Dental Blog

Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Alamo Kids Dental
December 14, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures

Providing the proper dental care for your child with special needs starts with your pediatric dentists, Dr. Peter Gurr and Dr. Maria Karakousoglou in the far west side of San Antonio, TX. Read on to learn more about what your pediatric dentists at Alamo Kids Dental can provide for your child with special needs.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentists receive additional dental training that specializes in treating infants and young children's dental concerns. At Alamo Kids Dental, our pediatric dentists furthered this education to provide children with special needs the accurate oral care that they need. This means that not every pediatric dentist has acquired the dental training to offer a comfortable environment and experience for your child.

Choosing Alamo Kids Dental

Our pediatric dentists provide the knowledge that you, as the parent or caretaker, may be unfamiliar with regarding your child that might require specific dental care or support both at home and in our office.

Dr. Gurr and Dr. Karakousoglou understand that dental visits can cause stress for children, and resultantly, their parent or guardian as well. That's why at Alamo Kids Dental, our pediatric dentists are committed to providing an environment that your child can find comfort in.

In working closely with you as the parent or caretaker, you can find comfort in knowing that your child is receiving the proper dental care that they deserve. Personalized dental care for your child with special needs in the far west side of San Antonio, TX, is imperative to their dental health long-term.

What You Can Expect

Our dentists at Alamo Kids Dental can offer you and your child dental sedation options if the stress or difficultly in having their mouth open is too overwhelming. To maintain a healthy smile, we're more than happy to discuss what the best dental treatment is for your child.

Dr. Gurr and Dr. Karakousglou have worked with numerous children with special needs and their parents to ensure their dental health is on the right track! Our staff at Alamo Kids Dental located on the far west side of San Antonio, TX, welcomes you and your child with special needs to visit us today to receive the invaluable dental care they deserve. Schedule an appointment with us today by calling (210) 951-0046.

By Alamo Kids Dental
November 29, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Laser Dentistry  

If you are a parent with a child in need of laser dentistry in San Antonio, TX, Alamo Kids Dental is the right place for you. We offer the services of Dr. Peter Gurr, a pediatric dentist, and Dr. Maria Karakousoglou, an orthodontist. Read on to learn about the positives of laser dentistry.

What is Laser Dentistry?

Laser dentistry is the use of different types of lasers for specific dental procedures. Laser dentistry is suitable for either hard or soft tissue procedures. The light the laser emits allows your pediatric dentist, Dr. Gurr, to remove or reshape the targeted oral tissue.

Lasers used for dental procedures are safe. Your child will receive glasses to protect your eyes from the light the laser emits when you visit Alamo Kids Dental serving San Antonio, TX, for a laser dentistry procedure.

Benefits of Laser Dentistry

For children, there are several benefits to laser dentistry, including:

  • It is less invasive and less noisy than other dental equipment like dental drills.
  • Lasers are extremely precise in the hands of an experienced pediatric dentist like Dr. Gurr or a skilled orthodontist like Dr. Karakousoglou.
  • You can use laser dentistry to treat tongue ties and lip ties.
  • Laser dentistry promotes a shorter healing time after your procedure.
  • Using lasers also promotes minimal post-operative bleeding and swelling.
  •  A laser sterilizes the area it is targeting, meaning there is less chance of bacterial contamination.
  • Lasers can promote healing.

Explaining dentistry to a child can be difficult, but lasers may seem magical to a child. One of the best benefits of laser dentistry for children is that a laser is much cooler and much less scary than a drill in many ways.

Types of Laser Dentistry Procedures

Various procedures may make use of lasers, including but not limited to:

  • Frenectomies
  • Exposing unerupted teeth
  • Certain fillings
  • Preventative dentistry

Contact Us

At Alamo Kids Dental in San Antonio, TX, we offer laser dentistry and pride ourselves on being one of the few practices in the area that provides this, amongst other services.  You can contact Dr. Gurr and Dr. Karakousoglou on 210-951-0046 for an appointment.

EliminatinganInfantsLiporTongueTieCanMakeBreastfeedingEasier

Most babies come into the world ready and able to nourish at their mother's breast—no training required! About one in ten children, though, may have a structural abnormality with their tongue or lip that makes it difficult for them to breastfeed.

The abnormality involves a small strip of tissue called a frenum or frenulum, which is found in the mouth connecting soft tissue to more rigid structures. You'll find a frenum attaching the upper lip to the gums, while another connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth.

Frenums are a normal part of oral anatomy and usually don't pose a problem. But if the frenum tissue is too short, thick or tight, it could restrict lip or tongue movement. If so, a baby may not be able to achieve a good seal on their mother's nipple, causing them to ineffectively chew rather than suck to access the mother's milk. Such a situation guarantees an unpleasant experience for both mother and baby.

The problem can be addressed with a minor surgical procedure performed in a dentist's office. During the procedure, the dentist first numbs the area with an anesthetic gel. The frenum is then snipped with scissors or a laser.

