Children’s dentistry at Atkinson Brignall
Children learn best whilst having fun and the habits they develop in childhood often become embedded for life. With this in mind, we set up our " Aquabubble " children's unit which provides an environment where children can learn about dental health through interactive play on our fun filled touch-screen computers. Children love visiting the Aquabubble so it helps to ensure that they look forward to their visits to the dentist.
Both Ian Brignall and Miles Atkinson are happy to see children on an ongoing basis for “routine “ care with an emphasis on prevention. As a forward thinking practice, we are however delighted that two clinicians have recently joined the Atkinson Brignall team which will allow us to provide a service not otherwise available in the geographical area.
Dr Makbule (Mac) Ogretme is a paedodontist with six years combined clinical and academic training. Mac is particularly adept at helping anxious patients feel comfortable and relaxed in the surgery. She works as a part-time clinical teacher to undergraduate students at King’s College in London.
Professor Graham Roberts is a specialist paediatric dentist, longstanding hospital consultant and academic who has worked in this field for over 30 years. Graham sees patients for specialist advice and treatment on referral from dentists over a wide area.
Both clinicians share the vision for a high quality service to children in Sevenoaks and its surrounds. The cornerstone for children’s care is a high standard of preventive care carefully tailored to each child.
- Dietary Control of Sugar Intake within a Nutritionally Balanced Diet. The fundamental cause of decay is related to the frequency of sugar intake. Sugar is present in our meals, in many snacks and most drinks. Both the frequency and quantity of sugar intake must be carefully controlled. Please see the Children’s Q & A page for further details. If required, each child/parent will be required to complete a diet diary. This will be analysed and specific advice targeted to each child. Unfortunately some children are far more susceptible to decay than others, so just because one child can get away with something doesn’t mean it won’t cause a problem in another child.
- Tooth and Mouth Cleaning. The removal of bacterial dental plaque on a frequent basis is fundamental to good oral health. The universally accepted way of doing this is by twice daily toothbrushing. This must start as soon as the first baby teeth erupt. Each child will be assessed for oral cleanliness and advice provided on the special techniques of tooth cleaning. A small number of children benefit from the use of dental floss. Please see the Children’s Q & A page for further details.
- Fissure Sealants.
These are resin based materials that bond to the nooks and crannies of children’s teeth to completely prevent the accumulation of plaque. This effectively prevents dental decay in the pits and fissures of permanent teeth, which are the most susceptible areas. For effective use, these plastic resins need to be applied soon after the first adult molars erupt into the mouth – at about 6 years old.
- Fluoride. All children should be using a fluoride toothpaste. The toothpaste designed for specific age groups are available here in the Practice and in supermarkets. Please see the Children’s Q & A page for further details. A small number of decay prone children will benefit from the use of fluoride mouthwashes. These will be prescribed based on our assessment of each child’s need.
Both Mac and Professor Graham Roberts are trained in modern techniques of paediatric dentistry and between them can provide the full range of care for infants, children, adolescent and young adults.
Control of Anxiety and Pain
This is central to the successful treatment of children in the dental surgery.
The main techniques are :
Behaviour management : a carefully thought out arrangement of verbal and non-verbal communication to enable children to settle into the dental chair and accept treatment procedures.
Local Anaesthetic Techniques : pain free dentistry can be achieved with meticulous attention to detail. The use of the WAND computer-controlled analgesia machine involves the administration of painless local anaesthesia.
On a similar gentle note, air abrasion is a useful technique which we have available as an option to replace conventional tooth preparation.
Conscious sedation techniques are an excellent way of providing treatment which would not otherwise be tolerated. Please click on the highlighted link for further information on this.