Hello Treehouse Kids Dentist family and friends!
After many meetings and much discussion we have formulated our new plan on how to best navigate our practice in these changing times. We appreciate your patience with us as we have discussed many intricacies and details to keep both your families and our staff safe during this pandemic. We are so anxious to see you all again!
As many of you know, Governor Brown has allowed medical professionals to return to work beginning May 1st. We do have a full surgery day scheduled tomorrow, but beginning next week we are returning to modified appointment schedule. We encourage you to call our office to discuss the best time to bring your children in.
This is a new world. We have adapted protocols from direction of the American Dental Association (ADA), the CDC and our dental equipment suppliers.
Pre-appointment: Stacy and Kaitlyn, our amazing front desk gals, will be calling to confirm appointments. During this call some important information will be given to you.
1. We will be screening all patients on the phone and again at the appointment with a patient screening form given to us by the ADA
2. When you arrive, we ask that you wait in your car and give our front office a call. 541-515-6631. Someone will bring out any necessary paperwork to your car. We will supply you with a new pen that you are free to keep! When it is time for your appointment, our staff will come to your vehicle.
3. We ask parents to bring their own masks for their families, as we do not have enough to supply to you. Only masked family members will be allowed in the clinic area to minimize airborne pathogens. If you wait in the waiting room you will notice chairs that are appropriately distanced from one another.
4. We can only allow one adult and one child in the office at one time, unless multiple children are receiving treatment at one time. Parents with young infants are free to bring these children with them.
5. Our schedule has been modified to allow extra time to sanitize and to adhere to the social distancing guidelines.
Coming into the clinic:
1. When you come into the clinic, we ask that you don your mask.
2. Hand sanitizer will be available to you upon entry into the clinic. You are free to wash your hands in our lobby bathroom as well.
3. We will again ask about any symptoms that may have developed since our confirmation call. If you have any symptoms you may be asked to reschedule
4. Temperatures will be taken at the beginning of the appointment prior to going back into the clinic area.
5. Again, one parent is allowed back into the clinic area with the child.
6. Unfortunately, we are unable to open any of our play areas at this time, which we all know will be very difficult to resist the treehouse slide in the lobby area. We have also removed all reading material and toys that children play with. We are sorry for this inconvenience.
We want families to be aware of what we are doing at Treehouse Kids Dentist to create the safest environment for you and for our staff.
1. We are installing HEPA-Rx filters from Surgically Clean Air throughout the clinic. These amazing filters clear the air of not only pathogens (bacteria and viruses) but also harmful chemicals and unwanted smells.
2. We are also purchasing new extra oral suctions that greatly reduce aerosols that are produced from dental procedures. They will rest next to the patient's mouth and will be unnoticeable to your child.
3. Your dental staff will look different. We will be donning full length material gowns that we will launder on site. We have chosen these gowns for both safety and to cut down on environmental waste. We have ordered respirators that we will cover with masks to conceal their daunting appearance. We will also be wearing face shields during actual procedures. Stay tuned for photos of us so that you can prepare your child for our new look.
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate this new world. We are hopeful that in the near future we will open up all our play areas, coffee bar, and chalkboard wall soon. We wish you all health, love and peace.
Love, Treehouse Gang
Dr Erin and her staff are not only pediatric dental professionals, they’re also parents themselves. With that in mind, we understand that parents want to have the ability to make decisions they feel are safest for their own children. While Dr Erin uses materials and procedures that are supported by scientifically based evidence, we are always open to discussing alternative options for your children. We want you and your child to feel comfortable, safe, and healthy.
- Mercury free fillings
- BPA-free composites (white fillings)
- Fluoride and fluoride-free options, such as xylitol
- Nitrous oxide sedation and general anesthesia options
- TVs above every chair
- An amazing treehouse in lobby
- Mommy Menu featuring snacks while you wait
- Coffee bar with charging station
- ADA compliant features throughout
- iPad bar
- Excellent prizes for a job well-done
- A cavity free tree
Dr Erin Estep is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist. She grew-up on the Oregon Coast in Newport. She was a competitive swimmer throughout her youth and is an avid sports fan. She met her husband while in dental school, the brother of one of her classmates. They married in 2012 and have two boys, Jacoby 5 and Ollie 3. Dr Erin spends her time walking/running with their 7 year old yellow lab, Mr Beau. She enjoys quilting, collecting wine and spending time with her friends. Most weekends she’s in Mom-mode, shuffling her kids from one sport to another and countless birthday parties! She truly treats her patients like they were one of her own, always finding the best option for your child.
