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Children’s Dental Services – Safe, Caring, Specialized Dentistry

Pediatric Smiles of Orem and Pediatric Smiles of Sandy, serving all of Utah County and Salt Lake City with safe and caring children’s dental services, provides comprehensive pediatric dental care for children of all ages, without non-sedation (unless necessary), and with complete, personalized procedures. Specifically infants, children, adolescents and any dental patient with special needs. We have the extra training, knowledge and skills to provide specialized quality dental care for your child with an “Our Child” passion towards absolute care for your child as if it were our child.

What Does Safe, Experienced Pediatric Dental Care Mean?

All children have their own unique dental needs. Baby (primary) teeth are anatomically different from adult (permanent) teeth. Baby teeth are shorter than adult teeth, and the strong protective outer shell called enamel is much thinner than adult teeth. Because of this, a very small cavity can quickly turn into a trouble maker. Your child’s personality will play the biggest role in their initial attitude towards their first dental visit. The hesitant child can become resistant, crying, the upset child if they do not feel comfortable at the dentist. As a team of a pediatric dental specialist, we are skilled and trained in techniques that will help the hesitant child be calm at the dentist in most instances.  We don’t believe in sedation as a one-fix solution. We typically take other, more safe avenues, allowing us to develop a stronger relationship with your child, thus giving them a reason to comfortable return in the future because of a pleasant experience with people they and you can trust.

Our new office is state of the art and has been designed to provide high-quality dentistry for children. But just as important, our staff is dedicated to fluid and caring steps which we take with your child to quickly and easily help them with their needs.  There are many children’s dental services that we offer to help with the care of your child’s oral health needs. Below is a comprehensive list. See the service drop-down list for more details.

  • Kids Dental Diagnostic Services
  • Comprehensive Oral Exam (for a new patient)
  • Periodic Exams (routine check-up every 3-6 months)
  • Digital Radiography (x-ray films)
  • Digital Panoramic Radiography
  • Alternative Treatment – A-Tramatic Restorative Techniques

The Invisalign difference | The latest materials for comfort and results

Invisalign clear aligners are made from SmartTrack material, so they are more comfortable and easier to put on and take off. You get customized treatment based on years of research and intelligence from millions of patients.

  • No guesswork – Straightens your teeth more predictably

  • Convenient – Clear aligners that are discreet and don’t interrupt your life

  • The right fit for you – Fits snugly around your teeth

As a child grows, their smile grows with them. And even with baby teeth, it may be the perfect time for children ages 6 to 10 to start orthodontic treatment. This is known as Phase 1 treatment. The goal of Phase 1 treatment is to develop young jaws and/or arches to make room for existing teeth and for incoming permanent teeth. Invisalign First aligners are:

  • Designed to treat a broad range of teeth straightening issues in growing children, from simple to complex, including crowding, spacing, and narrow dental arches.
  • Removable for easy hygiene, making it easier for growing children to brush and floss.
  • Designed for comfort – which means no discomfort from rubbing brackets or poking wires.

Precision wings offer simple solutions, even if you have complex issues

The mandibular advancement feature is a great way to fix overbites in tweens and teens while straightening their teeth. Precision wings gradually move the lower jaw. Designed to improve the bite and appearance of the chin.

  • Proactive – Can fix class II malocclusions in tweens and teens
  • Effective – Offer the right amount of power to push the jaw forward
  • Reliable – Deliver results you will be smiling about


Tooth-Colored White Fillings For Kids

When cavities on baby (primary) teeth are small we are able to restore them with a tooth colored filling material. There are several types of white filling materials available. Depending on the size and location, we can often place these white fillings without having to use a local anesthetic thus keeping the appointment short and sweet for your little one.  We always want to keep your child’s dental health and your budget in mind during our dental practices. This is why on many occasions we will make a decision, with your input, of no treatment or filling of a temporary tooth.

Safe, Caring Pediatric Dental Anesthetic Options

The “Our Child” Commitment always points towards no sedation unless absolutely necessary.  When a local anaesthetic is required, we recommend the use of laughing gas (nitrous oxide) to make treatment easy and as painless as possible. Other sedation options are available depending on circumstances and preference.  Be assured that we do not use ONE POLICY for every child to pad our pocketbooks!

Pediatric Dental Sealants

At Pediatric Smiles of Orem and Pediatric Smiles of Sandy, we strongly recommend the placement of sealants on adult (permanent) teeth.  A sealant is a safe and easy way to place a protective covering that fills in the deep grooves of our back molars. They can release fluoride onto the tooth’s enamel to help strengthen your child’s teeth and prevent cavities. Most children’s permanent molars erupt around age six (6). This is the ideal time to place sealants on these adult (permanent) teeth as they are not yet fully mineralized and are at high risk for developing cavities. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry supports the routine placement of sealants.

Pulpotomy – Baby Tooth Root Canal

When decay reaches the nerve/pulp of the baby tooth a pulpotomy or baby root canal is necessary. Similar to the adult procedure some of the nerve/pulp of the tooth is removed. For children the procedure is a very short process, which allows the tooth to remain intact until it’s ready to fall out naturally.  Once again, we will always lean towards safety and parent’s budget in making this decision, as a part of the “Our Child” Pediatric Smiles Policy.

Every Child Smiles

Affordable braces for every child

Every child deserves the finest dental care available. That includes braces and orthodontic care. We are passionate about providing high-quality, affordable dental care at a price point that is family budget-friendly.

Highly Competitive Pricing: $4,500. Period.

