Services

Dentistry dedicated to excellence.

FIRST DENTAL VISIT

With early intervention, tooth decay can be prevented!

Our office follows the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in recommending that your child see the dentist for their first dental visit by their first birthday. Most parents are surprised to learn that tooth decay can begin at 15-18 months old once your baby’s teeth erupt. In fact, statistics show that half of the children entering kindergarten in the state of California have at least one cavity or filling. Our motto is “prevention is the future” and we hope that with early intervention, tooth decay in your child can be prevented.

The first visit to the dentist is a “well-baby dental check-up” for your child’s teeth, just as your child would get a well-baby check-up with their pediatrician to maintain a healthy body.

We strive to make the visit both educational for parents and positive for your child, so we can set your child on a lifelong path to being healthy and cavity-free. Our doctors and staff will discuss important milestones and make recommendations for a healthy diet, review proper cleaning techniques, discuss trauma prevention and treatment, and provide tips on teething and sucking habits. They will examine your child’s teeth, gums, oral tissues, jaw and bite, perform an age-appropriate cleaning, and if indicated, apply a professional fluoride solution. They will also review at what point diagnostic x-rays are indicated based on your child’s age and present dental condition. If the doctor diagnoses any problems, the proposed treatment will be discussed and scheduled for a later visit.

Our doctors and staff will engage your child in the entire process by first telling and showing them what we will do, and only proceeding with each step if both the parent and child feel comfortable. Your child’s experience with the dentist begins before they even walk though our doors, and we need your help to make it a positive one! A parent’s experience may not have been as positive, so please be mindful of the language you present, as it will go a long was in determining whether your child has a successful appointment. We avoid using words like “needle,” “drill,” “shot,” “pull,” and “hurt” or any other words that may cause unnecessary anxiety, and instead use simple and familiar language such as “tooth counter” for our explorer, “flashlight” for our dental mirror and light, “pictures” for any needed x-rays, and “toothbrush” for our cleaning instruments. Modeling the same language at home will create awareness and help your child relax at their visit.

We make the visit fun and engaging and send each new patient home with a fun toothbrush, floss and toothpaste kit and a cool Coronado Pediatric Dentistry t-shirt!

Preventative Care

DENTAL CLEANINGS

Cleanings, Fluoride and X-rays

Your child’s mouth will continue to grow and develop throughout adolescence. We follow the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s recommendation of scheduling dental check-ups twice a year in order to track your child’s development and monitor any developing decay.

Along with your child’s 6-month dental exam, our registered dental assistants (RDA) will perform a professional cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar, and polish your child’s teeth. Regular cleanings, along with twice daily brushing and proper flossing, will help maintain a healthy mouth, and in turn, your child’s overall health. Cleanings are especially important to prevent tooth decay between the teeth.

Fluoride Treatments:

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making tooth enamel (hard coating on your teeth) stronger and more resistant to acids in the mouth formed by bacteria and sugar. It can also help repair areas where acid has already affected the enamel. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry endorses the use of fluoridated toothpaste in children, by recommending a “smear” amount for children under 3 years of age and a pea-sized amount for children 3-6 years of age. The ideal level of fluoride is needed to help prevent tooth decay, so we apply a professional fluoride solution during their visit, either a varnish application or mouth rinse depending on the age of your child, in order to supplement fluoride absorption.

Dental X-rays:

X-rays are a vital component of a thorough exam and accurate treatment diagnosis. Our doctors commonly utilize them starting at 4 years of age, but may take them earlier if patients are able or if needed for trauma. X-ray images often allow our doctors to diagnose diseases of the mouth before signs and symptoms have even developed, some of which can only be detected with the use of such technology. We utilize digital x-ray technology and can take panoramic mouth images here in our office.

Sealants:

Sealants are one of the most under-utilized procedures that can prevent decay. They have been shown to reduce the risk of cavities up to 75% on the chewing surfaces of permanent molars. Adolescents and teenagers are primary candidates for sealants because they help protect those hard to reach back teeth that are often neglected with brushing and flossing.

During the procedure, a plastic material is applied to the occlusal (chewing) surfaces of at-risk teeth that bonds to the hard-to-clean pits and fissures (depressions and grooves) providing a physical barrier that protects tooth enamel from bacteria and helps prevent decay. They can last years before reapplication is needed.

Silver Diamine Fluoride:

Silver diamine fluoride is a solution that may be applied to the surface of a tooth where decay is present to halt the advance of tooth decay. We utilize it in our office on children who may not be cooperative for restorative procedures due to age or behavior. The advantage is that the decay can usually be stopped, but the side effect is a very dark discoloration of the area of the tooth where it is placed. Teeth treated with silver diamine fluoride can be restored with tooth-colored fillings when the child is older and cooperative.

