WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PEDIATRIC DENTIST AND A FAMILY (GENERAL) DENTIST?
A family dentist provides general dentistry for all ages, while pediatric dentistry is an age-based specialty. Following four years of dental school, Dr. Callahan attended a 2-year residency in pediatric dentistry at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health. This residency prepared Dr. Callahan to address the dental needs of infants, teens, and adolescents. Dr. Callahan has been serving the children of southern Colorado since 2003.
AT WHAT AGE SHOULD MY CHILD SEE A DENTIST?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first dentist visit by their first birthday. This early introduction allows us to see your child before the decay process begins and enables us to start the child on a prevention program to keep them cavity-free. Children that are introduced to the dentist at an early age tend to be the patients that are most comfortable going to the dentist as they get older. If your child is already past this age, don’t worry! It’s never too late to get your child on the path to good dental health. We look forward to meeting you and your child.
WILL I BE ABLE TO BE WITH MY CHILD DURING THE DENTAL APPOINTMENT?
Absolutely. We welcome your presence throughout the visit and we want you to be a part of the decision-making process. We invite parents to be present for everything from cleanings to restorative or surgical care. The exception is for conscious sedation. For sedation appointments, we ask parents to step out to the reception area during the actual treatment time so that we can focus 100% of our attention on the patient.
DOES DR. CALLAHAN USE A PAPOOSE BOARD?
No. Treatment under restraint has long been accepted as a viable option in pediatric dentistry. However, Dr. Callahan believes this type of restraint can lead to a traumatic experience that might cause someone to fear going to the dentist.
I’VE HEARD THAT FLUORIDE CAN BE BAD. IS THIS TRUE?
Topical use of fluoride makes teeth stronger and more resistant to cavities, but there is such thing as too much fluoride. For infants and toddlers, we recommend a grain-of-rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. For older children, a pea-sized amount is plenty.
WHAT MAKES SOFT DRINKS BAD FOR YOUR TEETH?
Sugar and acids such as those found in soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juices, and other sweet drinks can be your teeth’s worst enemies. Acids soften the tooth enamel, making your teeth more likely to decay. We advise our parents to minimize their kids’ consumption of these products. The best drink for thirsty kids is water!
DO DENTAL ASSISTANTS PLACE FILLINGS AT DR. CALLAHAN’S OFFICE?
All restorative work is completed by Dr. Callahan from start to finish. Although it is both legal and very common in Colorado for the dentist to prepare the tooth and allow the assistant to place the restoration, Dr. Callahan has never felt comfortable with the delegation of this duty.
IS CONSCIOUS SEDATION SAFE?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has established guidelines for the safe sedation of pediatric patients. When these guidelines are followed, pediatric dentists have an outstanding record of safety in performing procedures under conscious sedation. We adhere to these guidelines, which means we select our sedation patients carefully, we carefully calculate doses according to weight and body type, we monitor vital signs throughout treatment, and patients must meet certain criteria before discharge. Conscious sedation is not something we take lightly, but we do it with a very high level of confidence.
Do you have questions we haven’t answered here? Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (719) 265-9600 so we can address all your concerns.