Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki believes prevention is more important than treatment. That’s why we emphasize routine thorough examinations, professional cleanings, fluoride, sealants, x-rays (when necessary) and home care to prevent dental disease. Prevention helps to avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to a healthy, attractive smile.
Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki will do a comprehensive dental examination at your child’s first dental visit and a thorough dental examination at routine check-up exams.
Your dental exam will include the following:
- Examination of visual tooth decay
- Examination of x-rays to detect tooth decay unseen by the naked eye, cysts, tumors, and growth and development of teeth and bone
- Examination of dental abnormalities
- Evaluation of gum disease
- Examination of existing restoration (fillings and other previous work)
- Oral cancer screening
- Assessment of orthodontic needs
Professional cleanings (dental prophylaxis) is essential for healthy gums and teeth. Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki and her dental team will perform the following in your child’s dental cleaning:
- Remove plaque– Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth from saliva, food debris and bacteria. Plaque, if not removed causes tooth decay and gum inflammation.
- Remove calculus (tarter) – Calculus is plaque that has mineralized (hardened) on the tooth surface, and is hard to remove with the regular tooth brush. A special instrument is needed to remove it.
- Polish and remove stains on the tooth surface.
Dental x-rays (radiographs) are essential for diagnosing dental abnormalities; some dental problems may go undetected if only visual exam is performed. Dental abnormalities including: cysts, cancerous and noncancerous tumors, decay between teeth, congenital missing teeth (born with missing teeth) and growth and development of teeth and bone.
Are dental x-rays safe?
In Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki’s office we use state of the art, low radiation, modern digital x-rays that emit 90% less radiation. Compare this minimal exposure to the risk of not finding a dental disease. Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki needs to prescribe diagnostic x-rays only when necessary.
Your child’s home care is equally important as professional care. Personal home care includes:
Eat balanced meals. Try and limit snacks, especially those cavity-causing carbohydrates and sticky candies. Try to eat healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables, yogurt, cheese, etc…
Ideally you want to brush your teeth after every meal. If you are unable to brush after every meal, then brush at least twice a day; after breakfast and before going to bed. Use a soft bristled correct size toothbrush approved by the ADA. There are a variety of techniques for brushing teeth, but one of the most popular ones is described here:
Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle toward the teeth and gums and gently press against the gums so the tip of the bristles goes in between the gum and the teeth. Then apply a few lateral strokes and roll down the brush to sweep the plaque away from the teeth at the gum. Repeat this motion a few times and move on to the next area of 2 to 3 teeth. Your brushing is complete when you have brushed all the surfaces of your teeth. Short strokes work best to get the plaque out of the grooves and pits of the teeth. When brushing the back side of your front teeth, hold your brush vertically to be able to reach the teeth better.
Your child should floss daily to remove plaque from between teeth and clean areas that a toothbrush can’t reach. Get 12-16 inches of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers on each hand, leaving about 2 inches of floss to work with. Then use your thumb and pointer finger to hold and slowly saw the floss in between your teeth. Curve the floss against each tooth surface and move the floss up and down then gently under the gum line. Make sure you move to a fresh section of floss for each tooth. For young children, who haven’t developed their manual dexterity, floss sticks are recommended.
Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki specializes in treating infant, children and teens, taking care of their primary (baby) teeth and permanent (adult) teeth. Many parents ask why baby teeth are so important to their child’s health when they fall out on their own eventually. Primary teeth are important for eating, speaking, the growth and development of the jaw and influence the overall health of the child.
When considering tooth fillings, one of the options available are composite fillings which are made from durable plastics that are similar in color to natural teeth. Because the composite fillings are tooth-colored, they look more natural and are less noticeable compared to other types of fillings. Another benefit of tooth-colored fillings is that they are compatible with sealants allowing your child’s dentist to perform both procedures in a single sitting preventing further decay. There are other advantages to composite, tooth-colored fillings, most importantly the capability of bonding to tooth structure. Also in many cases they can be repaired by addition of more composite material. Speak with Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki to find out which kind of filling is best for your child. If you have any questions, please call our office in Aliso Viejo to schedule an appointment today.
Sealants are thin layers of resin that are placed on the pits, fissures, and grooves of molars to prevent decay on these surfaces. The majority of decay on back teeth starts in the grooves an pits of chewing surfaces, especially during the first few years after their eruption. Sealing these surfaces with resins (Sealants) prevents this kind of decay. Sealants are one of the most effective methods of preventing decay on the surfaces where they are placed. Although it is still a possibility that decay may develop on surfaces in between teeth, sealants significantly reduce the overall chance of having cavities. Please call Dr.Cima Mazar-Atabaki’s office in ALISO VIEJO for any qestions.
Pulpotomy (baby root canal) –
The pulp of a tooth is the inner, central core of the tooth and contains blood vessels and nerves. Dental caries (cavities) and trauma to the tooth are the primary reasons for children to undergo pulp therapy.
Your child may need pulp therapy if he/she has
- Tooth pain from badly decayed teeth, the decay has reached the nerve
- Trauma to the teeth
- A broken tooth with nerve exposure
The main purpose of pulp therapy is that the tooth is not lost. Primary teeth are needed for chewing and speaking and serve as space savers for permanent teeth. Without the primary teeth to guide them, existing neighboring teeth can crowd in, causing permanent teeth to grow in crooked or tilted.