Dr Erin graduated from Newport High School in 1999. She then went on to obtain her undergraduate degree from Western Oregon University in 2003 with a BA in Biology and minors in Chemistry and English. From 2006-2010 she attended dental school at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). While in school she received a scholarship from the National Health Service Corps that paid for her education in exchange for working 4 years in underserved populations throughout the country. Upon graduation, she received two prestigious awards from her professors: the Oregon Academy of Pediatric Dentistry student of her graduating class and The American Association of Public Health Dentistry. Her time in the National Health Service took her to Butte, Montana for two years and then Redding, California for 2 additional years. During this time she knew that specializing in pediatrics was the right career path for her. She went to a two year residency at OHSU and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, graduating in 2016. During her second year there she was named Chief Resident, an honor that meant a lot of her.
Dr Erin spent her first four years out of dental school working for the National Health Service Corps in remote areas of Montana and California in a public health setting through community health centers. Here she was able to use all of her general dental skills and really enjoyed the challenge of it all. She realized during this time how much she really loved working with children. After her commitment, she applied for pediatric dentistry and was accepted into OHSU. Upon graduation, she worked for a corporate dental office and a private practice. Although she enjoyed both experiences, her husband encouraged her and has been a huge supporter of her pursuing her dream of opening her own practice.
Certifications and Affiliations:
American Dental Association
Oregon Dental Association
Lane County Dental Association
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
Oregon Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Diplomates
Certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support
At Treehouse Kids Dentist we are committed to quality comprehensive dental care for your child. Dr Erin’s two year pediatric dental residency has allowed her to expand her ability to treat your child in various ways to achieve the best treatment. She offers comprehensive care to a child who comes in for their first visit, traditional visits, sedation dentistry, and special needs care.
Call us to schedule an appointment!
Diet & Nutrition
Trauma & Emergencies
the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends using fluoride toothpaste the moment the first tooth erupts into the mouth. For children age 0-3, a rice-sized smear, twice a day, is a safe and effective way to prevent dental decay. At this age, the parent is exclusively responsible for brushing her child’s teeth. It is perfectly ok for your child to swallow this amount of toothpaste daily. The nighttime routine is the most important time to brush your child’s teeth. After brushing, do not allow any else by mouth, allowing the toothpaste to sit on the teeth throughout the night. If any of your child’s teeth “touch” each other during this age group, flossing the contact of those teeth is imperative because 70% of childhood cavities are in between the teeth.
For children age 3-6, a pea-sized smear, twice a day, is a safe and effective way to prevent dental decay. At this age, the parent is exclusively responsible for brushing her child’s teeth. It is perfectly ok for your child to swallow this amount of toothpaste daily. The nighttime routine is the most important time to brush your child’s teeth. After brushing, do not allow any else by mouth, allowing the toothpaste to sit on the teeth throughout the night. Children do not have the dexterity to flossing their own teeth until they are 10-11 years old. Flossing the contact of those teeth is imperative because 70% of childhood cavities are in between the teeth.
This age can be especially difficult for parents as their children start to strongly assert their independence. However, research shows that children cannot adequately brush their teeth until 9 years old, and they cannot floss well enough until 10-11. At this age, Dr Erin encourages parents to let their child brush first, and then finishing the job themselves. Children usually miss the chewing surfaces of back teeth and all teeth at the gumline. This is also the age where they start to snack throughout the day on cavity-friendly foods such as soda, crackers, chips, gum and candy. The combination of this type of diet and poor oral hygiene ability is the perfect recipe for disaster = cavities.
From a dentist’s standpoint, fluoride is one of the greatest discoveries for dental health. Fluoride provides many benefits for children’s teeth, both topically (directly on the teeth) and systemically (indirectly swallowed). When fluoride is applied to teeth, it is incorporated into the enamel matrix, making it stronger and more resistant to decay. It is also bactericidal (killing the bacteria responsible for tooth decay). When swallowed, fluoride is taken up by developing teeth so that when they erupt into the mouth they are strong and more resistant to cavities. Research has shown areas that do not have fluoridated water have much higher cavity rates than areas who do have fluoride in the water. Depending on where you live Dr Erin may recommend prescribing fluoride supplements to best protect your child from getting cavities in the future. Dr Erin is, however, aware of that some parents are fearful of the use of fluoride in their children. Dr Erin is an open-minded practitioner, willing to hear your concers, and can offer fluoride free alternatives.
