Pediatric Dentistry

Gentle Dentistry for Your Children

Rancho San Diego Dental is proud to provide top-quality pediatric dentistry for all of your children ages three and up. We use only the latest equipment and the gentlest techniques to ensure that your kids are safe and comfortable while getting the dental care they need.

All of our pediatric dentists are experienced in cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedures that can provide your children with healthy, beautiful smiles while minimizing discomfort and working to calm any dental anxiety they may have.

Minimally Invasive and No-Shot Dentistry for Kids

Going to the children’s dentist should be a pleasant experience for kids of all ages. That’s why we perform laser treatments that do not require any anesthesia or shots. Lasers can also remove tooth 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 make children’s root canal procedures quicker, better, and less painful than they are with ordinary treatment methods. Healing is rapid, and there is considerably less 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 uses 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 Dentistry for Children

Preventive dental care is something you and your child can practice at home every day, but it’s also important to work with an experienced kid’s dentist to ensure that your little one grows up to have the bright and healthy smile they deserve. This means visiting twice a year for a routine checkup and dental cleaning.

Preventive pediatric dentistry can help to detect issues like gingivitis and cavities early on so they can be treated before they have the chance to develop into something more serious. It’s also an opportunity to look at the development of your child’s dental arches, so we can make sure that no potential orthodontic issues are developing. If our specialists discover any problems, we’ll provide the necessary treatment to properly grow your child’s facial form, bite, and profile.

At Rancho San Diego Dental, we believe that one of the most important jobs of a children’s dentist is to instruct kids on the best oral hygiene practices and proper nutrition. We’ll give them the information and encouragement they need to take preventive dental care into their own hands at home and develop great habits that will keep their teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime to come.

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 With Our Pediatric Dentist

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 can communicate with children on their level and 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 with the pediatric dentist to be a fun, rewarding experience so that they’ll never be afraid of the dentist.

Rancho San Diego Pediatric Dentistry

At Rancho San Diego Dental, we know that not all kids are comfortable receiving dental care. That’s why we strive to be the most stress-free and compassionate children's dentistry practice around. We’re highly experienced at easing a child into their first dental visits, and we use special techniques and technology that are as gentle and painless as possible.

We can even help you to prepare for your kid’s dentist appointments. Reach out to us, and we’ll be happy to give you some pointers on making your child as comfortable for their first pediatric dentistry experience, or you can simply read the following kid’s dentistry tips.

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 excellent oral health is a crucial 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 turning 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 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. However, the sooner you start caring for your child’s oral health, the more likely they will 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 the pediatric dentist for a checkup and routine cleaning every six months.

These oral hygiene habits are important for everyone. Still, 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 kid’s 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 of the difference, and great oral hygiene habits are something your child will reap the 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, understandably, your young child might have one, too. If that’s the case with your child or if you’re concerned that their first visit to the pediatric dentist 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

Making sure that your child doesn’t feel uneasy and overwhelmed when visiting the pediatric dentist can be pretty difficult, but there are a few different things you can do that should prove useful. Keep the following tips in mind before bringing your kid in for their visit to the children’s dentist.

Start Off Early

The earlier your child goes in for their first dental visit, the less likely they are to develop apprehension about the process. The AAPD recommends that you begin bringing your child in for regular dental care at about one year old or six months after their first tooth erupts. Get them in early and let them get comfortable, and they’re much more likely to view visits to the kid’s dentist as a totally normal part of life, not something to be feared.

It’s especially important to make sure that your child’s first experience with pediatric dentistry is not to treat an issue with their teeth. Instead, bring them in for a regular checkup as early as you can. Otherwise, they will potentially associate fear or anxiety with the children’s dentist experience, which could affect them for a long time.

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. This is especially true if the strange place is the pediatric dentist’s office and the new experience is having a stranger inspect their teeth and gums.

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.

Provide Positive Reinforcement

Anything from simple words of encouragement to an award following their successful visit can help your kid create a positive connotation with the children’s dentist. Remember that your child will likely feed off of your energy, so you should maintain a positive attitude throughout the visit, too.

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.

Allow for a Comfort Item

Few things might make a visit to the children’s dentist easier on your little one than the comfort of a favorite stuffed animal, and there’s nothing wrong with allowing them to bring theirs along when they start visiting. We’ll be happy to accommodate both your child and their friend during their stay.

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. This can give your child a greater sense of control during their visit to the pediatric dentist, greatly relieving the anxiety they may be experiencing.

Another way to give your little one a greater sense of control is to let them lead the way a little bit during their visit to the children's dentist. Allow them to pick a toy they’d like to bring or a book they’d like to read in the waiting room, and they should be a little less stressed when it comes time for their appointment.

Pediatric Dentistry FAQ

Most parents have questions about pediatric dentistry before coming for their child’s first visit. Here are some commonly asked questions regarding children’s dentists.

When Should My Child Start Seeing the Dentist?

At Rancho San Diego Dental, we believe that getting your child to the dentist should happen as soon as possible. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, that means within six months after their first tooth has erupted.

No, we can’t provide all that much care for one single tooth, but we can check in on the development of your child’s teeth and gums and start building a solid relationship with your little one that will help them feel comfortable with the children’s dentist going forward.

How Are Pediatric Dentists Different from Other Kinds of Dentists?

There are a variety of areas of dentistry in which a dental student can specialize. Pediatric dentists specialize in treating children. That means they not only have extensive training in and knowledge of children’s dentistry, but they also have a strong inclination towards helping children get the treatment they need.

Pediatric dentists gear their practice towards making that treatment as comfortable as possible.

What Will My Child’s First Visit Be Like?

Provided your child isn’t coming in to address any issues with their oral health, their first visit should be quick and easy. We’ll simply take a moment to get to know you and your little one, offer some tips about their dental care, and then give them a basic checkup to make sure their teeth and gums are developing properly.

Is Your Child Ready for the Dentist?

When you’re ready to start visiting the pediatric dentist with your child, contact Rancho San Diego Dental by calling (619) 363-6372 or go online to book your appointment today!