Early Wisdom Teeth Eruption in Our Houston Pediatric Dental Patients

Early Wisdom Teeth Eruption in Our Houston Pediatric Dental Patients

Wisdom teeth typically erupt, or emerge, between ages 17 and 21. For some, however, they may not emerge at all or may emerge as early as 13 years old. In this case, our Houston pediatric dentists may decide to remove them for a number of reasons.

What Exactly Are Wisdom Teeth?

A wisdom tooth is also known as a third molar. As humans, we typically have two molars in each quadrant, but when it comes to wisdom teeth, most people have one per quadrant. However, our pediatric dentists have seen patients with none at all, fewer than four, or more than four wisdom teeth.

Interestingly enough, wisdom teeth were absolutely necessary when we tore through tough roots, leaves, meat, and nuts. Today, though, we cook our food to make it soft and edible, we use utensils to eat and cut it, and our other molars help us chew. Many believe that over generations, humans will evolve to a point where they don’t even have wisdom teeth anymore.

Although properly erupted wisdom teeth can still be useful for chewing, improperly erupted teeth can cause some problems.

Complications With Wisdom Teeth Emerging Incorrectly

Problems with wisdom teeth occur when they don’t fit. In an attempt to fit, they may emerge sideways or at an angle. Such resulting complications include:

Crooked Teeth

After your child completes braces treatment, we make sure to keep an eye out for potential wisdom teeth. The last thing we want for our pediatric patients is for them to complete braces treatment and have beautiful straight teeth, only for their wisdom teeth to cause crookedness.

Tooth Decay

Brushing and flossing are much harder with the limited space caused by extra teeth, making it harder to clean the teeth. This can lead to rapid tooth decay.

Cysts

In some cases, a child’s wisdom teeth are “impacted”, meaning that they are trapped beneath the gums. This can result in painful cysts, which can damage the surrounding teeth.

Victory Smiles Completes Wisdom Teeth Removal For Children

While wisdom teeth removal is a fairly routine procedure we perform on adults and kids, it’s best to remove them as early as possible. This is especially true in the case of the few children who experience early eruption. If your child is experiencing pain near their molars or in their jaw, please contact us so we can complete an x-ray and determine whether our Houston pediatric dentists need to remove their wisdom teeth.

Cosmetic Dental Implants at Victory Smiles in Houston

Cosmetic Dental Implants at Victory Smiles in Houston

Dental implants are an excellent cosmetic dentistry treatment if you are missing any of your permanent teeth. Our dental implants are comfortable enough for you to eat and talk and can improve your jaw structure. Additionally, they help prevent bone loss and facial collapse, which may occur if you lose a tooth and don’t address it. Here is what implants are like and how the process works.

What Are Cosmetic Dental Implants?

First and foremost, a cosmetic dental implant acts as a tooth. It looks and feels more like a natural tooth compared to other replacement methods, such as dentures, another common treatment we offer.

Our dental implants are made up of three components: A metal post, which is often referred to as the implant; an abutment, which is a special connector; and a crown or a bridge.

What is a Dental Implant Procedure Like at Victory Smiles in Houston?

It’s important to note that the entirety of a dental implant procedure can take several months and because of this, we break it down into three phases.

Phase One: Post Placement

First, you will undergo surgery in which we'll implant the metal post into your jaw bone socket. This metal post acts as your new tooth’s "root". A few days following the surgery, you may experience swelling, pain, and/or discomfort, but it should subside in a few days with medication.

Over the next several months, the metal post will gradually fuse itself into your jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. This will create a strong, long-lasting bond for the rest of the implant to hold up comfortably for years and years to come.

Phase Two: Abutment Placement

Once the implant fully bonds to your jaw, we will attach the abutment to it, just above the gum line. This will help connect your new tooth to your metal post in order to ensure a perfect fit. In some cases, we may attach the abutment to the post on the same day.

Phase Three: The Crown

Finally, once your gums heal and all is well, we will take impressions of your mouth. We often create a typical crown, but we can also create a bridge, depending on your personal case. After impressions are taken, sent to our dental lab, and we get your crown, we will make sure it sits comfortably and check on your bite before the fit is finalized.

Think You Might be a Candidate for Cosmetic Dental Implants?

As with any procedure, it is imperative that you schedule an appointment for a consultation. At your consultation, our Houston cosmetic dentist will examine your teeth and determine whether a dental implant is the best solution for you. 

Victory Smiles Offers Teeth Whitening For Teenagers

Victory Smiles Offers Teeth Whitening For Teenagers

Many teenaged patients come into our office for their regular dental cleanings and ask us about teeth whitening treatments, and it's good that they ask us for advice first. Although there are whitening products you can buy over the counter, those kits are not what's best for our patients. Truly effective whitening is completely dependent on custom whitening treatments–not the one-size-fits-all solutions you find at the drugstore. This is why we recommend entrusting our cosmetic dentists with your teeth whitening needs.

When Can Teenagers Start Whitening Their Teeth?

We insist that no one under the age of 13 should complete whitening, and even then it's a good idea to wait a little bit longer when all adult teeth, also known as permanent teeth, have fully emerged and settled. This is because once the permanent teeth are fully developed, their corresponding nerves also grow, which helps reduce sensitivity during and after whitening treatments. 

