Our Services




Extra-oral Digital Radiographs

Routine dental checkups have never been safer and easier for kids. At Sunny Smiles Kids, our advance radiographic technology exposes your child to 1/2 the amount of radiation compared to any other modern digital imaging techniques currently being used. Your child will also no longer have to hold a sensor in their mouth to take a dental radiograph. Instead, they only need to stand still for 10 seconds while the image is being captured. Sunny Smiles Kids is currently the only pediatric dental practice in southern California that uses this progressive technology of extra-oral digital imaging.

Read more about this technology here.

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Needle-less Injections

Sunny Smiles Kids uses the latest technology in anesthesia for routine dental fillings - the Single Tooth Anesthesia (STA) System, a computer-controlled injection technology that deposits anesthetic precisely to the tooth through the periodontal ligament. Analgesia can now be gained without having to inject into the gums. This means kids will hardly feel a thing!

With a wave of “the wand”, a whimsical looking handpiece that delivers the anesthetic, the child’s tooth is magically numb! This precise technology anesthetizes only the tooth and not the tongue, lips, cheek or surrounding soft tissues. As a result, children will complain less about being numb around their face and will less likely cause trauma to themselves by unknowingly biting their lip.

 

 

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SOPROLIFE: Light Induced Fluorescence Cavity Detector

Sub-surface cavities are not captured on digital radiographs and can be extremely difficult to detect using a dental explorer. With the use of the SOPROLIFE, a cavity can be diagnosed at the earliest stages when a filling can still be completed comfortably without the use of anesthesia.

Dr. Jackie routinely uses the SOPROLIFE prior to placement of sealants to eliminate any chance of sealing over a cavity.

The SOPROLIFE is a hand-held fluorescence cavity detection aid. The blue LED emits light at 450 nm. This wavelength excites the dentin which, in reaction, reflects a light signal named Fluorescence. The spectrum (color) of the fluorescence signal is green when the dentin is healthy and dark red, when the dentin is infected.

 


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Disabled and Special Needs Patients

Many children who have special needs have difficulty in receiving dental treatment. These children may be unable to cooperate with requirements to remain still for long periods of time, or may have other difficulties with dental procedures.

Children with special needs include those who are: handicapped such as cerebral palsy, autistic or Down Syndrome; mentally or medically compromised; emotionally disturbed; or limited by behavior problems.

Dr. Jackie is specially trained in caring for these difficulties and is kind, gentle and compassionate in delivering dental care to children with special needs. She has hand picked and trained her office staff to create a nurturing and supportive environment for both you and your child. An excellent treatment alternative Sunny Smiles Kids can provide for disabled and special needs children is sedation dentistry. Dr. Jackie works closely with a board certified, pediatric medical anesthesiologist to safely deliver comprehensive dental care to your child in a comfortable and caring in-office environment.

Sunny Smiles Kids understands that raising a child with special needs requires more than a village, it requires a team of specialists with big hearts. Let us be your child's dental specialists.

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Sedation Dentistry

Nitrous Oxide

Some children are given nitrous oxide/oxygen, or what you may know as laughing gas, to relax them for their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the child’s nose, allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating children’s dental needs. The gas is mild, easily taken, then with normal breathing, it is quickly eliminated from the body. It is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes.

Prior to your appointment:

Conscious Sedation

Conscious Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. Your child may be quite drowsy, and may even fall asleep, but they will not become unconscious.

There are a variety of different medications, which can be used for conscious sedation. The doctor will prescribe the medication best suited for your child’s overall health and dental treatment recommendations. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning the specific drugs we plan to give to your child.

Prior to your appointment:

After the sedation appointment:

I.V. Sedation

I.V. Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation. The dentist performs the dental treatment in our office with the child anesthetized under I.V. sedation, which is administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist.

Prior to your appointment:

After the sedation appointment:

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Outpatient General Anesthesia

Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The inherent risks if this is not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.

Prior to your appointment:

After the appointment:

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Preventive

Professional Examination - Dr. Jackie and an oral hygienist will inspect your child's teeth upon their visit. The hygienist will conduct an oral examination of your child's teeth, gums and document any changes from a previous visit. The hygienist will clean and polish your child's teeth, discuss tooth and gum care with you, and answer any questions you may have about your child's oral health. Next, Dr. Jackie will conduct an oral exam, review the work done by the hygienist, and make treatment recommendations.