There are two types of crowns for baby teeth. One is the composite crowns (the white colored crowns) mainly for a child’s front teeth. The other is a stainless steel crown (the silver caps). When teeth are badly decayed, fractured or after a Pulpotomy treatment, restoring teeth with a crown is recommended in order to protect and strengthen the teeth.
When the tooth is badly damaged and a baby root canal won’t work, extraction may be recommended.
Primary teeth stay in place until a permanent tooth comes in from underneath its position and pushes it out, taking it’s place in the mouth. Some children lose their primary teeth too early due to accidents or dental disease. When this is the case, a space maintainer may be recommended by your pediatric dentist to prevent space loss and future dental problems. It is important to remember the fact that some teeth are not replaced until a child is 12 or 14 years old. Space maintainers are appliances made of metal or plastic that are custom fit to your child’s mouth. Most children adjust to them quickly. Without a maintainer, the teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause permanent teeth to come in crooked. If left untreated, the condition may require future orthodontic treatment. Space maintainers hold open the empty space left by a lost tooth. They steady the remaining teeth, preventing movement until the permanent tooth takes its natural position. It is more affordable to keep teeth in their normal positions with a space maintainer than to move them back in place with orthodontic treatment. Please call Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki’s office in ALISO VIEJO today to schedule your child’s preventive consultation.
Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki’s office offers a friendly environment where your child will feel at home. Our office is designed to put your infant, child or teen at ease by providing some friendly amenities, such as video games and movies to help have a fun, positive experience at every visit. Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki deeply believes your child’s visit to the pediatric dentist should be pleasant and enjoyable, and she personally make sure to spend extra time with you and your child to answer all questions and concerns. Furthermore, Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki is known for her ” tell-show-do ” method to put your child at ease, explaining dental equipment and procedures that might otherwise be mysterious and frightening. In some cases the use of appropriate sedatives is recommended for those anxious children.
Nitrous Oxide Gas
Nitrous oxide gas is a safe sedation method that may be used to help your child relax during the visit while allowing Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki to effectively treat your child’s dental needs. Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki offers nitrous oxide sedation (also known as laughing gas) for the slightly anxious child, who is cooperative, but possibly worried about sharp instruments, noise, water, etc… Nitrous oxide can help your child tolerate more pain than normal by increasing the threshold for pain. Nitrous oxide can decrease the gag reflex, this enables them to feel more comfortable during dental procedures. However Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki would like parents to know that nitrous oxide doesn’t work for children who are too young or too anxious to sit in the chair, or don’t feel comfortable having the nose piece placed on their nose. And on rare occasions, nitrous oxide may cause nausea, so Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki suggests minimal food intake prior to the appointment.
The laughing gas is a blend of oxygen and nitrous oxide and is very safe, as it is reversible and can be adjusted in concentration. Your child is fully conscious and will keep all of their natural reflexes while absorbing the laughing gas. Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki will place the rubber nose piece on the child’s nose, and it will take 1-5 minutes for the effects of the nitrous oxide to take place. You can expect varied reactions to the gas: Some children may become dissociated while others may feel very happy, giggle and tell stories. Occasionally a child may feel very relaxed and take a nap. Most of the time, the child will stay awake throughout the process. Towards the end of the procedure, the nitrous oxide is turned off and your child will breathe 100% oxygen for a few minutes to clear the nitrous oxide from their system. Then, Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki will place your child in an upright sitting position to ensure that your child is not dizzy before concluding the appointment
Another alternative for helping nervous children relax at the dentist’s office is the use of oral conscious sedation. Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki typically uses two and standard medications: Versed and Vistaril. The combination of oral sedation with nitrous oxide helps to relax very nervous children and help make your child’s procedure as comfort as possible. Your child will start by drinking a small amount of liquid medication, after about 30 to 45 minutes, your child will become drowsey, then Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki will start the treatment. Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki will monitor your child according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentist guidelines throughout the procedure. When oral sedation is used, It is important that your child does not eat or drink 4 hours prior to the appointment. Oral sedation rarely produces serious side effects; nausea is among the most common.
Fearful children or children with special needs that do not work well with oral conscious sedation may use intravenous ( IV ) Sedation. Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki works with highly accredited dental anesthesiologists for IV Sedation. IV Sedation is very safe for healthy children. Before any decision is made to use IV Sedation, Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki will work with you to comprehensively review your child’s health history, which must be done in all cases.. If there is any medical condition, Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki would request a clearance from you and your child’s medical doctor. To prepare for IV sedation, It is important that your child does not eat or drink 6 hours prior to the appointment. The night before your child’s appointment, the anesthesiologist will call you to answer any questions you may have.
On the day of your child’s appointment, your child will arrive in our office on an empty stomach. The anesthesiologist will review your child’s health history with a physical exam. Then, the anesthesiologist will give your child an injection of sedative medication in the arm. Some children may cry through the injection, but with the amnesic effect of the sedation medication, your child may not remember the injection. After 5-10 minutes, when your child is relaxed, we will bring your child to the treatment room and have an IV placed. If x-rays were unable to be taken prior to the appointment, we will take x-rays and discuss possible changes in the treatment plan before the dental procedure is started. After the dental treatment is complete, the anesthesiologist will slowly wake your child up. Some children are sleepy when they wake up, some children are shivering, some cry. The anesthesiologist will give you post procedure instructions and wait until your child is alert before releasing him or her.
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