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Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentists in East Tennessee

Simple & Advanced Dental Services

Pediatric dentists help children of all ages keep their teeth healthy and clean. They aim to teach patients that brushing teeth and going in for regular check-ups can make big differences later in life. Children should have a "dental home" by age 1. A dental home is a place for your child to get routine preventative care through teeth cleanings.

Dental Exams & What to Expect

Pedodontics deals with the treatment of Children's teeth, and starting dental care early for your child means that their primary teeth will be protected. These primary teeth are also called baby teeth and are used for chewing and eating, guiding permanent teeth into the right position, and allowing jaw bones and muscles to grow normally. Your child's teeth may begin to erupt from the gums as early as 4 months. All 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3. Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6.

The dentist does not have to be a scary place for your child. The pediatric dental specialists at East Tennessee Children's Hospital are trained to work with children, so they know how to talk to your child about their teeth and the procedures to be done. Avoid using words like needle or shot when taking your child to the dentist—a child’s imagination can run wild when they don’t know what to expect.

Parents can go with their child during the first dental exam. If your child is old enough, they can choose to go by themselves during later visits. The staff hopes to build positive, lasting relationships with the patients.

Special Services

Beyond regular check-ups, pediatric dentists and their staff take radiographs, or X-rays, or your child's mouth at least once a year. On the X-ray, they can see cavities, bone diseases, or plan for braces or retainers. These X-rays take place in the office and are not dangerous to your child.

The dentist can also help if your child is grinding their teeth at night, sucking their thumb, or has cavities. These problems often have simple solutions that do not require much intervention from the dentist. The staff will teach children and parents how to decrease cavities and damage to teeth. This advice includes simple tips like drinking water instead of juice and decreasing candy intake.

Early Treatment: Orthodontia

Your dentist may begin talking to you about orthodontia when your child is as young as 2 years old. Early treatment can be done to strengthen dental arches and combat damaging habits like thumb sucking. These treatments can eliminate the need for future orthodontic treatment for your child. If your child is having issues later in their life, the dentist can guide you through orthodontia in the teenage years. This process will be done when all of the permanent teeth are in and the molars are established.

Dental Emergencies

Sometimes, you'll need more urgent care for your child's teeth. These situations include:

  • Severe toothaches
  • Knocked-out permanent tooth
  • Chipped or fractured permanent tooth
  • Severe blow to the head
  • Possible broken or fractured jaw

These issues need immediate attention in the emergency room. Pediatric dentists can help you to save knocked-out or chipped teeth, but you must get to the emergency room quickly.

Finding a Dentist Near You

If your child needs a pediatric dentist, find a specialist on the Children's Hospital dental staff and schedule an appointment today. In addition to routine visits, your child's dentist will perform any dental surgeries your child may need at East Tennessee Children's Hospital.