Teeth Cleaning - A professional teeth cleaning is required beyond good at-home habits because regular brushing and flossing cannot remove all the plaque that builds up on your child's teeth. Hygienists use a series of hand instruments to clean your child's teeth, mouth and gums.

Teeth Polishing - Once your child's teeth have been cleaned, they are polished to remove plaque and stains on the tooth surface. Polish contains an abrasive substance and fluoride, and is applied using a small rotating rubber cup or brush attached to a dental hand piece.

Prevention - Dr. Jackie and her hygienist may recommend additional instructions for you and your child to follow on your own at home. These recommendations will be based upon the results of the dental exam.

Digital X-Rays - Digital X-rays are not always part of every check-up, but new patients or patients who have oral health issues may have them taken to see potential problems not visible to the eye.

Treatment Recommendations - If your child has any oral health problems that are witnessed in their check-up, Dr. Jackie will recommend additional treatments to prevent them from worsening and correct them.

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BPA-Free Sealants

Dental sealants are one of the most outstanding breakthroughs in the history of tooth decay prevention. At Sunny Smiles Kids, Dr. Jackie is proud to offer BPA-free sealants that safely and effectively protect your child's teeth.

The application of a sealant on top of teeth offers protection from cavities and the build-up of plaque and debris. As a pediatric dentistry practice, we see a lot of kids coming through with cavity-prone teeth. Children's teeth are especially susceptible to cavities because of the many bumps and grooves they have on their biting surfaces. As a result, debris and resulting bacteria become lodged in their grooves easily and can create dental issues.

Kids and adults have these grooves (called pits and fissures) and all face the same problems. Our posterior teeth, the premolars and molars, have the most grooves and because of their location are the most difficult to clean with a toothbrush or floss. Dr. Jackie utilizes the application of dental sealants on the appropriate teeth to prevent tooth decay and buildup of unwanted bacteria causing debris.

The care of sealants is very important to ensure their efficacy. Frequently chewing gum or hard ice will risk pulling off or fracturing sealants. Additionally, nighttime grinding may also prematurely wear down sealants.

Dr. Jackie and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children visit their dentist once every 6 months. During these visits Dr. Jackie will check the health of the your child's sealants and repair or replace those that are damaged. Sealants placed at Sunny Smiles Kids are guaranteed for 3 years.

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Tooth Colored Dental Fillings

Dr. Jackie uses tooth-colored filings made of composite resins, a silicon dioxide-filled and tooth-colored plastic mixture. Composite resins can restore teeth to an attractive, healthy state and are a popular alternative to silver or amalgam fillings of the past.

Dental fillings are used to repair minimal tooth fractures, tooth decay or cavities just like silver amalgam fillings. Tooth-colored fillings are matched to the color of your child's existing teeth and are virtually unnoticeable. As white fillings have become more attractive and the dangers of amalgam fillings have become more publicized, more and more parents are having their children's cavities filled with natural looking tooth-colored fillings.

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Ceramic Crowns

Sunny Smiles Kids is proud to be a metal-free practice. Our pediatric crowns are made from high grade monolithic zirconia ceramic, look like the real thing and are 9 times stronger than natural teeth. Our crowns offer the highest esthetics to satisfy the most demanding parents.

Dental crowns are used to restore the functionality of damaged teeth. They can be used to protect a cracked tooth, restore a tooth that has excessive decay, and to provide strength and protection against breakage.

In situations where the dental filling is more than 30% it is best to support the tooth with a dental crown. A crown will cover your child's tooth and restore it to its natural form, function, and strength. In addition to helping to protect teeth, dental crowns preserve the esthetics of your child's smile. Dr. Jackie will chose a dental crown to fit snugly and function as a healthy tooth, and your child will be able to have the utility he/she once had in their natural teeth.

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Pulp Therapy (Pulpotomy, Pulpectomy)

Pulp therapy is used to correct disorders of the dental pulp, the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. In the past, teeth with infected nerves generally had to be removed. Now we can save teeth with modern dentistry techniques such as pulp therapy. Dr. Jackie has successfully performed numerous pulp therapy procedures and offers a gentle touch to the restoration of the damaged tooth.

