A single unpleasant experience at the dentist is all it takes to make a child afraid to come back. This can jeopardize their dental health even as an adult. As a parent, one of the best things you can do for your toddler’s teeth is give them a good experience so they’ll keep up their regular dental check-ups and keep their smile healthy for their whole life long.
One of the best ways to do this is with gentle sedation for your toddler’s dental work. Treatment with sedatives like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) will put them at ease. Here are the steps you can take as a parent to get your child the sedation support they need.
Recognize and Address Fear Patterns
Watch for any resistance your child has to the dentist or dental procedures. This negative association might be caused by the sight of dental instruments, interactions with unfamiliar people, being in a strange environment, or the feeling of a dentist or hygienist checking their teeth.
With time, this could cause severe dental fear and anxiety. Counseling and calming efforts may have little or no effect for these nervous patients, and sedation for their toddler’s dental work could be the only answer.
A Few Notes of Caution
If your child requires a lengthy dental procedure, your dentist will explain the available options and benefits of sedation to you and try to calm your child. Additionally, if your child has physical ailments or allergies, the dentist must be informed; he or she must also be made aware if your child is on any medications. Lastly, if your child develops an elevated temperature, ear infection, or becomes ill, notify the dentist promptly.
Ask About Sedation
Your dentist will explain the best type of sedation for your toddler’s dental work and the dental procedure that needs to be done. Sedation can be an effective option if your child doesn’t have a fear of the dentist, but is simply too young or too wiggly to sit still for a lengthy procedure. Please don’t hesitate to ask us questions! We want this process to go as smoothly as possible for you and your child.
Be sure to check the qualifications and certifications of your sedation dentist. Ask if your dentist has “advanced airway training,” because this is mandatory to resuscitate the child, if necessary.
Sedation should only be done by certified professionals with specialized training, like our dentists have at Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas. We also have experience working with special needs children, so no matter what your child requires for their sedation dentistry, we’ve got you covered.
Parents should also ask for details about the type of sedation that will be used. Possible questions about this include:
- Will an intramuscular sedation be used?
- Will local anesthesia be given?
- Will nitrous oxide (laughing gas) be administered?
Parents should ensure they understand all aspects of the toddler dental sedation work so they can reassure their child and build the child’s confidence before the commencement of the sedation process.
Observe the Dental Operatory
If you like, you and your child can investigate the dental room before the procedure. Familiarizing your child with the room beforehand can go a long way toward calming their fears. We also encourage you to meet and engage with our friendly, welcoming staff, to help reduce the potential “strangeness” of the office environment.
During your visit, ask questions about the available emergency equipment. This might include asking if:
- Oxygen will be at hand?
- There are airways, masks, and intubation equipment on hand?
- Suction equipment is available?
- There is pressure monitoring equipment?
- Emergency drugs in pediatric dosages are available?
- The defibrillator has pediatric paddles (if available)?
- There will be dental personnel assigned to monitor the child post sedation and procedure?
We don’t expect you to be well versed in the necessary equipment for handling an emergency situation, but we do encourage you to inquire about the sedation expert or professional that will be handling your toddler’s dental sedation work. When you’re well informed, it has a calming effect on your child and, hopefully, helps reduce any potential anxiety they may have.
Trust Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas
Our number one mission is to provide a safe, fun dental experience for your child. So whether your little one is afraid of the dentist or simply too wiggly to sit still for an extended procedure, we have the training, equipment, and experience to safely administer sedation to your child. Contact us today for a consultation. We can’t wait to meet you!