Bosma Dental is a family practice that is focused on the life-long health and wellness of our patients.
From their pediatric rotations in dental school and throughout their careers, Drs. Bosma have been seeing and treating children since the beginning. Not all young patients are candidates for our practice as some patients who have extensive needs can only be treated in specialized settings. In such cases, we have a network of specialists that we refer to when appropriate. Aside from those types of situations, children are a welcome part of our practice!
As general practitioners, who see and treat complex adult dental problems, Drs. Bosma recognize which problems in the adult population are ones that begin early in childhood. It is our goal to prevent and correct problems at their root cause whenever possible, rather than simply treating the symptoms. We know that one day, our pediatric patients will become our adult patients. This drives us to continually pursue the latest research and training in order to provide our patients across the age spectrum with the best long-term, healthy and stable dental outcomes.
Our little patients are all different and unique. We enjoy getting to know them in a warm, fun environment. We have Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) for our more nervous patients and iPads overhead for Netflix, Disney Plus and other apps for our patients' viewing pleasure. Most children do well in the dental chair if they have had prior, enjoyable experiences. We encourage parents to prepare their child by being positive about their child's dental visits. Some parents may have their own anxiety about the dentist and must be very careful not convey that to their child. We advise that parents stay away from using words like pain, hurt, pinch, scared and other such words with negative connotations. Instead, we recommend preparing for the dental experience by saying things like, you will see, hear, feel and learn new things. You may even smell or taste new things. Your teeth will be clean and healthy. The doctors explain all procedures in a child-oriented manner so the child can understand at an age-appropriate level what is going on during procedures.
Primary teeth are slightly different than adult teeth, the care we provide is tailored to that. Growth and development in young children is a very important area that we assess. We provide tools for intervention and guidance when we see a deficiency. The implications for lack of proper growth in the jaws can significantly impact the health and stability of the dental-facial structures as well the general health of our patients for a lifetime.
Below are some examples of pediatric-specific types of treatment done at Bosma Dental.
When a primary tooth is damaged, from decay or trauma, the nerve can become affected. Primary teeth are important for speech, space maintenance and function. If the nerve of a primary tooth is affected, we take all or part of the nerve out and the tooth can remain in place without becoming infected until it is ready to fall out naturally.
When a baby tooth has been affected by decay on many surfaces, a filling restoration is not adequate to keep the tooth from breaking prematurely. A stainless steel crown can be placed on the baby tooth to reinforce and protect it until the permanent tooth is ready to come in. The stainless steel crown is fitted and cemented in the same appointment and does not need to be fabricated by a lab like a crown on an a permanent tooth would be.
If a primary tooth is lost prematurely, the space can close leaving the permanent tooth impacted in the bone due to lack of space for eruption into the arch. This situation will cause a very complicated orthodontic problem in the future. In the above picture, you can see an x-ray of space maintainer placed at Bosma Dental after a primary tooth had to be extracted early. The space maintainer is now ready to be removed as the permanent tooth has erupted into the arch with plenty of space. The photo below is what space maintainer looks like in the mouth of one of our patients.
An ideal smile in a child's mouth should be full of spaces between the baby teeth. Many children do not have those spaces today. There is much research and investigation underway as to why this is happening. If there is not enough space in a dental arch, the teeth come in crooked. When there is space in the arch, the teeth naturally come in straight. Here is a case from Bosma Dental where one of our 5 year old pediatric patients had a lack of growth in the arches. With some guidance, in a span of 5-6 months, the arches became larger and the permanent teeth came in straight. Notice the lack of space for the tongue in the first picture and after guided growth and development, the space for the tongue has significantly increased. The lower two photos show printed models of before and after the guided growth treatment.
Ensuring adequate growth of the dental arches is not just about straight teeth, it also affects the upper airway. The end of the mouth is the beginning of the airway. Arches that are constricted do not allow the soft tissues in the pharynx (back of the mouth) to spread out. The soft palate tends to grow downward, the tonsillar pillars are narrower and the tongue volume increases in the back of the mouth when the oral cavity is smaller than ideal. This is especially troublesome when children go to sleep as these structures are soft and collapse during deep sleep. Snoring, heavy breathing, frequent waking, restless sleep, tooth grinding are all signs that there may be a sleep related breathing disorder that does not allow kids to fall asleep and stay in deep sleep. Their bodies go through microarousals to keep their airways open throughout the night. Lack of restorative sleep night after night can cause a slew of problems in children and can follow them into adulthood. Correcting this arch growth problem becomes harder and more invasive to do as patients get older and the growth potential decreases over time.