About Dr. Alex
Care Comes First
Smart, talented, and capable; Dr. Alex is an asset wherever he goes. Alexander graduated from the Williamson County public school system and was elected by his peers to leadership positions, 3 years consecutively. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2011 after spending 13 months in his sophomore year at Stanford University as a domestic exchange scholar. An accomplished multi-sport athlete, Alex earned a state championship in rugby on an undefeated team and played rugby on the collegiate level at Stanford. He has strong work ethic and is committed to long-term success. Empowered and motivated by his distinctive experiences, committed to service/community, and long-term relationships with underserved populations, Alex was selected for highly competitive academic scholarships in college and dental school. He graduated from Meharry School of Dentistry in 2016 as twice-elected Vice President his class. Alex enjoys working with children and volunteer coaches 4-6 year olds in basketball. As a New York University pediatric dental resident, Alex gained invaluable clinical and didactic experience in topics including, but not limited to pediatric oral sedation, treatment under general anesthesia, behavior management, and orthodontics under the guidance of board certified pediatric dentists and orthodontists. Dr. Alex is professional, personable, prepared and ready to make an early and significant contribution as a pediatric dentist in his hometown of Nashville, TN.
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Frequently Asked Questions
When should I schedule my child's first ever dental visit?
My child got their teeth very early/late, will that require treatment?
Probably not as the expected eruption of teeth are in averages and not absolutes. The general rule of thumb is up to +/- 8 months from the expected average eruption time is not of concern.
When should my child start to floss and is a floss-pick okay?
Grown ups should floss for their children until 8 or around the time they're able to confidently tie their shoes according to the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry. Floss-pick is okay.
What is a pediatric dentist?
In the same way that pediatricians are trained to meet a child’s medical needs, pediatric dental specialists are uniquely qualified to protect your child’s oral health using the most advanced techniques. First, only the top 10% of dentists obtaining a four-year dental degree are accepted into the dental specialty programs. Second, pediatric dentists must train an additional two or three years at an accredited pediatric dental program in order to receive a graduate certificate in pediatric dentistry. Plus, pediatric dental offices include toys and are brightly colored to create a non-threatening environment. Some pediatric dentists practice general dentistry before specializing, giving them a unique perspective. They learn how to deal with the behavioral aspects of children, how to make them feel comfortable, and to make the experience pleasant. They also are trained and qualified to treat special needs patients.
Why are baby teeth important?
Primary teeth are important because they help with proper chewing and eating, help in speech development, and add to an attractive appearance. A child who can chew easily, speak clearly, and smile confidently is a happier child. Healthy primary teeth allow normal development of the jaw bones and muscles, save space for the permanent teeth, and guide them into place. If a baby tooth is lost too soon, permanent teeth may come in crooked. Decayed baby teeth can cause pain, abscesses, infections, and can spread to the permanent teeth. Also, your child’s general health can be affected if diseased baby teeth aren’t treated. Remember, some primary molars are not replaced until age 10-14, so they must last for years.
What dental problems could my child have?
Some dental problems begin very early in life. One concern is early childhood tooth decay, a serious condition caused by a child staying on the bottle (or breast) too long. Oral habits (such as digit sucking) should also be checked. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chances of preventing problems. Strong, healthy teeth help your child chew food easily, speak clearly, and feel good about his or her appearance.
What should I tell my child about my their first dental visit?
Quick facts about sedation dentistry:
In pediatric dentistry patients, mild sedatives are used to calm children with anxiety or special needs. Sedation dentistry may also be used if your child undergoes several procedures at a time in order to avoid a gag reflex, or protect fidgeting children from harming themselves during the procedure. While the sedation medication does not alleviate pain or discomfort, it does provide a calming affect. After sedation has been applied, your dentist will administer an injection to numb the area in question allowing for a comfortable, pain-free experience. There are many types of sedation, so be sure to discuss the safest option with your pediatric dentist As patients get older, we replace light sedation for Nitrous (laughing gas) Sedation will not put a child to sleep, but allow them to remain calm throughout the visit Your pediatric dentist will be the person to administer sedation. There may be some rules and guidelines for post procedure care. Ensure that you and your pediatric dentist discuss everything to be expected after receiving sedation
What are stainless steel crowns?
SSC’s , also known as “caps”, are full coverage crowns that protects the entire tooth from further decay. SSCs are a superior restoration to composites and they provide the greatest durability, longevity, and protection from future cavities. The only drawback to SSCs are their aesthetics as some parents object to their silver appearance.
When do we use stainless steel crowns?
Does my child need silver caps on front teeth?
No. Dr. Alex understands the esthetic demands of parents and patients alike. For decayed teeth in front we have several esthetic options such as composite fillings and tooth colored dental crowns
Why does my child need pediatric dental extractions?
We make every attempt to save baby teeth since they are very important in the normal eruption of the permanent teeth. However there are times where removing a baby tooth is the best (or only) option. A few reasons for this are: Infected teeth; heavily decayed teeth that can not be restored; or due to crowded permanent teeth erupting in the wrong position.
What else do I need to know about a baby tooth that needs to be removed?
What is a pulpotomy?
Pulpotomies involve treating decay within the inside of the tooth. If the inside of the tooth, known as the dental pulp, is damaged it will gradually decay if left within the tooth. The process involves removing the pulp, cleaning out the chamber and packing the pulp with material that will help restore the tooth until it is time for it to exfoliate (or fall out on its own naturally).
What is a space maintain?
What can you do to help keep those baby teeth healthy?
A few other recommendations include:
Pediatric dentistry under general anesthesia questions?
AAPD info about general anesthesia
What type of toothbrush should I use?
The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It’s unnecessary to “scrub” the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.
When do my child's teeth erupt/exfoliate (fall out)?
Your child’s teeth begin forming before birth and continue forming until late in the teenage years. The diagram below illustrates the AVERAGE months and/or years these teeth erupt.
Knocked out a permanent tooth, what do I do?
The tooth/teeth should be found and kept in Hanks Balanced Solution or cold whole milk. If you feel that the child can safely keep the tooth by his/her cheek inside the mouth, he/she can. The tooth should be handled by the part of the tooth that can be seen in the mouth and not the root. If there are other injuries, the patient should seek additional medical attention
Knocked out baby tooth, what do I do?
How do I prevent cavities?
The first step in cavity prevention is good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing helps to remove bacteria and plaque from around your child’s teeth and gingiva. At the first sign of teeth, it is important to begin brushing. At this point, you only need to be using water on the toothbrush. The amount of time that teeth are exposed to cavity-causing foods and drinks determines the risk of future cavities. This is why it is important to provide juice and milk at meal times only. The rest of the time, your child should drink plain water. Once teeth have been brushed for the night, only water should be provided. Very young infants need to eat more frequently. Many may eat once or twice during the night. If this is the case, the teeth should be brushed before putting your child back into bed. As children age, they can help to brush their teeth but it is essential that you follow up after their brushing until you have determined that they are doing an adequate job. For older children, teeth should also be brushed at least twice a day. Begin flossing your child’s teeth once contact between teeth is seen. Limiting snacks is essential in decreasing the chance of cavities. It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that your child visit a pediatric dentist every six months. Visits should begin at age one (1) or within 6 months of the first tooth erupting. Routine visits help you and your child become familiar with the dentists and help to prevent future tooth decay.