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PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY



GENERAL DENTISTRY

Patients have always been the first priority at Morrison Dental Associates. When the practice was founded more than 40 years ago, the primary intention was to provide exemplary oral healthcare services for every patient. And as the practice has grown, that commitment to patient care has not changed.

We approach dentistry a little differently than other dental practices. Morrison Dental believes comprehensive care is the most effective oral healthcare delivery method for our patients, and we perform a full range of dental services ranging from the fundamental general dentistry such as First Visit and cavity repair to specialty services such as cosmetic dentistry, oral surgery, esthetic dentistry and orthodontics. By having a diverse and talented staff of providers and through the use of the most sophisticated dental technology, Morrison Dental is able to treat virtually any dental need our patients have.

We also understand that we are here to serve the patients. At all of our locations in Georgia and South Carolina, Morrison Dental's approach to caring for patients starts with the knowledge that our patients' time is valuable. We know our patients have busy lives, so we work with our patients to schedule convenient appointment times and our staff strives to provide treatment as efficiently as possible.

We believe that our commitment to convenience and comprehensive care distinguish Morrison Dental Associates as the premier provider of comprehensive oral healthcare services in South Georgia and the South Carolina Lowcountry. That's the Morrison Dental Advantage!

First Visit

What to Expect:

Your child's first dental visit is extremely important. It allows the Dr. Erika and her team to establish a foundation of all future dental visits, and to ensure that your child is healthy and developing properly.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children visit a pediatric dentist within six months of when their first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday. This first few visits of your child's life are designed to create a dental home for your child and to help your child start to develop a positive relationship with the dentist.

Our pediatric dental appointments include:

  • A meet and greet from our friendly dental staff.
  • Review of history of your child as well as your family to fully understand the child's development.
  • A discussion about diet oral habits, pacifiers use, development of your child.
  • A quick but thorough examination of your child's teeth and gum.
  • A detailed discussion about your child's current oral health status, development, and any recommendations about diet, oral habits, pacifiers, and oral health care.
  • Before the appointment ends, Dr. Erika and her staff will ensure all of your questions and concerns have been answered.

A parent's role at the pediatric dentist:

At Morrison Dental Associates, we value your help as a parent. But we encourage you to remember that your child will feel calm if you are calm. You can help your child feel more comfortable and happier in the dental office by being positive and calm.

Please encourage your child and help us create a positive atmosphere and association with the dentist by always avoiding threatening language in regards to the dentist. Instead, provide positive explanations about your child's dental visit. For example, we NEVER use the word "shot" at MDA. Instead, we explain the sensation of being numb as sleepy juice.

Please work with us to create a positive environment for your child. If you wish to be present in the room during treatment, we welcome you as a silent observer. It is important that your child has the opportunity to listen to Dr. Erika and her staff's voices and encouragement. Too many voices could confuse your child and we want to ensure the best outcome possible.

If you ever have any questions about your role at your child's dental appointment, please feel free to contact our office.

Kids Dental Services

If you have any questions about your role at your child's dental appointment, please feel free to contact our office.

Cleanings

Great oral health can last a lifetime, and we are here to help your child get the right start and you can do your part by visiting Morrison Dental for a cleaning and exam twice a year. At each visit, after one of our friendly hygienists polishes and flosses your child's teeth, and Dr. Erika will:

  • Check your child's teeth for decay and early signs of developmental problems
  • Explain ways to care for your child's teeth
  • Answer any of your questions or concerns

We recommend your child visits us every six months for routine cleaning and exam, but we may suggest more frequent visits if needed.

Radiographs (X-rays)

Dental x-rays are used to further evaluate your child's smile and to ensure he/she receives the proper dental care your child needs and deserves. Dental x-rays are a very valuable diagnostic tool and allow Dr. Erika to:

  • Diagnose cavities in between the teeth that are touching each other
  • Determine if your child's teeth are infected
  • See how your child's teeth are erupting
  • See the number, size, and position of your child's teeth
  • Monitor mouth and teeth injuries
  • Identify bone diseases
  • Detect any other problems that cannot be seen with the eye

If you have any questions about the necessity of dental x-rays for your child, please feel free to contact our office.

Fluoride

Fluoride treatment is recommended to help strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent cavities from developing. Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally found in water and many common foods. While you receive a fluoride from your regular diet, by using toothpaste with fluoride and professional fluoride treatments twice a year, you are strengthening your teeth and helping to prevent cavities.

Sealants

Sealants are recommended for children whose permanent molars have fully come in. Sealants are a white protective coating that work to help stop harmful bacteria and food debris from entering the chewing surface of the tooth. This helps to keep your child's teeth strong and help to prevent cavities. Sealants are recommended when the permanent molars come in, which is around ages 6 and 12 years old. If you have any questions about your role at your child's dental appointment, please feel free to contact our office.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is used to help relax your child, reduce any discomfort if it should arise, and ease the fear of the dental office if your child should need any restorative work. As stated by the AAPD, nitrous oxide is safe to be administered to children of all ages.

White (tooth colored) Fillings

White fillings are also called tooth color fillings or composite resins. They provide good durability in small fillings and can be used in front or back teeth since they are chemically bonded to the tooth.

Since the white colored filling is chemically bonded to the tooth, sometimes the placement of a white colored filling does not need the tooth to be numbed. Often, it is not necessary to numb the tooth when placing a white colored filling because the cavity is often contained to the enamel layer of the tooth. Numbing is required when the cavity progresses past the enamel layer and into the dentin layer which surround and protects the nerve of the tooth.

