Services

Check Up/ Hygiene Appointments

Our goal is to keep your child cavity free for life. There are two important components for a cavity free future. Regular checkups, cleaning and fluoride treatments will help maintain a healthy mouth. Important as well, is your child’s daily routine of brushing and flossing.

Preventive Dentistry

We consider education a very important part of your twice yearly visit. Your child will receive tooth brushing and flossing instructions. We use disclosing solution to help you and your child see areas where your child’s teeth have not been cleaned well. Nutritional counseling is an important part of prevention, and we will strive to help you understand the importance of sugary snacks in the prevention of dental decay. We will review your child’s diet, and make suggestions that can help your child have a cavity free life.

At the time of the eruption of the permanent molars we can apply sealants to protect your child from decay. The sealant is a thin resin that coats the chewing surface of the permanent molars. The sealant keeps food and bacteria from collecting in the grooves of the molars and starting the decay process. Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not cover sealant placement. We keep the cost very low, so that it is more affordable than the co-pay for a restorative procedure.

A customized mouth guard can be made for children involved in sports. Even sports like baseball and softball, not considered a contact sport can cause serious injury to the face and teeth. Store bought mouth guards offer protection, but the custom mouth guard fits better, and your child is more likely to wear the guard on a regular basis. Prevention of a fractured front tooth is priceless.
Pediatric Dentists are uniquely trained to spot developmental problems. A discussion of your child’s orthodontic needs is an important part of the preventive visit.

Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry

Dental decay is the most common childhood disease. It even outranks asthma, at 5 times more prevalent than childhood asthma. Teeth are important for children to develop proper speech, and to chew foods effectively. Primary teeth (baby teeth) act as placeholders for the permanent teeth. It is very important for baby teeth with decay to be treated. When a tooth is lost prematurely, the permanent teeth may come in too soon, or crooked, increasing the risk for braces.

Untreated cavities will not go away. Most cavities progress, and the decay can reach the tooth’s center where the nerves and blood vessels are found. Decay into the nerve can cause your child pain.

We will make every effort to keep all primary teeth. Your child may require a filling to accomplish this.

We strongly believe in preventive dentistry, and our goal is to have every child become cavity free. Please ask us about ways to prevent cavities for your child. An important part of prevention is to have the teeth checked, cleaned and a fluoride treatment every 6 months.

Behavior Management

Pediatric Dentist and their staff specialize in children. Dr. Largent’s staff is chosen because of their ability to communicate and relate to children. We can recognize their fears and help them be comfortable in the dental setting. Sometimes a simple explanation of how the chair moves, and how the light works prevent anxiety. We often use silly words to describe our tools, and help the children understand the procedure. There are several methods of behavior management that include modeling, communicative management, nonverbal communication, tell-show-do, positive reinforcement and parental absence/presence. A complete discussion of behavior management techniques will be presented prior to any treatment your child may need.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous Oxide is a blend of nitrous oxide/oxygen, and is often called laughing gas. The gas is delivered through a small mask placed on the child’s nose. The gas is pleasant, and allows the child to relax for the dental treatment. It is a safe and non-addictive and is quickly eliminated from the body with normal breathing. During treatment the child is fully conscious, and all reflexes are normal. Your child will NOT be put to sleep.

Conscious Sedation

Most kids do quite well without any extra medication. Conscious sedation, if used according to the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, is a safe modality. Dr. Largent chooses not to use conscious sedation in the dental office. She is fully trained, and has received much continuing education in conscious sedation. It is her choice to provide the least amount of drugs, in the very safest setting for your child during restorative treatment.

Hospital Dentistry

General Anesthesia in a hospital setting may be indicated for children with extensive dental needs who are very young or have special needs. Risk for general anesthesia and or deep sedation is diminished when it is administered by anesthetists in a setting where your child can be properly monitored with state of the art equipment. Comprehensive treatment including digital radiographs can be accomplished in one visit. Dr. Largent has surgical privileges at Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah. We will be happy to discuss general anesthesia in the hospital with you.

