We want your entire experience in our office to be

COMPLETELY COMFORTABLE

That's why we have compiled our most Frequently Asked Questions for you to read through. Don't see the answer to your question? Just give us a call at (469) 444-6579 and we will give you the information that you need. 

APPOINTMENTS

What are your office hours?

Coppell Pediatric Dentistry is open:
Monday - Thursday: 8am - 4pm
Friday: 9am - 4pm
Saturday: 9am - 1pm

Please note that our office will be closed in observance of the following holidays: New Year’s Day, President’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas

How do I schedule an appointment?

For your convenience, we offer the following methods to schedule your appointments: 

  • Online scheduling: To request appointment availability, please click here to fill out the form. Our scheduling coordinator will contact you to confirm your appointment.
  • Call our office at 469-444-6579.
  • Email us with your preferred date or day of the week and time range, and our scheduling coordinator will contact you to confirm your appointment.
How often should I schedule regular check-ups?

The American Dental Association recommends twice-yearly exams and cleanings. Some people may need more frequent check-ups based on their dental needs. After your first exam, we’ll be able to determine the best frequency for your dental health.

What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
  • Completed new patient form (click here to fill out)
  • Insurance card/information
  • List of current medications, vitamins or any other supplements that your child takes and medical conditions 
  • X-rays taken in the last 6 months (if available)
What if I need to reschedule?

Please call our office at least 48 hours in advance of your appointment. We’ll work with you to help you find another date that fits your schedule.

What is your cancellation policy?

We understand that unforeseen situations may arise that are out of our control. After missing your first appointment, the second time your will be charged a $25 no show fee.

What if I need emergency dental care?

If you have pain or an emergency situation, every attempt will be made to see you within 24 hours. If you need urgent dental care after our office hours, please call the emergency phone number to the speak to Dr. Karen.

TREATMENTS

What happens during my child's first visit?

We will conduct a thorough examination on your child's first visit to determine the best course of action to achieve dental health and their goals. We will: 

  • Depending on their age, take full mouth x-rays to identify any current problems and to use as a baseline on future visits to detect early signs of problems. 
  • Assess gum condition and health.
  • Examine teeth for cavities and condition of old dental restorations.
  • Perform a head and neck exam, including salivary glands and lymph nodes, for swelling or other abnormalities.
  • Clean and polish their teeth.
Why do I need to discuss my child's medical conditions with the dentist?

Many health conditions are indicated in the mouth and can affect oral health, so your medical information is very important in diagnosing issues with your teeth, gums and mouth.

How often do fillings need to be replaced?

Fillings can last for many years, but over time they wear down, discolor, crack and sometimes fall out. Early detection of problems with fillings can help your child avoid getting cavities under the filling and causing more serious decay. Let us know if your child is experiencing any pain. We’ll check their fillings at every visit to determine if any need to be replaced.

Do you use composite (tooth colored) or amalgam (silver) fillings?

Composite fillings are widely preferred to amalgam today to fill new cavities and replace old fillings needing repair.  Some insurance providers will not approve composite fillings in posterior teeth, which would increase your out-of-pocket expenses.

Are x-rays necessary?

Absolutely. Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools. Many oral conditions occur between teeth or under the gums or bones, undetectable by the human eye, and may have no early signs or symptoms. Left untreated, these conditions can create serious dental and general health problems, including loss of teeth and heart problems. Early detection with x-rays can make treatment much less painful, faster, and less expensive. The American Dental Association recommends getting x-rays once a year.

SEDATION

What types of sedation do you use?

Many dental procedures can be completed under local anesthesia. However, to help more anxious patients relax, or for more complex procedures, inhalation sedation, oral sedation (including nitrous oxide) and IV sedation are available.

What is Lidocaine?

The most common anesthesia, Novocaine works by blocking the nerve that supplies sensation to the teeth in a specific area. You feel no pain during the procedure and are totally alert, aware, and able to function normally. The effect wears off fairly quickly with no side effects.

What is Inhalation Sedation?

Known as nitrous oxide or “laughing gas,” you’ll experience a feeling of relaxation after just 2-3 minutes of breathing in the gas. Your child will be aware of the surroundings and able to respond to questions. Inhalation sedation has very few side effects and is eliminated from the body within 3 to 5 minutes after the gas supply is stopped.

What is Oral Sedation?

This Oral anesthetic allows you to be conscious but feel nothing during treatment. We provide you with medication to be taken before your appointment, allowing you to be fully relaxed by the time we begin your dental treatment. You may not be safe to drive, so you should expect to have someone bring you to our office and take you home after your appointment. Ideally two adults are needed to bring the patient to have treatment completed under oral sedation.

What is IV Sedation?

These drugs are administered into the blood stream, allowing you to close your eyes and relax in a semi-conscious state with little or no memory of the treatment. You will not be safe to drive, so you should expect to have someone bring you to our office and take you home after your appointment.

CHILDREN

When should I start cleaning and brushing my child’s teeth?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should begin cleaning your child’s gums with a soft cloth soon after birth. As soon as the first tooth appears, start brushing twice daily with a soft infant toothbrush and just a smear of toothpaste. When you come in for your child’s first visit, we’ll show you how to brush properly.

What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?

A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends visiting the dentist as soon as the first tooth appears or no later than the child’s first birthday. We can look for potential problems and help your child get to know us as their friend. These early visits can make your child’s experience with a dentist a positive one.

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist like Dr. Karen has two years specialty training following dental school and limits her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs. Dr. Karen is a Board certified Pediatric Dentist that advocates for prevention and minimally invasive dentistry.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

What should I do if my child has a toothache?

Call us as soon as possible to evaluate your child. Sometimes small sores or teething can cause or resemble pain, however it is always better to be safe than sorry and be evaluated by the pediatric dentist is best!

Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?

Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, the shape of their mouths are less likely to go back to normal and it will be more difficult to break the habit.

How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?

It is highly recommended to avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child's teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child's first birthday.

How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?

A check-up every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, Dr. Karen can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?

The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water.

Start using a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush at age 1. Brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush.

Once children are 3 to 6 years old, then the amount can be increased to a pea-size dollop as long as they are spitting and perform or assist your child’s tooth brushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.

How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth?

Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child's teeth from decay. Avoid gummies vitamins, fruit snacks and anything that is sticky as it is very difficult to remove even after brushing and will more than likely cause cavities.

How do dental sealants work?

Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth the chewing surface for many years.

What can I do to protect my child's teeth during sporting events?

Soft plastic mouthguards can be used to protect a child's teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sport related injuries. A custom-fitted mouthguard developed by a pediatric dentist will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head. Usually recommended once the patient is all in permanent dentition in the meantime boil and bite mouthguards work well.

What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown (top) rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of cold milk or (save a tooth container) coaches may have those available in their emergency kit and take your child with the tooth immediately to the pediatric dentist.

How safe are dental X-rays?

There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons with thyroid collar and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.

How can parents help prevent tooth decay?

Parents should take their children to the pediatric dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, Dr. Karen can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

What is the best toothbrush for kids 9-13? Do you recommend the Sonic?

By the time your child reaches 9-10 years old, many adult teeth are now present and an adult toothbrush/toothpaste can be used. Any soft-bristled toothbrush should be used two times a day for two minutes.

Can my teenager come alone to the appointment?

Please note that patients under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all visits. We want to meet with both of you to discuss findings and treatments, and to address your questions and concerns.