Why Our Dentists Warn Against Store-Bought Whitening Treatment

When it comes to store-bought whitening products, trays and strips will have a hard time fitting properly, which can lead to excessive sensitivity and pain. They can aggravate already sensitive teeth and gums and even damage some completed treatments, such as fillings.

Over-the-counter treatments can end up being a waste of money because trying again if you weren't happy with your results the first time around could only worsen your discomfort. Additionally, the results only last a few weeks, which means you will have to keep burning money to maintain the whiteness of your teeth. A trained cosmetic dentist, on the other hand, can help you achieve your desired results much more quickly, usually within one visit.

Visit a Victory Smiles Cosmetic Dentist Instead

The good thing about trusting our Houston cosmetic dentists to complete teeth whitening for teens is that we will tailor our treatments to the patient's exact needs based on an evaluation of their teeth. This means we will take into account any previous dental work as well as sensitivity, if there is any. Our dentists will make sure to complete the treatment without putting your child's teeth at risk. As a plus, you and your teenager will see results that are both instant and long-lasting.

If you find that your teenager would like a whiter smile without risking long-term discomfort and sensitivity, please book an appointment with our Houston cosmetic dentist so that we can ensure they have brighter teeth and no adverse effects. 

Safe Pediatric Sedation Dentistry at Victory Smiles

Safe Pediatric Sedation Dentistry at Victory Smiles

It’s very easy for kids to be afraid of the dentist, especially when it’s their first visit. We understand that when your child is told to lay down in a room with certain dental tools that look intimidating, and a stranger is about to examine their mouth, it can be scary and cause some anxiety during their visit. If your child has anxiety or certain special needs, then we may recommend pediatric sedation as part of their treatment.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves using a combination of different methods to ease restlessness and anxiety in our more nervous patients. While we offer sedation to our adult patients, we use it a bit more frequently in our pediatric patients. Which methods we use depend on each individual case.

Local Anesthetic Sedation

Using local anesthesia is the simplest method of sedation. It involves injecting numbing medication around the area where treatment will take place. This temporarily blocks off the nerves so they don’t transmit a pain response. The patient will feel a slight numbing sensation, but it will fade after treatment.

Laughing Gas

Laughing gas is used to soothe any mental and emotional stress that our younger patients may experience when they come into our office. This is best suited to our patients who are cooperative and can sit still, but it may not work as well on kids who have a dental phobia or who cannot sit still.

General Anesthesia

Sometimes, a general anesthetic is necessary for our pediatric patients who are unable to cooperate, such as infants, children who are in need of a major treatment, an extremely anxious child, or any child who may have a condition that makes it hard for them to follow instructions or sit still.

Victory Smiles Offers Careful Dental Sedation For Pediatric Patients

When it comes to pediatric dental sedation, we offer minimal, moderate, and deep sedation. If you have a child who’s nervous about their upcoming dentist appointment and may not be able to fully cooperate, please contact us. We will discuss your child’s needs with you in-depth and agree to a sedation method for their treatment.

Tooth Colored Fillings for Our Houston Pediatric Patients

Tooth Colored Fillings for Our Houston Pediatric Patients

At Victory Smiles in Houston, Texas, we offer a wide variety of different dental services and procedures. Among them, we offer high quality pediatric dental care, and a common procedure our pediatric dentists complete for our younger patients is tooth-colored fillings, which are a great alternative to traditional fillings.

Traditional Silver Fillings for Children

It’s easy for younger kids to get cavities if they eat a lot of sugar, especially if they also struggle to floss and brush properly, so their parents often choose traditional fillings. Traditional fillings are silver-colored and known as "amalgam". This kind of filling has been used for over 100 years and for good reason. Amalgam fillings have been popular for so long because they are inexpensive, but a drawback for many is that they are very obvious when the patient is laughing or talking. However, dentistry is ever-evolving and better alternatives are available, such as the tooth-colored fillings we use today.

Tooth-Colored Fillings for Children

The most apparent benefit of tooth-colored fillings compared to silver amalgam fillings is that these newer fillings match almost perfectly to the teeth, so they are barely noticeable, if noticeable at all. This is because they are made out of a composite (blend) of plastic resins and silica fillers, which produce a color similar to that of our natural teeth.

Outside from a cosmetic point of view, our pediatric dentists favor tooth-colored composite fillings because they allow us to preserve more of the tooth's structure. In a traditional amalgam filling, we would have to prepare the tooth by removing decay as well as healthy parts of the tooth to make space for the material to sit comfortably and bond properly to the tooth. Composite fillings, on the other hand, don't require any reshaping, immediately bond themselves to the affected tooth, and they last for many years to come and even strengthen the tooth.

Pediatric Dentists at Victory Smiles in Houston

It's important for children to get regular dental checkups and x-rays so we can spot cavities early on. This way we can save the tooth with a filling and neither you, nor your child, nor our dentists will have to worry about the decay worsening. Please book an appointment with us if your child is experiencing tooth pain. We will complete a thorough examination and if we find a cavity, we will fix it with our composite, tooth-colored fillings.