Once the cavity is removed from the tooth, the area is cleaned before placing the filling material. The filling material is shaped to resemble the natural anatomy of the tooth and then hardened by curing it with a strong light. Once the white colored filling is light cured, the filling will be checked to make sure it is properly sealed and that the teeth fit together properly.

Pediatric Stainless Steel Crowns

Stainless steel crowns are necessary for teeth that have large cavities or a pulpotomy therapy needs to be performed. Stainless steel crowns can also be used when other restorations (white or silver fillings) have broken. Stainless steel crowns protect the entire tooth and stay on the tooth until it exfoliates.

Extractions

At Morrison Dental, we want your child to keep their teeth until the permanent teeth are ready to come in. However, on certain occasions extractions are our last resort. Some reasons to make extractions are necessary are if the tooth has become infected, the permanent tooth is also in the mouth or if the cavity has become too big and we cannot save the tooth with a stainless steel crown. If a primary molar is extracted, Dr. Erika will discuss with you if there is a need for a space maintainer.

Parents

What parents need to know!

Appointment policy

Most first appointments serve as a consultation. At that appointment we will take any needed x-rays, complete an exam and create a comprehensive treatment plan.

We ask that you please arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment to ensure all medical history and insurance is up to date in our system.

Lastly, we ask that you please call within 24 hours prior to your appointment to reschedule in the event of an emergency. We would like to be able to schedule a different child in need if you can no longer make it to your appointment time! And while we understand emergencies happen, if you are more than 10 minutes late to your appointment, we will have to reschedule in order to respect the time of our other patients. Thank you for understanding!

If you have any questions about our appointment policy, please feel free to contact our office.

Parents' role

At Morrison Dental Associates, we value your help as a parent, but we encourage you to remember that your child will feel calm if you are calm. You can help your child feel more comfortable and happier in the dental office by being positive and calm. Please encourage your child and help us create a positive atmosphere and association with the dentist by always avoiding threatening language in regards to the dentist. Instead, provide positive explanations about your child's dental visit. For example, we NEVER use the word "shot" at MDA. Instead, we explain the sensation of being numb as sleepy juice.

Please help us create a positive environment for your child. If you wish to be present in the room during treatment, we welcome you as a silent observer. It is important that your child has the opportunity to listen to Dr. Erika and her staff's voices and encouragement, as too many voices could confuse your child and we want to ensure the best outcome possible.

If you have any questions about your role at your child's dental appointment, please feel free to contact our office.

How to help foster a child's good oral health

It is important to help your child with their oral hygiene routine at home until they are age 8. Here are some steps to help your child's smile stay healthy:

  • Brush your teeth after each meal or at least twice a day. Dr. Erika recommends a soft-bristled toothbrush and a smear of toothpaste that includes fluoride.
  • Floss at least once every day. It is important to floss before bedtime to clean the spots in between the teeth that the toothbrush cannot clean.
  • If your child can spit, Dr. Erika recommends a fluoride mouth rinse to be used before bedtime. The fluoride mouth rinse allows fluoride to better penetrate and strengthen all surfaces of the teeth.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Visit the dentist every six months. These visits are important to provide a professional cleaning and a thorough dental exam.

When you visit Dr. Erika and the team at MDA, we will review your child's dental hygiene habits and offer advice to help further improve your child's oral health. Please feel free to contact our office if you ever have any questions about your role in your child's dental health!

DR. ERIKA

What is a pediatric dentist?

A pediatric dentist is a specialist who is dedicated to the oral health of children and monitoring their facial growth and development. Each pediatric residency trains pediatric dentists to effectively treat children from infancy through adolescence, as well as medically and physically compromised individuals.

About Dr. Erika

Dr. Erika earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Indiana University in 2016 and continued to the University of Louisville to complete a 2-year residency as Chief Resident, earning a pediatric certificate and Master of Science in Pediatric Dentistry. Before entering dentistry, Dr. Schmit earned a Master of Science in Biotechnology in 2011 but was drawn to Pediatric Dentistry because of her love of children.

Dr. Erika's passion for pediatric dentistry starts with her love of children. Her goal as a pediatric dentist is to create a compassionate, positive, and fun environment so that your child may enjoy their dental visit, receive the care they need, and may overcome traditional dental fears. In addition to pediatric dentistry, Dr. Erika has served as a Children's and Hospital Advocate at the Center for Women and Children, has volunteered with the Special Olympics and has traveled to Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica on dental mission trips. During these trips, Dr. Erika provided comprehensive care to many children in orphanages. Her addition to the MDA team offers an enthusiastic pediatric dentist to care for all of your little one's smiles.

Pediatric Dentistry

At Morrison Dental, our #1 priority for children is prevention and detection. We greet our patients with a smile, and we strive to make children comfortable and secure throughout their visit to Morrison Dental.

Our dental staff is capable of providing oral healthcare for children from infancy through adulthood, and we have the experience and expertise to care for children's teeth, gums and overall mouth through all the stages of childhood. We believe conscientious oral hygiene starts as early as the first tooth erupts. Dental hygiene should be a part of every child's life at a very young age. A child should visit the dentist within six months after eruption of their first tooth or no later than their first birthday. This first visit to the dentist is designed to establish a dental home and to help your child develop a positive relationship with the dentist and proper dental hygiene.

Having young children visit the dentist often for cleanings and exams is critical to ongoing dental care because it prevents bacteria from growing and leading to other dental issues such as tooth decay or inflammation of the gums. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a check-up every six months to prevent cavities and other dental problems.

At Morrison Dental Associates, we are committed to providing children with the highest standard of dental care delivered by friendly and professional dental staff. We know it's important to communicate clearly and often with parents and children to make sure they understand the importance of good oral hygiene. We look forward to meeting you and your child!

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