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Pediatric Dentistry Elko Dental Specialists

From Their First Tooth Through Graduation Day

A lifetime of excellent dental health can have a profound impact on the health of your entire body. That’s why it’s so important to start your child out on the right path – one that will make going to the dentist something they look forward to – and taking good care of their teeth something that comes naturally.

From the day their first tooth arrives to the day they graduate from college, your kids will go through incredible change. That’s why the special care only available from our pediatric dentist is right for your child. It’s also why kids love us and parents trust us.



Treagan White, DDS

Dr. Treagan White grew up in both Tulsa, Oklahoma and Dillingham, Alaska. He received his undergraduate training at Utah State University where he majored in Business Administration and minored in Chemistry. He attended dental school at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and completed his specialty training in pediatrics at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where there is a strong focus on patients with special health care needs.

Learn more about Dr. White

He has practiced Pediatric Dentistry in Salt Lake City for the passed several years and has in depth experience with hospital dentistry, pediatric oral sedation, esthetic dentistry and behavior management techniques. Treagan is committed to treating children's dental issues in a safe respectful manner.  It is important to him that kids and parents both have fun at the dentist and that they feel they are in a safe environment.

Recently widowed, Treagan stays busy with his beautiful daughter and a crazy dog. He and his family are passionate about soccer, snowboarding, and backpacking.  When they can't be outside, they enjoy painting, puzzles/games, and DIY projects.

Dr. R Bruce Howell, DDS

Dr. R. Bruce Howell served in the Army Dental Corp as a Captain but has spent the bulk of his life in the Intermountain West. He is an honors graduate of Brigham Young University and University of Washington School of Dentistry where he received first-rate training in all aspects of general dentistry. After completing his degree, Dr. Howell decided to specialize in Pediatrics at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey.

Learn more about Dr. Howell

Dr. Howell and his wife, Carrolee, have 6 kids and 13 grandkids (and counting). The Howells have lived in Seattle, Germany and on the East Coast, but after school and military service were complete they made their way back to this area and couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

When he's not busy helping children achieve healthy smiles and healthy dental habits for life, you can find Dr. Howell enjoying family and friends, target-shooting with some pretty cool classic firearms and "golfing". He put's golfing in quotation marks because he readily admits that the little white ball goes where it wants more times than it goes where he wants.

Our Services

Designed Especially For Kids

The Pediatric Dentists at Elko Dental Specialists are specially trained to take care of your childrens' teeth during the growth years. This is a time of constant change and the best way to be sure your kids get the best care is right here under our roof. Among the many services we provide for kids, our pediatric dentists are focused on cavity treatment, prevention and regular cleanings. Protecting baby teeth from cavities and filling them when they do occur is as important with baby teeth as it is with permanent teeth.

Cavity Prevention

The key to preventing cavities is to help your child develop good oral hygiene habits from an early age - even before they get their first tooth. For example, taking a moment to wipe your infant’s gums after feedings and then using a soft toothbrush after his or her teeth come in will prevent the build-up of bacteria. We recommend the use of fluoride toothpaste after your child hits the ripe age of 1 years old.

Once several baby teeth are in, brushing twice a day is needed to keep your child’s teeth clean and cavity-free. However, if your child eats a diet heavy in sugar – cookies, candy, fruit juices and soda – brushing after meals may be needed.

We recommend a checkup every 6 months for cavity prevention and treatment. At these appointments, we will check your child’s teeth for signs of early decay and discuss any dietary or nutritional concerns you have.

Our goal at Elko Dental Specialists is to help kids of all ages establish habits that will lead to a lifetime of excellent dental health. But there’s never a wrong age to introduce your kids into our family of patients. Our services include comprehensive dental care for children, young adults and special needs patients of any age.

Cavity Treatment

If left untreated, decay in baby teeth can affect the overall health of the child and impact the adult tooth. If baby teeth fall out too early, the spacing of the adult teeth will be affected and may require more intensive orthodontic treatment and even surgery.

Diet & Nutritional Care

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has developed guidelines that promote well-balanced, nutrient-rich diets specially designed to decrease the risk of tooth decay for infants, children, adolescents and people with special health care needs. Our team uses these guidelines to help our patient families decrease their risk.

Fluoride Treatment

Using fluoride (in small amounts) on a regular basis can help prevent tooth decay. Our office offers in-office, professional strength fluoride application and we recommend using a fluoride toothpaste at home once your child is at least 1 years old.

Fluoride helps prevent mineral loss from tooth enamel and helps strengthen areas that are weakened and at risk of developing cavities. Fluoride also helps reduce acid attacks that can break down the teeth.

Space Maintenance

Sometimes it is necessary to create or maintain proper spacing to make room for the permanent teeth to come in correctly. We use a variety of appliances to maintain the correct position of the teeth as your child continues to grow. And, since Elko Dental Specialists also has a team of top-notch orthodontists, you get the extra assurance that comes with so much expertise under one roof.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are applied to children’s molars to protect against tooth decay. They have been shown to be effective in preventing about 80 percent of decay commonly found in molars. Sealants work by shielding the grooves and pits in your child’s teeth from plaque, which can lead to tooth decay. When compared to the cost of treating cavities, sealants are a cost-effective prevention option.

