Family Dentistry – Children

Gentle ultramodern dentistry for the whole family

Rancho San Diego Dental will provide you and all your family members ages three-and-up with optimum-quality dentistry using the latest equipment and the gentlest techniques.

All of our doctors are experienced in leading-edge, minimally-invasive procedures that can gently give you and your family healthy, beautiful smiles.

Minimally invasive and no-shot dentistry for kids

Going to the dentist should be a pleasant experience for kids of all ages. That’s why we perform laser treatments which do not require any anesthesia or shots. Lasers can also be used to remove decay in a comfortable, minimally invasive way. Often no numbing is needed to do a filling. This is a big hit with the kids, as well as with our adult patients.

And with our revolutionary Waterlase laser we can perform children’s root canal procedures less painfully, quicker and better than with ordinary treatment methods. Healing is rapid and there is considerable reduced bruising and swelling when compared to conventional root canal therapy.

Computerized anesthesia

We also use a gentle computerized non-syringe anesthesia system called The Wand, so that your child won’t be frightened by a scary looking needle. The computer controls the comfort level and degree of numbness so only the needed amount is delivered, and the numbness will wear off before your child leaves the office.

Air abrasion

Air abrasion is a high-tech dental technique that may be used instead of dental drills to remove small amounts of tooth decay. It uses a drill-less tool to clean away decay or even remove portions of a tooth. This drill-less tool is powered by compressed air pressure, which blasts the small particles against the tooth surface. These particles remove the area of decay in your child’s tooth, allowing us to fill the cavity.

DIAGNOdent laser cavity detection

DIAGNOdent uses a precise laser scanning system to scan over all of your child’s teeth to measure the fluorescence within each tooth’s structure. This lets us identify where there may be cavities developing in the small spaces between, on, and around your child’s teeth.

We use The Wand computer controlled anesthesia system.


The Diagnodent laser can see cavities that may not be found with other methods.
Preventive care for kids

The key to effective preventive dental care for your child is to make sure they have regular dental exams and cleanings. Early cavity detection means more comfortable treatment. And our ultrasonic scaler uses gentle sound waves to clean their teeth and remove any plaque or tartar buildup.

During the exam, besides searching for cavities, we’ll look at the development of your child’s dental arches. We’ll check them to see how they’re affected by the adenoids, tonsils and tongue position to help insure that proper growth occurs. We want to make sure your child develops the very best facial form, bite, and profile possible. If your child has orthodontic-related problems, we’ll make proper treatment recommendations should that need arise.

We also patiently instruct children on the best way to brush, and may discuss the advantages of electric and sonic brushes in the fight against cavities. Our office is also quite involved in nutritional counseling since diet is a prime factor in cavity formation. If appropriate, we’ll discuss fluoride and “laser bonded” sealants used to help fight cavities.

Getting your child regular exams and cleanings will help ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Dr. Jennifer Villalta DDS

Your child’s first visit

Dr. Jen Villalta is our in-house pediatric dental specialist at Rancho San Diego Dental Group! While general dentists are trained to see people of all ages, pediatric dental specialists, like pediatricians, receive additional training beyond dental school to cater specially to children. Dr. Jen is able to communicate with children on their level, and is able to diagnose and treat even the most complex cases, furthering our mission of providing all dental care under one roof.

We enjoy treating the entire family and have helped children of all ages to feel comfortable and relaxed while getting their dental care. Starting at age three we like to have children come in with a parent, sit on your lap, and watch as you get your own teeth cleaned. This way, they’ll see dentistry isn’t anything to be scared of.

Then we’ll give your child a tour of the office so they can become familiar with our practice. We want your child’s first visit to be a fun, rewarding experience so that they’ll never be afraid of the dentist.

Rancho San Diego Pediatrics

When Should I Bring My Child to the Dentist?

As a parent, you want to do everything you can to ensure that your child grows up to be happy and healthy. Helping them to maintain great oral health is a key part of that equation. But when exactly is the best time to start bringing your child in for regular dental appointments?

Studies have shown that most children in America don’t start seeing a dentist until long after they’ve turned two years old, and unfortunately, that’s often far too late. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should start going to the dentist by one year old or six months after their first tooth erupts.

It may seem unnecessary to schedule regular dental appointments for a child that does not have all of their primary teeth yet, but the sooner you start caring for your child’s oral health, the more likely they are to enjoy healthy teeth, healthy gums, and a healthy smile throughout their lives.


Teaching Your Child Good Oral Hygiene Habits

If you want your child to maintain great oral health into adulthood, your best bet is to instill good oral hygiene habits from a very young age. This means brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting their dentist for a checkup and routine cleaning every six months.

These oral hygiene habits are important for everyone, but they have special importance for children, as issues with primary teeth can lead to problems with speech development and eating and can even affect the development of their permanent teeth later on. Not only that, but cavities can be painful. No child should have to suffer through a preventable issue with their teeth.

If you want to start your child off on the right foot, get them into a dentist as early as possible so that they can develop a strong relationship with care teams and learn the best oral hygiene practices from a trusted professional. A great pediatric dentist can make all the difference, and great oral hygiene habits are something your child will reap rewards from for a lifetime.


Ensuring that Your Child’s Visit to the Dentist is a Happy One

Many adults have a fear of the dentist, so it’s understandable that your young child might have one, too. If that’s the case with your child or if you’re concerned that their first visit might not go over well, don’t worry -- we’ve got you covered!

At Rancho San Diego Dental, we know how uneasy some children can be to see the dentist, so we do everything we can to make them feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed during their visit.

Our staff is patient, gentle, and highly experienced at providing anxious or fearful children with compassionate care. You can rest easy knowing that your child is in good hands.


Tips for Helping Your Child to Feel Comfortable at the Dentist

Here are some ways to keep your child from feeling uneasy and overwhelmed by their dental visit.

Start Off Early

The earlier that your child goes in for their first dental visit, the less likely they are to develop apprehension about the process. Get them in early and let them get comfortable.

Bring Them to Meet the Dentist First

If you bring your child to have a new experience in a strange place while also introducing them to a number of new people, they’re likely to feel overwhelmed and frightened.

You can help acclimate your child to their dentist’s office by bringing them with you on a visit of your own or by stopping by to meet everyone before they have their appointment.

No Surprises!

You may be a bit tentative to tell your child exactly what’s going to happen when they go in for their dental visit, but surprising them may very well be a worse experience for both of you. Tell your child what to expect when they go to the dentist and they should feel a bit more comfortable during their visit.


Consider Your Word Choice

Young children are more likely to react to the emotions behind certain words than to the words themselves. For example, saying “You get to see the dentist” rather than “You have to go to the dentist” might make the experience a bit more enticing for them.