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Is There a Difference between a Children’s Dentists and a Pediatric Dentist?

May 30, 2013

pediatric dentistryRegular dental care isn’t just important for adults—children need it too. But are all dentists the same when it comes to offering dental care to kids? For instance, if one doctor says he’s a children’s dentist but another says he’s a pediatric dentist, are they saying different things?

In short, the answer is yes. Even though a children’s dentist is perfectly suited to providing kids with care, in most cases, that means children who are three years old or older. Pediatric dentistry, on the other hand, is a specialty recognized by the American Dental Association and requires special knowledge of how to treat very young patients.

At Westside Dental Associates, Dr. Les Latner offers specialized pediatric care. Dr. Latner has trained as a pediatric dentist at Children’s Hospital/L.A. and USC and teaches pediatric dentistry at UCLA. That means when your child’s first tooth comes in around the age of one, you know who you can turn to for help.

Children should see a dentist from the moment they have their first tooth. That’s because monitoring the development of teeth is important. If they aren’t developing properly, or if there’s a complication, Dr. Latner can provide effective care that your child will benefit from going forward. We can also look for and treat gum disease and tooth decay, just as we would in older patients. Preventing and treating these in young patients is important.

Do you have a child or grandchild who has developed his or her tooth, or will soon? Call Westside Dental Associates to schedule an oral evaluation appointment. We’re proud to serve patients of all ages from Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West LA, Mar Vista, and all surrounding areas.

Two Options for Cosmetic Braces, But Which Is Right For Me?

May 23, 2013

InvisalignIf you’ve explored our site before, you may have noticed that Dr. Les Latner offers two options for cosmetic braces: Six Month Smiles and Invisalign. Both offer discreet care and are made to work quickly. But how can you know which one is right for you? Are they even comparable? That’s a question we’d like to look at for this post so you can have a clearer understand of how both work.

Two Cosmetic Options

Invisalign and Six Month Smiles can’t do the work of traditional braces. They’re cosmetic systems and are designed to fix crowding, slight misalignment, and other issues.

The way Invisalign does this is with a series of completely clear trays, not brackets and wires. Instead of having anything tightened, you’ll simply move to a new tray every two weeks, with each one bringing you closer to your goal. You can also take your trays out when you eat, brush, and floss. That means you don’t have to make any changes to your diet or your daily brushing routine. You do have to be committed to wearing your trays 22-24 hours a day, though, with a treatment time of about 12-18 months.

Treatment with Six Months Smiles takes less time than that—literally about six months. There are restrictions on what you can eat, though. What’s more, Six Month Smiles uses clear brackets and tooth-colored wires, making it discreet if not completely invisible. But if you have a special event coming up, like a wedding, a job search, or another big event, Six Month Smiles can help you reach your goal faster than almost any other option.

Which One Is Right For You?

That all depends on your needs. The only way to know which is right for you is with a consultation appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates in Los Angeles. Call us today to reserve your appointment. We serve patients from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West LA, Mar Vista, and beyond.

The Importance of Bringing Your Child to the Dentist Starting at a Young Age

May 16, 2013

Filed under: Pediatric Dentistry — Tags: , — Les Latner @ 4:03 pm

When the thought of having to visit a dentist sends chills down the spines of many adults, it is easy to see how terrifying the idea can be to small children. It may not be easy, but it is important to teach your little one that there is nothing to be afraid of, and that the dentist is there to help them and their teeth to grow healthy and strong. If you can establish a healthy and hygienic oral care routine in conjunction with regular dental check-ups, your child is much more likely to go through life without the need for extensive dental work later. shutterstock_18045289

Tips to Ease the Fear of Your Child

The best advice to help your child learn not to be afraid of the dentist is to start taking them while they are still very young. A child’s first dental check-up should take place as soon as their first tooth emerges or by the age of one at the latest. Setting regular dental exams as your child grows allows them to see the process as a fact of life. Regular dental exams also allows your child to grow up knowing their dentist personally, so they won’t be so frightened when one day you take them to a stranger who wants to poke around in their mouth.

Another thing to keep in mind when preparing your child for a dental appointment is your word choice. A small child will not understand terms like “cavity,” “filling,” or “root canal,” but others such as “shots” or “drilling” sound downright scary. Try to explain to your child in simple terms what the dentist does. One example is to explain to a child with a cavity that they have a “sick tooth” that the dentist needs to make better. By putting the procedure into terms that your child can relate to they will feel more comfortable during their visit.

Dr. Les Latner is Great with Children

Dr. Les Latner of Westside Dental Associates has more than 30 years of experience in dentistry. A graduate of the Washington University – St. Louis School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Latner completed his two year residency in pediatric dentistry at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In addition to this educational experience, Dr. Latner also served as the president of the Southern California Society of Dentistry for Children from 1995-1996 and as editor from 1992-1998, and is associated with the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as well as the California Society of Pediatric Dentists. Dr. Latner understands the special needs and fears of children when they are visiting the dentist— especially for the first time—and is able to help calm them as he provides care to their teeth. Schedule a visit today and get your young one started on the path to a lifelong healthy smile.