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Extractions

Your child may need to have teeth extracted due to cavities or for orthodontic reasons. Dr. Jackie is highly skilled in pediatric dental surgery and makes every effort to provide a positive experience for your child.

There are many options of pain management for children who need a dental extraction. Depending upon the age and health of your child, Dr. Jackie's recommendations, and parental preferences, dental extraction can be done with the use of local anesthesia alone or in conjunction with a form of sedation.

If your child is not apprehensive of visiting the dentist they may be excited about their upcoming tooth fairy visit. As parents to young children, you can set the tone to the dental visit. If you suspect or know that your child needs a dental extraction, Dr. Jackie recommends avoiding the use of words such as "pain", "pull", "yank", or "rip out" when speaking with your child. At your child's visit to Sunny Smiles Kids, Dr. Jackie will slowly walk through every step with your child in a way they will understand and not be fearful.

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Space Maintainers

If your child loses a baby tooth early through decay or injury, the child's other teeth could shift and begin to fill the vacant space.

When your child's permanent teeth emerge, there's not enough room for them. The result is crooked or crowded teeth and difficulties with chewing or speaking.

To prevent that, Dr. Jackie inserts a space maintainer to hold the spot left by the lost tooth until the permanent tooth emerges. Later, as the permanent tooth emerges, Dr. Jackie removes the appliance.

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Dental Emergencies

The first thing to remember is to stay calm. Injuries to the mouth, face and teeth happen frequently in children. Remaining calm and taking prompt action will help minimize the damaging effects of the injury, and lessen your child's discomfort.

Second, assess whether or not you child's injury involved hitting the head causing them to lose consciousness even for a brief moment. If this is the case, your child should see a physician immediately. Worry about the mouth and teeth later.

Third, try to stop any bleeding with a clean washcloth or gauze. As you do this, check for broken teeth and/or missing teeth. If there are missing teeth, look for them.

Broken Tooth:
Gently clean or rinse dirt from the area around the break. Place a cold compress on the face in the area of the broken took to minimize lip or facial swelling. If the fracture is more than one-half of the tooth, see the dentist immediately.

Knocked Out Tooth:

Loose Tooth:
If your child's permanent or primary tooth becomes loose as a result to trauma first check to see if there is any bleeding. Stop the bleeding by applying pressure using a gauze pad or clean washcloth. Dental trauma resulting in loose teeth requires immediate attention by the dentist. Call your child's dentist for an emergency appointment.

Toothaches:
Clean the area around the tooth. Rinse the mouth with warm salt water and use dental floss to remove any trapped food between the teeth. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums or tooth. This will cause a burn to the gum tissues. If there is swelling, apply cold to the outside of the face. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain. Call the dentist.

Bitten Tongue or Lip or Cheek:
If there is bleeding apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or gauze. Apply an ice compress to the injured area. If bleeding does not stop, go to a hospital emergency room.

Possible Broken Jaw:
Do not move the jaw. Stabilize the jaw by tying a towel, necktie, etc., over the top of the head. Apply cold compresses. Go to an oral surgeon or hospital emergency room immediately.

Objects Caught between the Teeth:
Try to remove the object with dental floss. You may tie one or two small knots in the floss to help remove the debris. Do not use a sharp metal object. If you cannot remove it, go to the dentist.

Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out:
Fold a gauze pad or clean washcloth over the bleeding area. Keep it in place for 15 minutes, then repeat as necessary.

Cold or Canker Sores:
Some children will get these periodically. Placing vitamin e oil over the area, or other over the counter medications will usually give relief. If they persist or are extreme, see the dentist.

Orthodontic Emergencies:
If there is a loose bracket that is irritating the lips or gums, attempt to remove the bracket with a tweezers and place it in an envelope. If there is a loose wire sticking into he cheek, see if you can place it into the tube in the back of mouth. If you can't and you cannot get to the office, cut the end of the wire with a cuticle nipper.

Finally, check to make sure your child's dentist is available for emergencies ahead of time. Keep his or her phone number handy and make it known to your baby-sitters, pediatrician, and your child's school nurse. You don't want to be looking through a phone book during those stressful moments!

24-hour Emergency Care:
The phone number to contact Sunny Smiles Kids' 24-hour emergency care is (858) 876-8710. A voicemail paging service is available to contact the Doctor on call.

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