Sedation

Some children with a high level of anxiety can benefit from sedation dentistry. There are several levels and approaches available whether we’re using it to deal with dental anxiety or a procedure that requires sedation. These include:

  • Nitrous Oxide – also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide often is used on fearful children undergoing dental treatment. The gas makes the patient feel less anxious and also has some anesthetic properties.
  • Oral Sedation – also referred to as “conscious sedation” is performed by administering a mild sedative that relaxes the patient, but leaves them in a state in which they can be awake for the procedure. It is commonly used during extensive dental procedures, or to enable children to be compliant while undergoing dental treatment. Children under oral sedation remain awake throughout the procedure.

Prior to administering oral sedation, we will conduct a thorough examination and medical history and educate you about the process. We also provide you with preoperative and postoperative instructions.


A Special Approach

For Children With Special Needs

Care For Kids With Special Needs

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes that providing both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care to individuals with special health care needs is an integral part of the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Elko Dental Specialists values the unique qualities of each person regardless of developmental disability or other special health care needs.

Children with special needs often have a greater incidence of tooth decay, gum disease and oral trauma. The team at Elko Dental Specialists has been specially trained to address your child’s specific needs. Close attention to oral health is especially important for special children for several reasons:

  • Physical limitations and lack of proper motor function can make brushing and flossing difficult.
  • Some medications and special dietary requirements may be detrimental to dental health.
  • Some children require frequent medical treatments and doctors’ appointments, and it is understandable for parents to spend less time overseeing the child’s oral hygiene habits.

At your first visit, we will schedule enough time to ensure a thorough review of your child’s medical history and discuss the best preventative dental care and treatment for your child. Home care takes just minutes a day and prevents needless dental problems. Starting dental care early and being diligent with daily oral hygiene can minimize the financial and emotional costs of oral health and help your child enjoy a healthy smile for a lifetime.


Common Problems

Along With Ways To Be Proactive

Use the list below to learn more.

  • Tooth Decay
  • Canker Sores
  • Sensitive Teeth
  • Gum Disease
  • Orthodontic Problems

When your child consumes many starches and sugars, the acids begin to wear down tooth enamel. It starts with unhealthy foods, such as cookies, candy, sodas and fruit juices, that can leave deposits on the teeth. These deposits can bond with the bacteria in the mouth to form plaque, which work together to cause tooth decay. Tooth decay can negatively impact the quality of your child’s life as it can lead to infection, pain and eventual tooth loss. It can also affect how your child feels about themselves, which could affect them both educationally and socially.

Although tooth decay affects millions of children every year, it’s a preventable disease. To help your children avoid this, be sure they’re following proper brushing and flossing techniques. Also, make sure you’re providing them with a healthy diet, that limits their sugary and starch consumption.

A canker sore is a small sore on the inside of the mouth that has a white or gray base and a surrounding red border. These sores tend to last one to two weeks, and have potential to reoccur. Using an antimicrobial mouthwash or a topical agent can help.

If your child often complains about pain or intense “tingling” sensation when they consume something hot or cold or when brushing their teeth, they may have sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth can be symptomatic of a variety of conditions, such as a harmless sinus headache, tooth decay, loose fillings or receding gums. However, if left unaddressed, sensitive teeth can lead to the breakdown of enamel or receding gums.

Gum disease begins with plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that builds up on the teeth. During the early stages of gum disease, it’s common for the gums to become swollen and bleed easily when brushing & flossing. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, the teeth may loosen and fall out. Early signs of gum disease include consistent bad breath or a foul taste in the mouth, so make sure your child does a great job of brushing and flossing every day.

Malocclusions or “bad bites” are often inherited, although some can be acquired with poor oral health habits. For example, a child who sucks their thumb for an extended period of time may develop a bad bite. Malocclusions can also be caused by:

  • Missing Teeth
  • Extra Teeth
  • Crowded Teeth
  • Misaligned Jaws
  • Trauma Or Accidents
  • Developmental Issues

Pediatric Dentistry Frequently Asked Questions

Getting A Good Head Start

General Questions

Oral Hygiene Questions


Emergency Information

What To Do In The Following Cases

Tooth Ache

Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. Call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.

Broken Tooth

Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Please call our office as soon as possible.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

If your child loses a tooth from an injury, try to remain calm. Call our office so we can help you determine if it is a permanent tooth. Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water. Because time is essential, call our office immediately.

Discomfort After Cleaning

A thorough cleaning can cause some bleeding & swelling. This is not due to a “rough cleaning” but to tender and inflamed gums from insufficient oral hygiene. We recommend a warm salt water rinse and/or Children’s Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age of the child.


Before You Arrive

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To save time when you come for your initial consultation, please take a few minutes to fill out the required health history form. Choose the appropriate form below; print it at home, fill it out and then bring it with you to your appointment.

  • Child Health Form

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For Your Child's Health