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dental treatments

Our Dental Treatments


Dental Visits

Regular dental visits are crucial to maintaining a healthy smile. During the dental visit, Dr. Dunne examines the child’s mouth for tooth decay and growth or development conditions that may pose a problem in the future.

How often should your child come see us? Children’s needs differ, and Dr. Dunne, with your help, can come up with the best schedule of visits that suits your child’s needs. The frequency of dental visits will partly depend on your child’s eating habits; how clean the teeth are kept; past treatment needs; whether your child is taking a fluoride supplement; and other factors that can affect your child’s susceptibility to dental diseases.

Professional dental services, such as regular cleanings, fluoride treatments and the application of sealants that prevent tooth decay, can save money and reduce the need for further dental treatment.

Set a good example for your child by brushing your own teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly. Make brushing time family time!


Fluoride is a natural mineral that hardens and protects teeth by neutralizing the acid that causes decay. Several decades ago, scientists found that adding fluoride to drinking water significantly decreased the number of cavities in children and adolescents. Most people get fluoride from the tap water they drink, but here in Lane County, that is not the case. There is no fluoride in our water supply so it is extremely important that we make sure we are receiving a fluoride supplement, especially in the right dosages. Fluoride is inexpensive, safe and effective. You should consult with Dr. Dunne and your pediatrician to monitor the fluoride intake of children younger than six years. The first six years of life are an important period for tooth development. Overuse of fluoride during this period can result in a condition that may appear as white lines or spots on the teeth. Monitoring fluoride sources by parents can reduce the incidence of white spots while preventing early tooth decay.

  • Six months to one year make sure baby is on fluoride drops, if we haven’t seen you as a patient these can be obtained through your pediatrican.
  • Young children, one to 12 years brush teeth twice daily with a tiny amount of toothpaste (the size of a match head). Toothpaste should never be swallowed.
  • Between six and eight years we recommend moving from the fluoride supplement to a fluoride rinse. You will know when your child is ready when they can effectively rinse and spit.
  • Fluoride supplements are given according to your child’s weight as well as age and tooth development, check with Dr. Dunne to make sure your child is on the right dosage of fluoride.

We offer fluoride foam treatment as well as fluoride varnish. Dental treatments with fluoride can help prevent tooth decay and even help your teeth rebuild areas of decay in both children and adults. Fluoride also reduces the amount of plaque bacteria in your mouth, which also lessens the chance of tooth decay. In children, fluoride works by hardening the enamel portion of teeth, reducing the risk of decay. For most children, fluoride can be applied beginning at age three as part of a regular dental checkup

We are excited to offer a new product that has become available in our office for at home fluoride treatment. It is called MI Paste. MI Paste fights demineralization while improving saliva flow, boosting fluoride uptake and soothing sensitive surfaces. The first professional product to contain RECALDENT ™ (CPP-ACP), a special milk-derived protein, MI Paste:

  • Restores minerals that strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Reduces sensitivity from post-whitening procedures.
  • Reduces high oral acid levels from excessive soft drinks.
  • Relieves dry mouth caused by certain medications.
  • Buffers plaque and bacteria acid.

Ask about MI Paste at your next check up!


When a child participates in sporting and recreational activities, injuries can occur. Mouthguards are an important piece of protective face gear. You’ve probably seen mouthguards used in contact sports, such as hockey, football or boxing. Coaches and team members know that mouthguards cushion blows that would otherwise cause broken teeth, injuries to the lips and face and sometimes even jaw fractures. Non-contact sports such as soccer, volleyball, and gymnastics and leisure activities such a bicycling, roller skating and skateboarding also place a child at risk for dental injuries. If you child participates in any of these activities, talk to us about custom-fitted and store-purchased mouthguards.

Dental Sealants

A sealant is a material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth (premolars and molars), and sometimes to deep pits and grooves of front teeth, where decay occurs most often. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth from accumulating plaque that results in acid attacks and tooth decay.

Sealing a tooth is fast and there is virtually no discomfort. Dr. Dunne conditions the chewing surfaces to help the sealant adhere to the tooth and then applies the sealant to the tooth enamel.

As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before reapplication is needed. Both primary and permanent teeth can benefit from sealants. Talk with Dr. Dunne if sealants will help your child.


Early Dental Care

Preventing Decay of Primary Teeth

As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur. One of the risk factors for early childhood cavities (sometimes called baby bottle tooth decay) is frequent and prolonged exposure of a baby’s teeth to liquids containing sugar, including milk of any kind including breast milk, formula and fruit juice. Tooth decay can occur when parents or caregivers put a baby to bed with a bottle that contains any beverage other than water–or use milk, formula or juice as a pacifier for a fussy baby.

Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday, and discourage frequent or prolonged use of a training cup. If you give your child a pacifier, use a clean one. Never dip a pacifier in sugar or honey before giving it to a baby.

Encourage healthy eating habits. This would include a diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits and whole grains. Cheese is a great choice! Snacks should be nutritious. Limit sweets to mealtimes. If you want to give your child a treat, we really recommend chocolate! Because chocolate has a higher fat content it tends to slip off the teeth instead of sitting in the grooves like some sticky, hard or chewy candies can. It is truly all about frequency of exposure to sugars that can perpetuate the decay process. It is always good to have a balance.

Cavities-How do they form?

It starts with bacteria… thousands of bacteria live in your mouth, and most of them are beneficial. But a few are harmful, including the streptococcus mutans bacterium, the one responsible for tooth decay. These bacteria thrive in plaque, a sticky film that’s constantly forming on your teeth. Once you add starches the process of decay begins. The streptococcus mutans bacteria feast on starches in your mouth, then produce an acid that dissolves your tooth enamel, until eventually you have a hold on the surface of your tooth (a cavity).


Fillings and Crowns


The great debate… amalgam vs. resin-based composites.

Resin-based composite is a tooth colored filling used most commonly for anterior (or front) teeth. Composite fillings can also be used on back teeth and, for cosmetic reasons, are the more popular choice. Dental amalgam has been used for restoring teeth since the 1880’s. Amalgam’s properties, such as ease of use for the dentist, durability, and relatively low cost as compared to resin-based composites have contributed to its popularity. Most insurance companies will pay up to the amalgam rate for restorative work as they consider the composite fillings to be cosmetic. Dr. Dunne offers both resin-based composite and amalgam restorations in his practice and has suggestions of when each should be used.

Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity and cost of dental restorations. These factors include: the patient’s oral and general health, the components used in the filling material; where and how the filling is placed; the chewing load that the tooth will have to bear; and the length and number of visits needed to complete the restorations. Click here to learn more.

Stainless Steel Crown Restorations

Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated crown forms that are adapted to individual teeth. Dr. Dunne will recommend a stainless steel crown if the decay in the tooth is too large to place a filling or if your child is considered to be at high risk for recurrent decay. The life of the tooth will also be a factor. In children with ongoing problems with tooth decay the stainless steel crown is extremely durable, and offers coverage of the whole tooth. Dr. Dunne finds the “silver hat” that fits the tooth and then it is just a matter of cementing it on after the decay has been removed from the tooth. Studies have shown that a baby tooth that will be in the mouth for several years and has decay in between two back molars, will support a stainless steel crown better than either a silver or composite filling. Stainless steel crowns are also indicated when such decay exists and the child has a bruxing or grinding habit.


Sedation Dentistry

Nitrous Oxide

Most commonly referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is one of the greatest tools we use here in our office. Nitrous Oxide increases the pain threshold, suppresses the gag reflex and is considered a mild anxiolytic (breaking anxiety). For smaller, non-invasive restorations many times Dr. Dunne is able to complete the treatment without having to get the teeth numb. This can be a benefit as most children do not wish to have their mouths “sleepy.”

Oral Conscious Sedation

For patients that have a little higher anxiety we offer an oral conscious sedation in our office. This is a morning appointment where your child would come in with nothing to eat or drink and we administer the sedative orally according to your child’s weight. You sit with your child in our sedation room while the medication takes effect-approximately 20 minutes. We bring your child into the operatory and supplement with nitrous oxide. Keep in mind, your child remains conscious through the appointment. One of the side effects of sedation can be amnesia to treatment.

There are two sedatives that we utilize in our office to help render dental care. Neither is a narcotic and the results vary depending on the sedative we use. The decision to utilize conscious sedation will be discussed in-office at your child’s initial appointment.

Hospital Dentistry

For our little ones (or big kids) that are just not able to complete their dental work in the office we do offer dentistry under general anesthesia. This is NOT done at our office. We take the children to either McKenzie Surgery Center or McKenzie Willamette Hospital where the anesthesia is administered by the anesthesiologists. Dr. Dunne and his assistants will be there to aid your child with their dental care and the wonderful staff at the Surgery Center or Hospital takes care of the rest.

Some children are simply not able to complete their care under normal conditions in the office and due to the extent of decay, length of treatment, age of patient, and patient safety due to cooperation we find that rendering their treatment under general anesthesia is the very best choice and allows for quality restorations. Each parent has the opportunity to discuss general anesthesia with Dr. Dunne, if need be, as well as with the anesthesia group where your child may receive treatment.

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