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Existing Patients: (212) 362-5517
New Patients: (212) 500-0379
180 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023
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    • Jed M. Best, DDS, MS
    • Jerry Ashrafi, DMD
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Pediatric Dental FAQ

Below are several questions that you may have before your first visit.

What can I expect the fee to be for the first visit, and do you accept insurance?

Each dental visit fee can vary depending on the number of services your child requires that day. We will keep you informed of what we project the fee of the visit will be and will let you be involved in every decision concerning your child's dental health.

Our office is a Specialty Children's Dental Practice providing optimum dental care for children and young adults. Payments are expected as services are rendered. While we do not take direct dental insurance, we will gladly help you receive prompt reimbursement from your insurance company. We do this by providing the necessary insurance forms you will need to file your dental claims. We also accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

My child is nervous. How can you help?

It is very typical for a child to feel nervous or anxious regarding their first visit. Parents need to refrain from using any words that cause unnecessary fear, such as a needle or drill. Our team is experienced in dealing with children and reducing anxiety. They take the time to explain treatments and equipment positively and pleasantly. Our team members choose to work in our office because they enjoy working with children and are flexible in approaching each child as an individual. We promise to go the extra mile to make your child's visit a pleasant one.

Scheduling

We have several children, and scheduling is essential to us. Do you run on time, and will you see all my children at once?

Seeing several children in one family at the same time is never a problem for our staff. We know that our parents have busy lives, so we do our best to stay on schedule at all times. In the exceptional case of another child needing to be seen as an emergency, we will inform you that this emergency may temporarily put us behind, but it would be the same if it were your child in need for immediate care.

Our average wait time for patients to be seen is short!

Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric Dentistry is the dental specialty recognized by the American Dental Association, which encompasses comprehensive dental care for all children, from infancy through adolescence.

A pediatric dentist like Dr. Best or Dr. Ashrafi is a dentist, who has completed, a minimum of two years of additional training in the recognition and treatment of children's dental services. Specialty education includes child psychology, behavior guidance, preventive techniques, restorative dentistry, and the care of children with special needs.

A thorough exam will be done to evaluate the health of your child's teeth, gums, and mouth. Dr. Best or Dr. Ashrafi will assess your child's growth and development and check to make sure your child's oral development is on track. Our office will make child-specific recommendations for the need for sealants, fluoride and other services based on your child's individual needs and habits.

We strive to make each visit fun, educational, and memorable for you and your child!

Services

Preventive Oral Hygiene Instruction:

Good oral hygiene includes proper brushing, flossing and eating habits, ideal fluoride levels, and the use of pit and fissure sealants, if necessary. We strive to provide a fun, educational environment where children learn about the importance of good dental hygiene.

At what age should I schedule my child's first visit?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association, your child's first visit should occur about 6 months after their first tooth erupts. However, this visit should occur no later than your child's first birthday. Although it may seem young, finding your child's "dental home" is a key to a lifetime of good dental health. We will gently examine your baby's mouth and teeth. An essential goal of the first visit is to make sure that you, the parents, and caregivers have the knowledge and the tools to help prevent future dental problems. No treatment is commenced without your understanding of the situation and approval.

How often should my child see a pediatric dentist?

The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend visiting a dentist twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning. Our office also recommends two visits per year.

What should I expect during my child's first appointment?

As previously mentioned, the procedure at the first visit will depend on your child's age, personality, and individual needs. Your child may progress from merely getting familiar with the room and people to a complete examination, cleaning, and topical fluoride treatment. Preventive measures will be emphasized. In our effort to keep the number of X-rays to a bare minimum, X-rays are not taken on a routine basis. Instead, they are taken only if a specific dental situation warrants it. We also have other forms of technology that help us diagnose any issues without the need for x-rays.

Why are baby teeth so important?

It is imperative to maintain the health of primary teeth (baby teeth). Neglected cavities can cause pain and infection and can also lead to problems which affect the developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth also act a space holder for the permanent teeth.

Primary teeth generally fall out between the ages of 5 and 12. They are important for (1) proper chewing and eating, (2) providing space for permanent teeth and guiding them into position, and (3) permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles.

Why does my child need dental x-rays?

With contemporary safeguards and digital x-rays, the amount of radiation received in a dental x-ray examination is small. We use rectangular collimated x-ray machines that reduce the exposure by 35-50%. It is our office policy to minimize any necessary x-rays. Also, lead body shields are used to protect your child. We also utilize a device that uses near-infrared light that does not emit any radiation.

When we are dealing with developing orthodontic problems, it is necessary to assess the development of the jaw and underlying tooth structures. An x-ray called a Panoramic might be suggested, at an appropriate age time, to evaluate the eruption of the permanent teeth.

Our goal is to minimize the amount of radiation exposure that every child receives at our office. We do not believe in "routine x-rays," but rather limit any films to those situations in which we have a specific concern.

When can I expect the primary to come into the mouth?

As a guide, please see the below chart.

UPPER Eruption Exfoliation
Central incisor 7 1/2 mo. 7 1/2 yrs. old
Lateral incisor 9 mo. 8 yrs. old
Cuspid 18 mo. 11 1/2 yrs. old
First molar 14 mo. 10 1/2 yrs. old
Second molar 24 mo. 10 1/2 yrs. old
LOWER Eruption Exfoliation
Central incisor 6 mo. 6 yrs. old
Lateral incisor 7 mo. 7 yrs. old
Cuspid 16 mo. 9 1/3 yrs. old
First molar 12 mo. 10 yrs. old
Second molar 20 mo. 11 yrs. old

What about the permanent teeth?

