What is dentistry?
Dentistry is the care and treatment of the teeth, mouth and related body parts, such as the jaw.
Dental Care at Seattle Children’s
Our team of experts at Seattle Children’s Dental Clinic provides a wide range of dental services for children and teens with certain complex medical conditions, developmental delays or behavioral problems. We provide routine preventive care and specialized dental services.
To ensure your child receives the best possible treatment, we work closely with many clinics and services, including:
- Autism Center
- Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
- Craniofacial Center
- Emergency Department
- Heart Center
- Neurosciences Center
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
- Rehabilitation Medicine
We also provide dental services for pediatric patients undergoing bone marrow transplants.
Why choose Seattle Children’s Dental Clinic?
A long history of providing dental services
Dentistry was one of the first specialty services offered in the early 1900s at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital (now Seattle Children’s). Maintaining good oral health is essential to your child’s overall health. Their mouth must be clean and free of infection in order to undergo many medical treatments and surgeries.
Team approach for complete care
We are leaders in managing dental care for children with special healthcare needs. A dental exam is often required before your child can undergo certain hospital-based treatments and procedures. We work with your child’s team of providers to understand what dental services are required so your child can get the medical services they need to live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible.
We are also experienced in treating dental emergencies and jaw injuries.
Primary dental care for patients with craniofacial disorders
We serve as the primary dental care team for many children, teens and young adults who have a craniofacial disorder and are being seen or followed by Seattle Children’s Craniofacial Center team. As your child’s primary dentist, we provide dental exams, orthodontic services and will perform oral surgeries, if needed.
Support for your whole family
At Seattle Children’s, your family has a full team of experts behind you that are specially trained to work with children. We take time to understand and explain how your child’s medical and dental conditions are related. We help you fully understand your child’s treatment options and make choices that are right for your family. As your child gets older, we include them in decisions about their care.
We’re advancing research for children and teens
Good oral health is a critical part of your child’s overall health.
We collaborate on research projects with the University of Washington’s School of Dentistry to establish the most effective dental treatments and to study the oral health needs of children with complex medical conditions.
What types of patients are treated at Seattle Children’s Dental Clinic?
Our department includes a team of pediatric dentists, endodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists, periodontists and speech pathologists to care for children and teens who have been referred by their doctor and have certain complex medical conditions, developmental delays or behavioral problems, including:
- Blood disorders
- Conditions requiring a transplant
- Conditions requiring the use of a ventilator
- Craniofacial disorders
- Heart disease (if condition is unstable or patient requires surgery)
- Intractable epilepsy
- Progressively debilitating medical conditions, including muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy or epidermolysis bullosa (pronounced ep-ih-dur-MOL-uh-sis buhl-LOE-sah)
- Severe behavioral problems
We also offer emergency consultations and services for children with dental problems who need immediate treatment when their regular dentist is unavailable.
If your child does not qualify for services at Seattle Children’s Dental Clinic, we may refer you to one of our partner programs.
- Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic
- University of Washington’s Center for Pediatric Dentistry
Services We Provide
Emergency dental care
We offer emergency consultations and services for children and teens who come to Seattle Children’s Emergency Department with dental problems that need treatment right away, such as broken teeth, swelling in the face, or infections of the mouth, face or jaw.
Our endodontists treat diseases of the tissues located in the middle of the tooth, called the “pulp.” Bacteria (decay) or trauma often causes diseased pulp. Common treatment includes root canals.
General anesthesia during dental care
For children and teens with certain medical conditions or severe anxiety, we may use general anesthesia or sedation while providing dental services.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery team focuses on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries and birth defects that affect the jaws, mouth, teeth and facial structures. These conditions can affect the way your child breathes, eats, sleeps, talks and looks.
Orthodontics and speech prosthetics
Our orthodontists specialize in making teeth straighter and lining up the jaws using devices like braces, retainers and molding plates. Speech prosthetics are devices that help your child speak more easily or clearly if they are missing parts of their mouth or jaw.
We offer orthodontic care and speech prosthetics to patients with craniofacial conditions receiving care at Seattle Children’s Craniofacial Center. In some instances, we may provide orthodontic care and speech prosthetics to patients with other complex medical conditions.
Preventive dental care
We provide basic preventive care, such as routine check-ups, cleanings, dental X-rays, fluoride treatment, sealants and fillings. We will also check your child’s mouth and neck for any sores or tumors.
Periodontics is the treatment of gum and bone disease, called periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the most common type of gum disease in children that often presents with bleeding or swelling of the gums. Treatments include regular cleaning, brushing and flossing.
Depending on the severity of your child’s gum disease, we may need to perform deep cleaning treatments or gum surgery.
Scheduling an Appointment with the Dental Clinic
- If you would like a referral to Seattle Children’s Dental Clinic, talk to your child’s primary care provider, primary pediatric dentist or medical specialist. If you already have a referral, please call 206-987-2243 to schedule an appointment.
- If you already have an appointment, learn more about what to expect and how to prepare.
- Learn about Seattle Children’s Dental Clinic resources such as useful links, videos and recommended reading for you and your family.
Participate in Research
You can help us answer questions about childhood health and illness and help other children in the future. Learn more about clinical trials and research studies at Seattle Children’s.