With our “No Smile Left Behind” policy we work hard to make braces affordable for as many families as possible. Patients who have compared pricing with other orthodontists in the area come back to us delighted with the high degree of value this represents.

One Simple Price, Always

Every patient gets the same simple, straightforward price regardless of how complicated your child’s case may be. No add-ons, no hidden costs. Just one clear, simple price for everyone. This includes all Phase I and Phase II treatments.

World-class Expertise, Highest Quality Materials

Our affordable pricing doesn’t mean you are trading off quality of care, technology or materials in your child’s orthodontic treatment. 

Our orthodontist is board certified and highly specialized in dealing with pediatric patients. He utilizes the latest technologies, techniques and treatments to ensure your child has the finest orthodontic outcomes possible. This is one of our children’s dental services you may consider.

Pediatric Dental Anesthetic Options

We base our decision with anesthetics upon the personal needs of each child patient, always leaning towards safety and caring, and usually away from sedation.  However, when a child does need anesthetic treatment, be assured we offer several professional options with qualified experience for the anxious and nervous child. Only after we have exhausted all of our other caring options, will we move forward with sedation, which is offering your child a particular medicine or a combination of medicines that will relax your child enough to allow our Pediatric Dentistry Team to do the necessary dental work. Sedation is used when a child has a significant amount of dental work and would not tolerate well several return visits to complete the work. As a pediatric dentistry team, Dr. Shepherd and our other team professionals are well trained in various sedation techniques. Below is a list of different types of sedation as one of the children’s dental services that we offer. What we use for your child will depend on their dental needs, age, and medical history. Regardless of the type of sedation the child needs to have an empty stomach for at least 6 hours.

Oral Sedation for Children

Oral Sedation is where your child will drink a medicine that will make them sleepy. It is well received by most children as all they do is drink the medicine and watch a movie until they become sleepy. The onset of the medicines used is delayed because the drug has to go from the stomach to the intestine to the liver and then to the blood stream. This takes between 30 minutes to an hour depending on what meds are used. The medicines can sometimes cause vomiting and therefore your child is not allowed to have anything to eat or drink after Midnight the night before sedation. Because of the unpredictability of the drug absorption, some children do not become sleepy enough and we have to use an alternative method. Many children’s teeth are fixed by using this method without an issue.

Intra-Nasal Sedation for Children

Intra-Nasal sedation administers the medicine by using a misting device into a child’s nasal passage. This method is used when the child is not likely to drink the medicine because of taste, age of the child or the child’s general unwillingness to drink the medicine. The advantage to this route of administration is fast onset since the drug is absorbed through the nasal mucosa and is directly in the bloodstream. Less drugs are given and the child recovers more quickly.

IV Sedation for Children

IV or intravenous sedation is where a member of our Pediatric Dental Professionals  or an Anesthesiologist will start an IV. The medicine to sedate the child is given through the IV line. This route of drug administration has several advantages over oral and Intra-Nasal sedation. The drug effect is almost instantaneous, less drug is used and Dr. Shepherd or the anesthesiologist can keep the child safely sedated until all work is done. The child is hydrated throughout the procedure with the IV fluid. Once the dental work is done there is no more drug given and the child recovers quickly. The difficulty of this sedation route is getting the IV started in a child. This is usually accomplished by giving the child a low dose of medicine to help slow them down enough to get an IV started. Once the IV line is in this becomes the most controlled form of sedation.

Pediatric Dental Emergencies

When there is a dental emergency such as trauma or infected teeth, Dr. Shepherd and his team of Pediatric Dental Specialists feels it is best to see them in our office. This is the best way to insure that your child gets the most appropriate care for their needs.  You can always feel comfortable in visiting our office, knowing we will provide the safest, caring approach to any of the children’s dental services that your child might need, as well as a reasonable budgetary approach, with the goal of always treating your child as “Our Child”.

Q: What do I do if my child gets a tooth knocked out?

A: If your child is 6 or older there is a good chance that the tooth lost is an adult (permanent) tooth. This situation requires immediate attention. Call our office as soon as possible! There is a very narrow window to replant the lost tooth before it becomes hopeless to do so. If the child will let you, place the tooth back in the socket it came out of and have someone hold it in place as you travel to our office. If you cannot replant the tooth it would be best to place it in milk and call us as soon as possible at 801-434- 5437(KIDS)

A: If the child is 5 or younger there is a good chance that the tooth is a baby (primary) tooth. If this is the case, bring your child to visit us as soon as you can for an evaluation. Often if one tooth is displaced, other teeth could be affected as well. We need to see your child to make sure there are no long term consequences to the trauma.

Q: What if my child’s face is swollen or began swelling?

A: This is a sign that there could be an infected or abscessed tooth. This situation can turn into a medical emergency rather quickly and need dental attention as quickly as possible to prevent any serious complications.

Q: What if my child has a toothache?

A: You will want to visit the office promptly. Over-the-counter children’s pain medication, dosed according to your child’s weight and age, might ease the symptoms. You may apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth to the face in the area of the pain, but do not put heat or aspirin on the sore area.

Q: Can dental injuries be prevented?

A: Your child’s risk for dental injuries can be reduced greatly by following a few simple suggestions. First, reduce risk for severe oral injury in sports by wearing protective gear, including a mouthguard. Second, always use a car seat for young children and require seat belts for everyone else in the car. Third, child-proof your home to prevent falls and electrical injuries. Regular dental check-ups provide Dr. Shepherd an opportunity to discuss additional age-appropriate preventive strategies with your child.

Learn more about Utah's premier specialists in conservative pediatric dentistry.

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