Pediatric Dental Treatments
Dental Treatment for Scared Children
How your child feels during their dental appointment is directly connected to your attitude. If you have a positive attitude, your child will probably have the same. Also, how a pediatric dentist approaches the child can make a huge difference in your child’s attitude towards dentistry. This is why consultation visits before treatment are important, as they allow the children to familiarize themselves with the environment and get that “Sugar Monster Free” feel.
In situations when children are already scared of the dentist, parents and pediatric dentist might have to work together to reduce this fear. Parent’s main role is before the actual appointment where they need to prepare the child for it. The best way to do that is to follow some basic guidelines when talking about a dentist appointment with your child, such as: use simple explanations about the visit minimizing the amount of details about the actual treatment; use positive connotation language and avoid negative words like “pain”, “hurt”, “painful”, “injection”; don’t talk about your own unpleasant dental experiences; stress the importance of healthy teeth and their maintenance by a friendly doctor you’re about to visit.
Pediatric dentists are specialised pediatricians of dentistry. They have two or three years additional training after dental school and they only treat children. A good pediatric dentist has the advantage of having more experience with children and infants and specializes in oral care for children and their dental health needs, even when they are treating a scared child. This is why a good pediatric dentist knows how to approach a fearful child and how to cope with their anxiety.
Pediatric dentists use different techniques to calm the scared children. Dr. Yasmin does her best to keep the environment and the look of the clinic appealing to children, so if you show you child pictures of the clinic before the visit, that will help. Also, she will be happy to have a conversation with you or your child and introduce them to a “Sugar Monster Free” environment, while explaining the details of your child’s treatment in a non-threatening and easy-to-understand way. Through songs, play, laughter and a tour of the ‘Magical House of Dental Instruments’, she will prepare your child for their dental treatment without tears. Eventually, if after all these positive approaches your child is still scared, the child’s relaxation and comfort can be achieved through nitrous oxide sedation (‘laughing gas’), hypnodontics or sleep dentistry – where the child is sleeping while treatment is ongoing under general anesthesia in a hospital setting.
We encourage parents to make the visits sound like fun and start a countdown to the dental office, make brushing and flossing charts and get their child excited about their first visit.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation (‘Laughing Gas’)
Our ultimate goal is a healthy smile for your child and if they can feel happy and relaxed during the process, even better!
Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over the nose to help your child relax.
Nitrous oxide is a gas known as ‘happy gas’ or ‘laughing gas’. It is commonly used to help reduce a child’s pain and anxiety during dental treatment.
As it is not supposed to put you to sleep, your child will be awake the whole time. However, it can happen that the child falls asleep as the point of its administration is to make your child relaxed and calm.
Dental sedation, especially with nitrous oxide, is incredibly safe, mostly for children. Most dentists offer nitrous oxide as a treatment option for gentle sedation. It can help calm and relax your child, making their dental procedure go much more smoothly.
We are sure you heard about hypnosis or hypnotherapy, but have you ever heard about hypnodontics? As you may assume, they are similar. Simply put, hypnodontics is hypnosis techniques used in dentistry.
These techniques are used for patient’s relaxation and to minimize pain through application of controlled suggestion which promotes the positive effect and reduces the negative one.
There are special techniques for working with children and our pediatric dentist is highly experienced in using them.
Hypnodontics for children or adults are used for patient’s relaxation, elimination of their tension, anxiety and fear, acceptance of necessary orthodontic or prosthetic appliances, comfort during long lasting dental procedures, reduction of anesthesia or analgesia during dental procedures, reduction of blood loss and bleeding during and after surgery, prevention of gagging and nausea, control of salivary flow and bleeding, increased rapidity of healing, modification of unhealthy dental habits (grinding of teeth, bruxism), poor dental hygiene issues, etc.
Sleep Dentistry (General Anesthesia)
Sometimes, if all relaxation attempts fail and your child still has big fear and anxiety, it might be necessary to use general anesthesia or ‘sleep dentistry’ in order to successfully do the procedure. This will ensure your child is sleeping under general anesthesia while the treatment is ongoing in a hospital setting.
Pediatric general anesthesia is a common and safe procedure, but like any other anesthesia, the pediatric dentist needs to know your child’s complete medical history to avoid any possible complications. Side effects are rare and vary depending on the type of anesthesia that is administered. Most common complication is dizziness or nausea after the procedure.
In the end, remember: if your child is scared of the dentist just a little bit or a lot, there is no need to worry and definitely no reason to avoid visits to a pediatric dentist. Our expert pediatric dentist, Dr. Yasmin, has earned her kid whispering super powers through 16 years of practice, love and dedication to kids and their beautiful, healthy smiles. After all, she is called a Tooth Fairy for a reason!