Call Us! (252) 751-0556  

Our goal is for your child to enjoy good oral health for a lifetime. We look forward to working with you to achieve that goal. We begin with the first visit when Dr. Casey performs a thorough oral examination to assess the health of your child’s teeth and gums as well as your child’s dental and orthodontic development. Following the examination, Dr. Casey performs a cleaning to remove plaque and calculus that can cause cavities and gum disease. We then apply topical fluoride varnish to make teeth more resistant to decay. As part of the initial visit, Dr. Casey obtains the radiographs (x-rays) that are appropriate to your child’s stage of development.

Most cavities occur on the biting surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars). Sealants – white plastic coatings that fill the grooves in these tooth surfaces – are highly effective in preventing tooth decay. Sealants are easy to place and require no numbing or removal of tooth structure. Sealants typically last for 3-5 years, but some dietary habits such as chewing ice or hard candy can cause them to wear down more quickly.

Dr. Casey offers composite fillings that match the color of the tooth as well as traditional amalgam (silver) fillings. Some teeth are too badly decayed to hold a composite or amalgam filling. These teeth require complete coverage with stainless steel crowns. Dr. Casey is happy to discuss with you the advantages and limitations of each treatment to identify which would be best for your child.

Extractions are done only as a last resort. If a primary molar is removed prematurely, a space maintainer may be necessary to hold space open for the permanent tooth. In addition, some extractions are needed for orthodontic reasons to help guide the eruption and alignment of your child’s permanent teeth.

Some children are given nitrous oxide/oxygen (commonly called “laughing gas”) to help them relax for dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide and is given through a small breathing mask placed over the child’s nose. The gas is mild, easily taken, and quickly eliminated from the body. Nitrous oxide/oxygen gives most children a relaxed, comfortable feeling. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes. This technique is a very safe, effective way to treat a mildly anxious child.

Oral conscious sedation is recommended for moderately apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatment. Your child may be quite drowsy, and may even fall asleep, but they will not become unconscious. There are a variety of medications that can be used for oral conscious sedation. Dr. Casey will prescribe the medication best suited for your child’s overall health and dental treatment needs. Before recommending oral conscious sedation, Dr. Casey will discuss with you the risks and benefits of this approach. He also will answer any questions you might have concerning the specific medications to be given to your child.

Costs can vary substantially depending on your child’s dental treatment needs and the treatment approach that you select. Before you are asked to agree to a plan of treatment, we will discuss our treatment recommendations, the available treatment options, the costs of treatment, and available financing arrangements.

We urge you to seek a second professional opinion with another dentist if you are uncomfortable with our treatment recommendations for your child.