UPPER Eruption
Central incisor 7-8 yrs. old
Lateral incisor 8-9 yrs. old
Cuspid 11-12 yrs. old
First bicuspid 10-11 yrs. old
Second bicuspid 10-12 yrs. old
First molar 6-7 yrs. old
Second molar 12-13 yrs. old
Third molar 17-21 yrs. old
LOWER Eruption
Central incisor 6-7 yrs. old
Lateral incisor 7-8 yrs. old
Cuspid 9-10 yrs. old
First bicuspid 10-12 yrs. old
Second bicuspid 11-12 yrs. old
First molar 6-7 yrs. old
Second molar 11-13 yrs. old
Third molar 17-21 yrs. old

Restorative Dentistry:

Treatment includes children's fillings and treatment of nursing bottle decay. Dr. Best and Dr. Ashrafi are committed to discussing all options before these procedures and answering all questions you may have. Always working for the goal of a healthy smile is our priority. When possible, we will give you options for treatment and create a dialogue, so we all agree.

Growth and Development & Braces:

As pediatric dental specialists, Dr. Best and Dr. Ashrafi are experts on the growth and development of children's dentition, jaws, and craniofacial structures. Should it be necessary, we will advise you that your child may need the services of one of our orthodontic colleagues. We know that the early recognition and treatment of developing bite problems often minimizes later orthodontic needs.

Emergency Treatment:

Our goal is to prevent dental emergencies. We understand that the need for urgent dental care is sometimes necessary and can be a stressful experience for both parents and children. We strive to handle dental emergencies promptly and with compassion. One of our doctors is always on call, and you can reach our Practice at any time.

Accidents happen.

Whether an accident happens during our regular business hours or not, know that you can call us and have your child treated promptly.

Call our office. If it is after hours or on the weekend, either a doctor or team member will get back to you.

Here is a list of frequently asked questions that are helpful.

A pediatric dentist like Dr. Best or Dr. Ashrafi has an extra two or three years of specialized training after dental school. We dedicate our service to the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years. The very young, pre-teens, and teenagers all need different approaches. This can be in dealing with behavior, guiding their growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems.

With the additional education, pediatric dentists have the training which allows them to offer the most up-to-date and thorough treatment for a wide variety of pediatric dental problems.

What are sealants, fillings, and crowns?

A sealant is usually a plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, where a majority of cavities in children develop. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque, and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth. However, cavities between the teeth are not benefited by sealants. Sealants are recommended on susceptible teeth.

If your child has a cavity, a filling is placed after the cavity is removed.

In a primary tooth, a cavity may be filled with a tooth-colored filling. If the cavity is too large to restore with a filling, another type of restoration may will be suggested. If the hole is too large and has involved the nerve of the tooth, then the nerve will be treated along with the decay and the restoration will be placed.

What can I do about my child's toothache?

Begin by cleaning the sore tooth meticulously but gently. You can use warm saltwater to rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling or pain, please call our office so we can advise you on what to do. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen is the recommended medication. Again, contact our office as soon as possible.

In the rare occasion that both of our doctors are away, there will ALWAYS be another doctor on call. We do not leave our patients stranded. Dr. Best once had to do an emergency consultation to the QE2 via ship to shore communication.

Our child has fractured his tooth. What do you suggest?

If possible, find the fractured piece and call our office. We provide you with on sticky card that can be left on your refrigerator, so you always have our emergency number. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments in milk. Many times, the fractured piece can be bonded back onto the tooth. No emergency or question is too minor for you to call us.

What should I do about a knocked-out permanent tooth?

The first thing to do is to try to remain calm. A knocked-out permanent tooth can be a very upsetting situation for both you and your child.

Always make sure your child has not passed out or is unable to remember the injury. If this is the case, you will need to report to the emergency room or your pediatrician for a head trauma evaluation.

Next, determine if it is a permanent or baby tooth. If it is a baby tooth, DO NOT REIMPLANT IT! Contact us immediately for instructions.

If it is a permanent tooth, find the tooth and pick it up by the crown of the tooth (the part you see in the mouth). Try not to handle the root of the tooth too much.

If there appears to be debris on the tooth, rinse with water, milk or saliva.

Next, place the tooth back in the socket and contact our office immediately.

The best chance for survival of the tooth is if it has been reimplanted within 30 minutes of the injury. This is why you must reimplant immediately. Your child will need to be seen shortly after, so the tooth can be splinted.

My child has cut or bitten their tongue, lip or cheek.

Due to a child's unfamiliarity with the feeling of a "numb mouth," children often bite their lips or chew their cheek after a dental visit.

Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze, a clean cloth or tea bag. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, please give our office a call.

When should my child wear a mouthguard?

Your child should wear a mouthguard whenever he or she is in an activity with a risk of falls, errant elbows to the face, or head contact with other players or equipment.

We usually think of football and hockey as the most dangerous to the teeth. Still, nearly half of sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball.

Our doctors will recommend the best mouthguard for your child.

180 West End Avenue, Suite 1E
New York, NY 10023

Existing Patients: (212) 362-5517

New Patients: (212) 500-0379