upper teeth, we will always place a white esthetic crown. Most of the crowns we place on the back teeth are stainless steel (silver) however, in some circumstances a white zirconia crown we can be placed. Talk to your doctor to see if a white zirconia crown would be an appropriate restoration.
Local Anesthesia (shot) is used to numb the tooth and surrounding tissues. The doctor uses a dental hand piece to remove decayed tooth tissue and to make the tooth slightly smaller to allow for the correct fit of the crown. A crown is then tried in to find the correct size. Once the appropriate crown is selected, the crown is cemented to the tooth. The patient’s lips and tongue could be numb for another 3 hours after the appointment. Please help your child to not bite or chew on their lips or tongue. Also, because the crown has to sit below the gums, some minor bleeding can be expected for the next day or two. If your child has pain after the appointment, you can give him/her ibuprofen according to the directions of the bottle. If crowns have been placed on the front teeth, we ask that you not allow your child to bite anything really hard (apples, carrots, tough meat) to prevent the crowns from falling off. The back crowns are usually more resistant to falling off, but please do not have your child eat anything really sticky (dots, hard caramel). Please call our office you have any questions.
When a tooth has severe decay preventing a secure restoration, or it has an abscess and infection, it must be extracted (wiggled). The tooth and surrounding structures are numbed with local anesthetic. The tooth is gently wiggled out. Depending on the timing of the extraction, a space maintainer may be placed to hold the space for the correct eruption of the permanent successor tooth.
The area will remain numb for up to 3 hours after the extraction. You can give ibuprofen, and then 3 hours later you can give Tylenol. You can rotate those medications every 3 hours. Please follow the instructions for dosing on the bottles. Minor bleeding for the next 2 days is normal. Please remind your child to not bite or chew their lips or tongue while they are numb.
We understand that it may be difficult for some children to tolerate certain dental procedures. For this reason, we can provide varying levels of sedation that will best help your child receive the dental treatment they need. We are the only pediatric dental office in New Mexico to offer all four levels of Sedation.
1. Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) Nitrous oxide is a gas that children can breath through a scented nose piece. This gas helps settle nerves and provides some pain relief. While breathing laughing gas, simple cavities can be filled without giving local anesthetic (shots). The effects of laughing gas are diminished after about 2 minutes of breathing oxygen and children can continue daily activities immediately following their dental appointment.
2. Conscious Sedation (oral)- For those children that need more sedation than nitrous oxide, we can administer a weight based medication. This medication can provide an amnesic effect, so the patient may not remember the dental appointment. Typically the patient remains awake. The child may be drowsy for a few hours after the appointment, and therefore should remain at home under the supervision of their guardian.
3. IV deep Sedation- administered by our board certified dental anesthesiologist. This type of anesthesia is medication given through an IV. The patient will be asleep and continually monitored by the anesthesiologist. IV sedation is beneficial in that all dental needs can usually be done in only one dental appointment. The child may be drowsy for a few hours after the appointment, and should remain at home under the supervision of their guardian for the remainder of the day.
4. General Anesthesia. Due to some circumstances, it may be necessary for us to accompany your child to the hospital to provide dental treatment under general anesthesia provided by the anesthesiologists at the hospital. Dr. Tasker and Dr. Peck maintain hospital privileges at Presbyterian and Lovelace Hospitals.
Our pediatric dentists only use the best equipment and technology when we work on your child’s mouth. Every enchanting room in our Rio Rancho dental office is equipped with nitrous oxide and we only use the best dental tools to fight against plaque and tooth decay.