Amalgam Fillings (silver)

Amalgam is the oldest and most commonly used restorative material in dentistry. This is the silver filling. In most cases our office will recommend that primary (baby) teeth be treated with the use of a silver filling. This is the most durable material and can be placed in the shortest amount of time. Children also do not report sensitivity after a silver filling and usually have no problems keeping the filling in place until the tooth is lost. There has been controversy in the past years about the mercury content in amalgam. In 2015 the American Dental Association officially state that dental amalgam is a safe restorative material. This statement was made after years of conversations about safety, and based on the latest scientific evidence.

Composite Fillings (white)

White fillings are called composites because they are a mixture of many materials including glass, quartz and resin. The main advantage of composite resin restorations is that they are tooth colored. Depending on the size, placement and cosmetic needs of the patient, this can be the best option for restoration. They are best suited for small fillings in the chewing surface of the teeth or for permanent teeth. The disadvantages for young children are longer placement time, potential sensitivity and a higher cost. White composite resin filling materials are more expensive and more labor intensive to put into your child's tooth than dental amalgam fillings, so please be aware that there will be additional costs and usually higher co-payments for our families with dental insurance.

Crowns

When a tooth is badly broken down by decay it may need a crown to restore it to full function and contour. There are several types of crowns available for primary teeth, including stainless steel, stainless steel with a white facing or Zirconia (all-white) crowns. All of our crowns are preformed and can be completed in one visit.

  • Stainless Steel – As the name suggests these crowns are all silver. Our office uses the brand of crowns that contains the lease amount of nickel of any crown on the market to reduce allergic reactions. Stainless steel crowns can be used for any tooth although they are most commonly used on molar (back) teeth. These crowns are very durable and are easily and quickly placed.
  • Zirconia Crowns – A relatively new product, Zirconia, has been used in adult dentistry with great success. Zirconia crowns are now available for baby teeth. The all-white crowns are beautiful, and durable – lasting until the tooth exfoliates without the need for repairs. These crowns are biocompatible, that is no allergic reactions have been reported. Zirconia crowns do take longer to place and are not as cost effective. These crowns can be used on molars, canines and front teeth. However, not every child or tooth is a good candidate for this type of crown.
  • Stainless Steel crown with a white facing – This crown performs similarly to the stainless steel crown but it is more esthetically pleasing because it has a white facing or front. This type of crown is only available for front primary teeth.

Pulpotomy

The word pulpotomy means that part of the pulp, or nerve of the baby tooth is removed. When the cavity infects the nerve of the tooth, it becomes inflamed and it is likely that your child will have a toothache. Without treatment the inflammation and infection will surround the tooth. This is known as an abscess. The pulpotomy procedure is used to keep an infected tooth from abscessing, and stop infection. A medication is placed in the pulp chamber to sooth the tooth and maintain the vitality of the nerves and blood vessels in the roots of the tooth. A pulpotomy is often thought of as a baby root canal, although the procedure is somewhat different than a root canal on a permanent tooth. The pulpotomy procedure is followed by a crown to protect the tooth and keep the medicine in the tooth. Both the pulpotomy and the crown can be provided in the same appointment.

Extraction

Sometimes, even with the best efforts of the parents and the dentist, a tooth must be removed due to dental trauma or severe decay. Generally baby teeth do not have large or irregular roots, which make removal easier for the dentist and the patient. Once the tooth is removed your child will be asked to bite on a gauze which acts like a band-aid. It is important that your child does not suck on a straw, sucker or a sippy cup for a 24 hour period after tooth removal.

Space Maintainer

A space maintainer is often used when baby teeth are lost prematurely. A space maintainer is used to hold the space for the developing permanent tooth, and prevents the remaining teeth from moving out of position. This prevents the need for complicated orthodontic treatment. The doctor and staff will discuss the recommendation of a space maintainer should your child loose a tooth too early.