For many people, just hearing the word “dentist” causes anxiety. As a primarily pediatric practice, we aren’t just prepared for anxious patients, we expect them. Unlike many practices, parents are always welcome to come back during treatment. Dr. Jones and her experienced assistants have dealt with butterflies in the tummy, full-fledged meltdowns, and everything in between. We find that the majority of children respond well to the ”show, tell, do” approach. It simply means that we show the patient the unthreatening things we will use, such as the mirror, suction, etc. Tell the patient what to expect, always in gentle terms, (“we will tickle your tooth to get the sugarbug out”). Finally, we will do what has been discussed in the easiest possible way. Often parents are surprised when children willingly allow dental treatment using this method. Unfortunately, there are some instances when the patient is too frightened, upset or strong-willed cooperate. For those patients, we offer the following:
Or “laughing gas” is recommended for most patients ages 3 years and up that contain the nervousness described above. It helps soothe nerves and creates a general sense of well-being. Nitrous works if a patient cooperates in wearing and smelling the nasal hood it comes out of. It does not work on a child that will not sit in the chair without wearing the mask. The gas is also mixed with oxygen which helps the nitrous to quickly wear off once it is turned off. The oxygen also helps the patient breathe comfortably.
Versed, a sedative is given to the patient on an empty stomach 15 minutes prior to the procedure. The benefits include heavier relaxation and less resistance, reduced memory of the visit, fast acting and safe with reversal. We can also refer patients to be put to sleep in a hospital environment for extensive treatment. Before treatment, patients should come with an empty stomach for at least 3 hours upon arrival.
A papoose board is a restraint that wraps the arms and legs so treatment can be completed fast and safely. Our staff will only suggest the papoose after exhausting all other methods of behavior management. Parental consent is always required prior to restraining any patient.