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Dental Anxiety

Dental Anxiety

How do you help a child with dental anxiety?
We have special training in helping anxious children feel secure during dental treatment, ensuring that most children feel calm, comfortable and confident when they’re here.

What methods might you use to help my child feel comfortable?
We have expertise in many methods to help children feel comfortable with dental treatment. For example, when using the “Tell-Show-Do” technique, we might name a dental instrument, demonstrate the instrument by using it to count your child’s fingers and then apply the instrument in treatment.

Other techniques include modeling, coaching, distraction and parent participation. But by far the best technique is praise. Every child does something right during a dental visit and we let them know that with warm, sincere praise.

Should I accompany my child into treatment?
Infants and some young children may feel more confident when parents stay close during treatment. However, with older children, doctor-child communication is often enhanced if parents remain in the main reception room.

What if my child misbehaves during treatment?
Occasionally a child’s behavior during treatment requires assertive management to protect him or her from possible injury. Voice control (speaking calmly but firmly) usually takes care of it. If a child is especially fearful, sedation techniques or general anesthesia may be recommended.

Is sedation an option if my child is especially anxious?
If your child has a high level of anxiety, is very young, has a strong gag reflex, or has low pain tolerance, then sedation might be called for. Special needs children or patients who undergo extensive dental treatment may also benefit from sedation. We use these safe, proven methods: nitrous oxide [laughing gas], oral conscious sedation, and general anesthesia in a hospital setting.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry endorses sedation as an effective way to make children feel safe and comfortable during dental procedures. We are happy to discuss with you the plan that best fits your child’s needs.