CALMING THE PATIENT

The aim of Dentistry for Kids is to help each child accept dental care with confidence and without apprehension.

To accomplish this goal, the team of interested partners (parents, the dentist and staff) must cooperate and share a mutual trust.

Visiting the dentist should not be an intimidating experience. It should be comfortable, educational, and positive. Your child will become anxious, however, if you, the star member of our team, are fearful and concerned.

We suggest the best way to approach the first visit is with a positive and matter of fact nature. It is best to tell your child that the dentist is his friend and that he or she will shine a bright light in their mouth and use a tiny mirror to help him count teeth. Describe x-rays as tooth pictures and the machine as a dental camera. Tell your child that the visit will be short and that there will be games to play and friendly people to meet. Don’t use words like"needle", "pull", "drill" or "hurt", “shot” or “poke”. Make a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.

If dental treatment is recommended at the initial exam, operative procedures will not be performed the same day as the new patient exam visits unless there is an emergent need. Most children will perform well if treatment is required on a second visit because they are familiar with the people and the surroundings.

We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. During future appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and overcome apprehension.

There are situations where behavioral management options are required to allow the child to accept dental care. We will offer various alternatives in situations where the child is too young to comprehend, has special needs, where the child has had a difficult past dental experience or is just too fearful to cooperate. These adjuncts include nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and general anesthesia.