Comfort starts the moment you step into our office. We want both parents and their children to feel at home. Parents, have a seat, relax, and catch up on your magazine reading. Children, go ahead play some video games or step into our tumble play area. Kids Teeth, a place where kids want to go…
Or perhaps, relax and watch the waterfall in salamander alley…
Making your child’s dental visit comfortable
The goals of behavior guidance are to establish communication, alleviate fear and anxiety, deliver quality dental care, build a trusting relationship between dentist and child, and promote the child’s positive attitude toward oral health care. Communicative management and appropriate use of commands are used universally in pediatric dentistry with both the cooperative and uncooperative child. In addition to establishing a relationship with your child and allowing for the successful completion of dental procedures, these techniques may help your child develop a positive attitude toward oral health. Communicative management comprises a host of techniques that, when integrated, enhance the evolution of a cooperative patient. Associated with this process are the specific techniques of tell-show-do, voice control, nonverbal communication, positive reinforcement, and distraction.
Depending on the type of treatment, your child can relax in the chair by listening to a story or music, or even watching a movie!
The presence or absence of the parent sometimes can be used to gain cooperation for treatment. The objectives of parental presence/absence are to:
- gain the patient’s attention and improve compliance;
- avert negative or avoidance behaviors;
- establish appropriate dentist-child roles;
- enhance effective communication among the dentist, child, and parent;
- minimize anxiety and achieve a positive dental experience.
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
Nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation is a safe and effective technique to reduce anxiety and enhance effective communication. Its onset of action is rapid, the effects easily are titrated and reversible, and recovery is rapid and complete. Additionally, nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation mediates a variable degree of analgesia (pain control), amnesia (decreased awareness of procedure), and gag reflex reduction. Nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia has an excellent safety record. When administered by trained personnel on carefully selected patients with appropriate equipment and technique, nitrous oxide is a safe and effective agent for providing pharmacological guidance of behavior in children. Acute and chronic adverse effects of nitrous oxide on the patient are rare. Nausea and vomiting are the most common adverse effects, occurring in 1% to 10% of patients. Headache and disorientation are avoided by administering 100% oxygen after nitrous oxide has been discontinued. To decrease the possibility of nausea, please refrain from eating for 2 hours prior to appointment. This includes consumption of dairy liquids/products.
For a select few, dentistry completed in a hospital setting may be the best option. If a child required their tonsils removed, the operating room would be their only option. Fortunately, there are multiple options available for completing dental procedures. The majority of children will never need to consider the hospital option. This is considered when treatment in office is not possible due to uncooperative or extremely apprehensive behavior, procedures which are extensive for the child to endure, and/or medical conditions that increase risks of completing treatment safely in office. A comprehensive examination and risk assessment must be completed in office as well as in depth discussion with parents when considering dental treatment under general anesthesia in a hospital setting. If after exploring all options, and hospital dentistry is the best option for your child, we will hold your hand through the entire process.
One question we are frequently asked by those parents going through this process is “How can I prepare my child prior?” You know your child better than anybody. Some children will be overly stressed and experience sleepless nights or nightmares if told too far in advance, while others cope better if they are told. We have provided a storybook “Bongo goes to the hospital” if you feel it will help your child.
Bongo goes to the hospital
Read all about Bongo’s trip to the hospital below.