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Your Child’s behaviour at the dentist
Every child behaves differently at the dentist.
Some you can barely get into the treatment room and onto the dental chair, while others are completely calm and cooperative. These are the extremes, most children fall somewhere in between.
Depending on your child’s behaviour, we may or may not be able to treat them. If they whimper but are cooperative, then this is ok. However, if they cry and thrash about then it is unlikely that we will be able to do their treatment …if a patient can’t sit still, we will not be able to treat them.
If it is not within the child’s capacity to behave or sit still, then we often need to refer them to a children’s dentist, (aka a Pedodontist) for their treatment. At a specialist’s office it is likely that the child will be sedated in some capacity in order to get their dental work completed.
There are a variety of sedation options. These include:
1) Nitrous Oxide
2) Various liquid suspensions
3) IV sedation and
4) General Anaesthesia
There are some dental offices that offer these different types of sedation, however depending on the level of sedation required, certain precautions need to be undertaken within the office I.e., if a child needs general anaesthetic (needs to be put out completely) in order to be treated, this can often be done in the dental office as long as the office has a certified anaesthesiologist. At other times however, the child may need to be seen in the hospital for their treatment. See the blog, “Sedation Dentistry,” posted on January 14th, 2013 if you’d like to read more about the different sedation techniques. For information regarding Nitrous Oxide Sedation, please refer to the blogs posted on August 28th, September 10th, September 24th and October 7th.
We do try to take x rays if deemed necessary I.e., if we are suspicious if there is decay in between your child’s teeth, an infection present, any bony abnormalities or even unerupted teeth.
I emphasize the word ‘try’ because sometimes it’s just not possible to take an x- ray, especially when the child is very young…however, we try our best.
Preventative Dentistry and Children
The idea behind this is: dental care to avoid certain situations from arising; namely getting cavities and infected teeth.
For this reason we like to start the child at the dentist at an early age. When a child maintains good oral health, healthy nutrition (decreased consumption of sugar) and visits the dentist regularly, they may never get a cavity. In these cases, the child usually enjoys going to the dentist…..the dental visit is a positive experience!
In the next blog, we will look at our approach to treating children of various age groups…..until then!
Dr. Robert Axelrad, Brampton Dentist