Your child’s smile means everything to us
You might not be thinking of a visit to the dentist when your toothless infant giggles and smiles at you. But a child’s oral health starts before their first tooth arrives. Our pediatric dentists can monitor your developing child's dental care from their earliest ages.
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We focus on the oral health of your growing child and how it affects overall health. Our attention to regular evaluations, education and treatment – for both normal, healthy children and those with complex or special needs – assures a healthy start to a lifetime of good oral hygiene. While we most commonly see cavities and gum inflammation (gingivitis), we also regularly treat impacted teeth, dental infections and dental traumas.
Highly respected as lecturers within the pediatric dentistry profession, our highly trained specialists coordinate care with other dental specialties if you child develops more complex dental conditions, including lip and tongue ties that require surgery. As researchers, we’re developing new therapies that make smiles shine their brightest and improve outcomes. We adopt the latest evidence-based practices, as well as dental technologies. There’s no dental condition that you child might experience that we can’t treat or work with our partners across our academic medical center to manage.
Serving as your child’s dental home
Your child’s healthy smile is our mission, and we take time to make every visit fun and educational – starting with the first time they walk in our door. We use a “tell-show-do” to help even the youngest patients understand what and why we’re doing what we do. Our specialists are caring and compassionate.
Each time your child visits, we review oral hygiene practices, because that’s the most important factor in minimizing the risk of dental cavities. Focusing on good oral health starting with your child’s baby teeth also is important for their healthy development, including nutrition, learning, speech and psychosocial.
Full range of dental services
Our team of specialists provides for each child's unique needs, with specialized training to treat dental needs in patients up to age 21. Our approach includes:
- Bedside dentistry for hospitalized patients
- Care for dental anxiety, with nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
- Child-sized chairs and child-friendly equipment
- Comfortable, safe, child-friendly environment
- Complex procedures, including dental treatment with sedation and anesthesia
- Dental treatment with general anesthesia in a hospital setting
- Pediatric dentist on call 24 hours a day on the MCV Campus to address your child's dental emergency through Children’s Hospital pediatric emergency room
- Family education on preventive dental care, sealants and tooth-colored fillings
- Fluoride varnish in the pediatric primary care setting
- Infant oral health care, the age-1-dental-visit and Head Start dental exams
- Patient management with child-friendly "Tell-Show-Do"
- Private "quiet rooms"
- Common treatments include cleaning and X-rays; dental fillings or crowns/caps; extractions; and early orthodontic treatment.
Compassionate care for children with special needs
Children with special needs are often unable to tolerate a routine dental visit. They may require treatment under general anesthesia for a comprehensive oral examination and a full-mouth series of X-rays to diagnose any dental pathology. Sedation dentistry also can be used for:
- Corrective procedures for children with severe wear of their teeth due to grinding or clenching (bruxism)
- Dental decay from ingesting high-calorie substances required for feeding problems, which promote tooth decay
- Extraction to allow permanent teeth to erupt when it doesn’t occur naturally
- Fractured teeth resulting from falls, requiring fillings or extractions
- Scaling of the teeth or gum surgery to correct overgrown gums
- Scaling of the teeth to remove tarter build up
- Severe anxiety or an inability to cooperate due to age, compromised health, special needs or extensive dental needs
Dental services in the Children’s Pavilion are provided by VCU Dental Care.
Take a virtual tour of our pediatric dental clinic on our Brook Road Campus
FAQs about pediatric dentistry