Dr Tong with patient

Highlands Dental Care – Clarksburg, Maryland
Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. James Tong has been working with children’s oral health for over 30 years.

Dr Tong with patient

Highlands Dental Care – Clarksburg, Maryland
Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. James Tong has been working with children’s oral health for over 30 years.


Creating a Lifetime of Smiles with Dr. Tong

Board-certified pediatric dentist with over 30 years of experience.

At Highlands Dental Care, your children’s smiles are important to us! As the best dentist in Clarksburg, we keep kids happy and healthy by focusing on providing exceptional service to promote bigger, brighter smiles. Our goal is to provide a pleasant and positive experience for both you and your children while focusing on your specific needs.

We use only the latest evidence-based procedures to achieve long-lasting results, and we encourage parents to participate in promoting a positive attitude towards dentistry and healthy dental habits for the whole family!

Dr. Tong

We Specialize in Children’s Dentistry

Dr. James Tong specializes in children’s dentistry. In fact, he spent an additional two years after becoming a dentist specializing in pediatric care. Pediatric dentistry is a dental specialty focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral health problems in children. Pediatric dentists have specific training that qualifies them to provide care for children’s teeth and gums as they change throughout childhood. Pediatric dentists provide comprehensive care, from preventative treatment like cleanings and sealants to treatment for oral disease and injuries. A pediatric dentist will also counsel parents about a child’s nutritional and hygienic habits

Your Child’s Cleaning & Exams

Dental Cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are essential to preventing gum disease and tooth decay. In a professional cleaning Dr. Tong, or his hygienist, will:

Remove debris that has built up on the teeth called Plaque and above the gum line, called Calculus (Tartar), both of which irritate the gums and cause decay. Plaque is a sticky substance that forms in the mouth from food, saliva, and bacteria. Plaque sticks to teeth and
causes tooth decay and gum disease. Calculus is a plaque that has hardened on the tooth surface and is difficult to remove. (Calculus below the gum line indicates gum disease and requires a different procedure for removal)

Polish and remove stains from teeth.

Apply fluoride to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities.

Give hygiene instructions to improve your child’s brushing and flossing habits during home care.

Child pointing at teeth
Mother and child

Sealants and Fillings

Normal pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth can trap food that can’t be removed by brushing or washed out by water or saliva. A sealant is a tough, plastic material designed to bond (stick) to tooth enamel.

Composite fillings are more than just attractive. They require minimal tooth preparation, in other words, a less healthy tooth structure is removed to restore the tooth. Also, a sealant can be placed over the remaining exposed grooves of the tooth to minimize the risk of decay on another area of the tooth.

Sedation Dentistry is Safe for Children

We understand that for some patients, a dental visit can make them nervous, that is why we offer conscious sedation and nitrous oxide to our patients. With the help of prescription medication, our patients are calmed of their anxieties, making the visit comfortable and carefree.

Child sleeping
Grandmother with two grandchildren smiling

Laser Dentistry

Not everyone likes to get numb. Not even the doctors. Laser and air abrasion dentistry is the newest and most effective technique that offers more flexibility, comfort, and precision than traditional drills. We utilize this technique in numerous treatments and its pinpoint accuracy provides better care by our skilled team.

Crowns for Kids

A crown (often called a cap) covers the tooth and restores it to its original shape and size. Decay is removed and cleaned from the tooth and a preformed crown is placed over the tooth. Unlike adult crowns, in which the crown is made to fit the tooth, which requires two appointments, baby crowns are placed in one visit, because the tooth is prepared to fit the crown.

Young girl smiling

(Baby Root Canal)

The Problem:
Decay that has reached the nerve/pulp of the baby tooth.

The Solution:
Like adult root canals, the dentist will access the nerve chamber of the tooth, and remove some of the nerve/pulp of the tooth. Unlike adult root canals, this is a very short procedure, as only part of the pulp needs to be removed, and does not require the time-consuming filing of adult root canals.

If the tooth has been symptomatic this procedure will likely alleviate the pain. This allows for the tooth to be preserved until it is ready to fall out naturally.

Pulpotomies have a 90% success rate. Occasionally, the nerve of the tooth is so badly damaged that it does not respond to pulp therapy, resulting in the need for extraction of the offending tooth. Certain circumstances increase the likelihood of failure with pulpotomies, your dentist will discuss your child’s situation with you during diagnosis.

The only alternative to a pulpotomy is extraction, and placement of a space maintainer. However, if it is possible to save the baby’s tooth, this is the best alternative because it preserves the appropriate spacing for the adult dentition.

Dental Emergency

There’s little that’s as painful as a tooth or jaw ache, so call us any time to schedule an emergency appointment. Our doctors and team love our patients and want what’s best for you, so call us today for an emergency appointment!

Frequently Asked Questions
About Pediatric Dentistry

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday. A pediatric dentist will treat patients from birth through adolescence. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that young patients begin visiting a pediatric dentist no later than the first birthday when most children already have the first tooth. Children will continue to visit the dentist periodically throughout childhood to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.
Chronological age is not a factor when deciding whether a patient is a candidate for orthodontic treatment; there is not one ideal age for treatment to begin. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Regardless of age, patients can look forward to teeth that not only look better but work better, too.
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.
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Phone number: (301) 515-5100

23206 Brewers Tavern Way
Clarksburg, MD 20871

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8:00 am – 5:00 pm
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
8:00 am – 2:00 pm