SEDATION

MANAGING ANXIETY DURING TREATMENT

Our doctors may recommend utilizing sedation

Not every child is a candidate for sedation. Our doctors will make the determination on a case-by-case basis, after an initial oral evaluation and an in-depth consultation with parent(s) to discuss treatment options and to address any concerns. Sedation is often recommended for very young children who have a hard time sitting still, those who have extensive dental needs as it allows the doctor to complete treatment in fewer visits, or for those who are fearful or who have special needs.

Once we review your child’s medical history, past dental experiences, and level of anxiety, we will determine the appropriate level of sedation to help calm and relax your child for the dental care needed.

Options include nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral conscious sedation and IV sedation. For those patients who require IV sedation, we work exclusively with a pediatric dental anesthesiologist, who is trained in treating patients in an outpatient dental office setting.

Once we review your child’s medical history, past dental experiences, and level of anxiety, we will determine the appropriate level of sedation to help calm and relax your child for the dental care needed. Options include nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral conscious sedation and IV sedation. For those patients who require IV sedation, we work exclusively with a pediatric dental anesthesiologist, who is trained in treating patients in an outpatient dental office setting.

Dental Emergencies

IN CASE OF A DENTAL EMERGENCY

Please save our number 619-435-6655

We are on call and prepared to help! If the accident occurs outside of normal business hours, call our office line for instructions to connect with the emergency on-call doctor. If the situation allows, cell phone photos of the injury can be very helpful for the doctor’s remote diagnosis, but can always be taken after the initial call is placed. Most importantly, if your child shows any sign of altered or loss of consciousness as a result of a head trauma, contact your pediatrician immediately or go to your local emergency room.

Knocked-Out or Displaced Tooth:

A knocked-out permanent tooth requires immediate attention! The faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth!

Helpful Tips:

  1. Find the tooth and contact our office right away.
  2. Hold the tooth by the crown (chewing end), not the root, and gently rinse the root using cool water. Do not scrub or clean the tooth with soap or remove any attached tissue fragments.
  3. If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a washcloth (remember, the smooth side of the crown always faces out) while you head to the dentist. If you do not feel comfortable placing the tooth back in the socket yourself, place the tooth in a clean container of milk and come to our office immediately.

Knocked-out baby teeth are rarely placed back in the mouth, but it is important for the doctor to examine your child to be sure no tooth fragments are embedded in the gums, lip or tongue, and to determine the extent of trauma to other teeth in the area.

Chipped or Fractured Tooth:

Contact our office promptly so that we can determine if the fracture requires immediate attention. Then rinse out your child’s mouth with room temperature water and apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, bring it with you to our office. Immediate action may save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment.

Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek:

Clean the area gently with a cloth and place cold compresses on the area to keep swelling down. Apply firm but gentle pressure to control any bleeding. If bleeding is excessive or doesn’t stop after a short period of time, take your child to the doctor immediately.

Toothache:

Call our office to schedule a visit as soon as possible. To comfort your child in the meantime, rinse the mouth with room temperature salt water, remove any food trapped between the teeth with dental floss, and apply a cold compress to alleviate any facial swelling. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums or sore tooth. Over-the-counter pain medication may be used to keep your child comfortable until they can be seen.

Gum Swelling or Abscess:

An abscess is a painful bacterial infection at the root of the tooth or between the gum and a tooth, most commonly caused by tooth decay or trauma to the tooth. It is usually accompanied by swelling of the gums that may resemble a pimple.  If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of your child’s body, so it is important that you contact us immediately to schedule an appointment.

To help reduce your child’s risk of an oral injury, encourage them to wear mouthguards and helmets during sports and activities! Always use car seats for young children and require seatbelts for everyone else in the car. And childproof your home to prevent falls, electrical injuries and choking on small objects!

WHAT OUR PATIENTS HAVE TO SAY

Coronado Pediatric Dentistry Patient Reviews

  • So happy with this office, and the dentists there! They are so kind and make our kids feel at ease. My girls both love going to the dentist.
    Heather M
  • Both my 7 year old and 3 year old see Dr. Dixon and absolutely love him! They've never been scared or had a bad experience. The office is very kid friendly and all of the staff is wonderful!
    Sara B
  • Really awesome experience for our son and us... They have an amazing environment for kids, both in the waiting area, and when providing service.
    Aaron W