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How Technology is Changing the Shape of Pediatric Dentistry

Technology can make our lives easier – but especially in the case of Pediatric Dentistry. The developments and advancements in this arena make me a little envious of the kids who get to benefit from them today. Here’s to making our kids have less anxiety, more excitement, and healthier teeth as they grow up!

I took some time to speak with Dr. Nicole Stoker from The Smile Shop to see what new and exciting things they have in dentistry that can ease our minds (and our children’s fears) when it comes to getting their teeth checked!

Entertainment: A lot of newer Pediatric (and even some Adult) Dentists are introducing different forms of entertainment to keep their children distracted (and their visit enjoyable). It can be iPads, televisions, or screens on the ceiling. At The Smile Shop, each kid can choose their own show or movie to keep them comfortable, and lets them focus on something positive in an otherwise difficult situation.

Storytelling: This is a relatively new aspect of pediatric dentistry. Dentists have started to empower their relationships with their patients by telling them exciting stories about dental care and hygiene. Now they have their own exciting way to talk about the hygiene practices and cavities that help decrease the fear children have, and increase their interest in taking a hand in their dental health. Things like “dancing teeth”, “Sugar bugs”, and “Rice Krispies sounds” lets the Dentist get the patients involved on the experience, and excited because of the positive reinforcement.

Digital Radiography: This newer form of technology sends images straight to the computer. No more developing in a dark room, but instead easier imaging. The pictures are sent straight to the computer attached, which allows for less repeat images and faster communication between your dentist and your child’s dental specialists, such as an orthodontist. Digital radiographs are much easier to read and can give patients a good visual, which can be used as an educational tool to show the patient their specific dental issues. An additional benefit is that they require less exposure time, making x-rays even safer.

Zirconium Crowns : These are one of the newest technologies coming out for Pediatric Dentists. The Smile Shop can use these crowns in certain cases in place of silver crowns. This newer crown option is a strong and resilient option that is more aesthetically pleasing. This material is really difficult to chip, very different from the earlier Silver crown with a white cover that chipped easily. While there are certain drawbacks, the dentist at The Smile Shop are seeing a lot of great success.

Here’s a little bit about Dr. Nicole Stoker, and the Smile Shop:

Dr. NNicole Stokericole Stoker, the daughter of Dr. Michael Stoker, is a third generation Reno native. Dr. Nicole attended local schools including Verdi Elementary and McQueen High. She attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and the University of Nevada, Reno, before obtaining her dental degree at the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco in 2005. Upon graduating from dental school, she completed a two year pediatric dental residency at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to become a certified pediatric dentist.  She later became a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist after completing the extensive requirements in 2009.

Outside of dentistry her interests include skiing, hiking and enjoying the multiple activities the Reno-Tahoe area has to offer. She especially enjoys spending time with her daughter, Elle, her son Miles, and her husband Kyle.

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