Dental sealants are a composite (tooth colored) material that flows into the deep grooves of the permanent molars, preventing tooth decay. Children age 6-teenage years often miss the deepest grooves of their molar while brushing, leaving food behind in the deep grooves the bacteria can metabolize, causing cavities. A sealant closes off the deep grooves, preventing food from “hiding” in there. The sealant material itself contains fluoride and is essentially “charged” during brushing to protect the entire tooth. Dr Erin believes strongly in sealants, however, if your child is a low cavity risk child, she may recommend delaying sealants if they are not needed.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children get their first check-up with an orthodontist at the first recognition of an orthodontic problem, but no later than age 7. Around that age, children have a mix of baby and permanent teeth. An examination as permanent teeth take the place of baby teeth, and as the face and head are growing, gives the orthodontist a wealth of information. If a problem exisits, or if one is developing, your orthodontist is able to advise you on whether treatment is recommended, when it should begin, what form treatment will take, and estimate its length. A consultation with an orthodontist is free of charge to the patient.
Diet & Nutrition
One of the biggest causes of tooth decay is frequent snacking on foods that bacteria can digest, producing an acid that dissolved tooth enamel, resulting in cavities. Limiting the serving of sugars and starches will aid protecting your child’s teeth. Great options for snacking include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cheese, as bacteria can not use this food to cause cavities. Only water should be consumed throughout day. Limiting juice to 4 ounces at a meal setting is ideal. Never put a baby or toddler to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. At-will breastfeeding throughout the night is one of the biggest causes of early childhood caries. The best practice is to brush the teeth before bed and then allow nothing by mouth until your child wakes in the morning. Nighttime is the ideal time for cavities to form.
Sometimes children are simply too young to cooperate for procedures, and sometimes the anxiety is too high for them to sit safely for dental work. Dr Erin has been highly trained to handle situations where children may need some form of sedation to get through procedures. Many children do very well with some nitrous oxide. In this case, they will where a mask to breath is “happy air” that works very well. The nitrous has many beneficial properties including relieving anxiety, minimizing pain felt, and relaxing the gag reflex. Your child might be a little “goofy” or really relaxed, but by the end of the appointment they are right back to their energetic and joyful selves.
For the children who are too young, treatment is too extensive or they are too anxious, Dr Erin may recommend a general anesthesia, where your child is put into a deep sleep. Dr Erin has done nearly a thousand procedures this way and uses an incredible group out of the Portland area who can perform these procedures in the surgical suite at Treehouse Kids Dentist.
Dr Erin has a passion for treating special needs patients. After spending two years at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital as part of her pediatric dental residency, Dr Erin has had a lot of experience treating children with a wide range of special needs. Dr Erin designed her office to offer in-office general anesthesia in a surgery suite that is equipped with state of the art dental equipment. She also encourages frequent site visits and will meet your child wherever they are. She has developed a lot of techniques over the years and finds happiness is working with all special needs children. Her office has been specially designed for patients with ADA needs. Please let our front office know if your child has any special needs!
Trauma & Emergencies
The most important thing to do if your child loses a tooth is to remain calm. Unfortunately, pediatric dentist do not reimplant a baby tooth for numerous reason, primarily their tendency to abscess and cause facial swelling. They may also damage the permanent front tooth if put back into socket, and numerous research studies have shown putting them back into the mouth is not successful.
Permanent teeth are different. If a child loses a permanent tooth (usually a front tooth), find the tooth and hold it by the crown rather than the root. Try to reinsert into the socket as quickly as you can. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take the child and the glass IMMEDIATELY to the pediatric dentist. Time is of utmost importance. The soon it is reimplanted and splint, they higher the success of saving the tooth. Always see your pediatric dentist so that she can properly position tooth, splint the tooth, and monitor with xrays. Your child will need an antibiotic and possible a tetanus injection after the visit.
1611 J Street
Springfield, OR 97477