Adult and Child Dental Care – A Look at the Differences

When comparing the difference between children’s dentistry and adult dentistry in Denver, you may find they are dramatically not the same. While both types of businesses provide extremely professional care, there is a huge difference in the ages of patients and how the dental staff approaches them.

In an adult dental office you may find pastel painted walls, various plants, and stacks of magazines to browse through while waiting. However, in a children’s dental office, everything may be entirely different. The walls may be painted in bright primary colors that children normally enjoy. There may also be various animated characters painted or stenciled on the walls that will be sure to catch the eye of younger patients. There may even be a designated toy area for children to play in to help them avoid getting restless in the waiting room.

The way that patients are treated may also vary between an adult dental office and a children’s dental office. The staff at both offices are sure to be welcoming and friendly, however, they may be more gentle in a children’s dental office to help prevent the child from being nervous or scared about getting a dental exam. When necessary, the dentist and staff may even seem to come down to the child’s own level to ensure they are comfortable being there. An adult patient may not have need for someone to be with them during their visit, but parents are routinely encouraged to be with a child during their dental exam.

Another difference in an adults visit to the dentist and a child’s visit to the dentist is that there may be a reward system being used. Adults don’t normally get or need to be rewarded for behaving during a checkup, but this is a common practice in children’s dental offices. If the child does well during the exam, they may be rewarded with a small toy, sugar free candy, or even a certificate to get a free treat at a local restaurant.

All patients are treated with respect in any dentistry office. Even though there are differences between adult offices and children’s offices, the patient is the most important concern of all dental staff. Children are treated and respected as children. Adults are treated and respected as adults. This type of treatment makes all patients satisfied with their dental visit and willing to become a regular, return customer who is happy with the results of their dental care.

Trends in Adult and Children’s Orthodontics – Who Knew That Orthodontic Appliances Were Fashionable

A lot has changed in the world of children’s orthodontics and adult orthodontics in the last few years. One only has to watch television and some of the popular programs on the air right now to see the slow change in trends. Years ago, kids sporting ‘metal mouths’ were ashamed to smile and wearing matching headgear almost guaranteed to result in a horrible ribbing at least once daily. While headgear still isn’t seen in a positive light, advancement in technologies and materials have changed the way many view their oral treatments

Children’s Orthodontics

Twenty years ago or more, dental professionals only had one choice when it came to these types of appliances. It was a system of standard rubber bands connecting stainless steel wires and brackets. While many children still have to deal with traditional ‘railroad track’ braces, they are certainly becoming more fashionable.

Elastics for children’s orthodontics are now available in virtually any color of the rainbow. Kids can now have a say in their treatment and take full advantage of it. Some choose their favorite colors or tones to match the upcoming holidays while others get them to match their school colors or that of their favorite sports team. The brackets themselves are also changing, including their colors since many of them are now made of composites. The shapes of the brackets include a wide array of shapes and subjects including stars, flowers, and sports themes. Kids today are no longer trying to hide their appliances, but using them to make a unique statement about themselves.

Adult Orthodontics

While older dental patients are not walking around with mouths full of red, white, and green Christmas trees on their teeth, the world of adult orthodontics is changing as well. One of the biggest changes is the fact that more and more adult patients are choosing to undergo this type of treatment. In fact, the American Dental Association says approximately 1.1 million people over the age of 20 are wearing braces. This is double what it was 10 years ago. While part of the reason is that those who could not get them as a child can now afford the procedure, it is also believed that many like the idea that newer technologies make the appliances almost impossible to detect.

Some of the older patients are choosing colored ceramics, however more are choosing invisible options. Traditional styles are now featuring clear brackets or built-in elastics, making them less noticeable. Other techniques, such as iBraces, connect onto the backs of the teeth rather than the fronts so that it is almost impossible to notice them. Invisalign uses a series of removable clear trays to move teeth into position.

With all of the changes that have taken place in the world of adult orthodontics and children’s orthodontics, Huntington [] patients and those throughout the country are choosing to get the treatment they have been avoiding. Now you can make a statement during and after treatment or get help incognito and enjoy watching the surprise on other’s faces when they notice the difference.

A Doctor’s Perspective on Adult ADHD

Untreated attention-deficit disorder (ADHD/ADD) can be devastating for adults as well as children. Up to 60% of children with ADHD continue to have symptoms into adulthood. It is estimated that 4% of the adult population has ADHD, mostly untreated. As a physician specializing in both ADHD and addiction medicine, I have seen how adult patients with attention deficit issues are many times more likely to have substance abuse problems, such as addiction to prescription drugs and/or alcoholism. ADHD sufferers develop addiction problems earlier and have more difficulty overcoming their addictions than those without this condition. In addition, I have seen the financial and personal chaos that ADHD can create. There are effective treatments for Adult ADHD including medications that are specifically FDA approved for use in adults. These include stimulants such as amphetamines and methylphenidate as well as non-stimulants, such as amoxetine. In my practice,I find that over 90% of patients will improve with a stimulant. Some patients will respond better to one class of stimulants(ie, amphetamines) than another so there is a bit of trial and error involved in prescribing. Some patients are nervous about taking stimulants, fearing insomnia or feeling jittery. Fortunately, these symptoms usually improve after a few days. If not, the dosage can be reduced or a different type of stimulant can be tried. A non-stimulant medication can also be used, although in general, stimulants are more effective for most people. It is important for the doctor to obtain a good health history and make sure that it is safe to give stimulants since they can cause serious problems in patients with underlying heart problems. Occasionally patients will ask if they can get addicted to stimulants. The answer is that stimulant use almost never results in addiction in ADHD patients as long as they are taken as prescribed. Because the underlying problem in ADHD involves a deficiency of neurotransmitters, including dopamine and norepinephrine, in the synaptic cleft between neurons in the brain, medications are the foundation of treating ADHD. Although ADHD coaching and counseling usually helps, I rarely see any significant improvement without the use of medications. When the most right type of medication and dosage is determined, the results are dramatic. Patients can pay attention easier, think more clearly and make better decisions.

I am often asked about complementary or alternative treatments for ADHD.

Most of the scientific studies exploring this subject have examined effects on children rather than adults, but I would expect the effects on adults would be similar.

There is one large randomized controlled study in 2009 finding a significant benefit of neurofeedback for children with ADHD. (The goal of neurofeedback is to teach individuals to be able to control certain brain wave patterns and increase brain activity associated with good attention states. Specifically, patients learn to reduce activity in the theta band of the electroencephalogram (EEG) (4-8 Hz) and to increase activity in the beta band (13-20 Hz).)

In the 2009 study, the effect was found to be “moderate”. There were some methodological issues with this study as well as with other past studies of neurofeedback to treat ADHD and government sponsored research into this area is ongoing. After examining the existing research and visiting a renowned neurofeedback clinic in Israel in November, I believe neurofeedback to be an effective treatment for both childhood and adult ADHD.

The following treatments have not been scientifically shown to be helpful for ADHD: acupuncture, zinc/magnesium/iron supplements, polyunsaturated fatty acids (including fish oil), Ginko Bilobum, and St. Johns Wort. Elimination diets are generally not helpful. However, I strongly believe that eliminating monosodium glutamate and other glutamates from foods (ie, natural flavor, natural flavoring, malted barley, hydrolyzed protein, yeast extract, etc.) in individuals sensitive to these chemicals helps can help ADHD symptoms tremendously.

In summary, neurofeedback seems to be the most promising complementary treatment for ADHD in 2012. At the Atlanta Center for Adult ADHD, we often recommend this treatment in conjunction with FDA approved medication discussed above.