With very little if any post-procedure care, the baby can immediately begin nursing. But although the physical impediment may be removed, the child may need to “relearn” how to nurse. It may take time for the baby to readjust, and could require help from a professional.

Nursing isn't the only reason for dealing with an abnormally shortened frenum. Abnormal frenums can interfere with speech development and may even widen gaps between the front teeth, contributing to poor bite development. It's often worthwhile to clip a frenum early before it creates other problems.

It isn't absolutely necessary to deal with a “tongue” or “lip tie” in this manner—a baby can be nourished by bottle. But to gain the physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding, taking care of this particular problem early may be a good option.

If you would like more information on the problem of tongue or lip ties in infants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tongue Ties, Lip Ties and Breastfeeding.”

By Alamo Kids Dental
November 02, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: x-rays  
HeresWhyX-RaysareaSafePracticeWithChildren

X-rays are so interwoven into dental care that we often don't think twice about them. Even so, we shouldn't take this invisible form of radiation lightly—regular exposure at high levels can affect the human body, especially in children.

The ability of x-rays to pass through tissue greatly improves our ability to diagnose tooth decay and other dental diseases. But x-rays can also potentially harm those same tissues. Because children are more sensitive to x-ray energy, they run a greater risk for cellular damage that could lead to cancer later in life.

In reality, though, these potential risks from x-rays are extremely low—so low, in fact, dental professionals regard their use as altogether safe for children. Here's why.

The ALARA principle. Dentists and other healthcare providers perform x-ray diagnostics based on a principle known as ALARA (“As low as reasonably achievable”). This means dentists only utilize x-rays to gain the most diagnostic benefit at the lowest amounts of radiation exposure. As such, ALARA guides both the development of x-ray equipment and the protocols involved in using them.

Equipment advances. Today's x-ray devices are safer and more efficient, restricting x-ray emissions to a single beam without scattering radiation into the environment. A child's radiation exposure is further lowered with the use of digital x-rays, which produce images in less time than conventional film. Because of these and other advances, children are exposed to less radiation during x-rays than what they typically receive in a day from the outside environment.

Safe practices. Following the ALARA principle, dentists are quite conservative in their use of x-rays in children. The most common means of x-ray is the bitewing, which captures images primarily of the back teeth that are more prone to decay. Bitewings, which require a lower x-ray dosage than a full mouth x-ray, are usually spaced at least six months apart or longer depending on a child's risk for dental disease.

The efficiency of modern radiographic equipment coupled with their judicious use has drastically reduced the amount of x-ray radiation to which a child may be exposed, thus lowering their risk of future health issues. The benefit for saving a child's teeth from disease is well worth their use.

If you would like more information on x-ray safety, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “X-Ray Safety for Children.”

WhetherVotingforaCandidateorWisdomTeethYouCanChooseWisely

During election season, you'll often hear celebrities encouraging you to vote. But this year, Kaia Gerber, an up-and-coming model following the career path of her mother Cindy Crawford, made a unique election appeal—while getting her wisdom teeth removed.

With ice packs secured to her jaw, Gerber posted a selfie to social media right after her surgery. The caption read, “We don't need wisdom teeth to vote wisely.”

That's great advice—electing our leaders is one of the most important choices we make as a society. But Gerber's post also highlights another decision that bears careful consideration, whether or not to have your wisdom teeth removed.

Found in the very back of the mouth, wisdom teeth (or “third molars”) are usually the last of the permanent teeth to erupt between ages 17 and 25. But although their name may be a salute to coming of age, in reality wisdom teeth can be a pain. Because they're usually last to the party, they're often erupting in a jaw already crowded with teeth. Such a situation can be a recipe for numerous dental problems.

Crowded wisdom teeth may not erupt properly and remain totally or partially hidden within the gums (impaction). As such, they can impinge on and damage the roots of neighboring teeth, and can make overall hygiene more difficult, increasing the risk of dental disease. They can also help pressure other teeth out of position, resulting in an abnormal bite.

Because of this potential for problems, it's been a common practice in dentistry to remove wisdom teeth preemptively before any problems arise. As a result, wisdom teeth extractions are the top oral surgical procedure performed, with around 10 million of them removed every year.

But that practice is beginning to wane, as many dentists are now adopting more of a “wait and see” approach. If the wisdom teeth show signs of problems—impaction, tooth decay, gum disease or bite influence—removal is usually recommended. If not, though, the wisdom teeth are closely monitored during adolescence and early adulthood. If no problems develop, they may be left intact.

This approach works best if you maintain regular dental cleanings and checkups. During these visits, we'll be able to consistently evaluate the overall health of your mouth, particularly in relation to your wisdom teeth.

Just as getting information on candidates helps you decide your vote, this approach of watchful waiting can help us recommend the best course for your wisdom teeth. Whether you vote your wisdom teeth “in” or “out,” you'll be able to do it wisely.

If you would like more information about what's best to do about wisdom teeth, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Wisdom Teeth.”