By Vishant Nath DMD
A visit to the pediatric dentist can sometimes result in a diagnosis for dental treatment for your child. This may not be what you were expecting as a parent. But it’s important to realize that there are many options available to you in getting your child’s dental health back on track.
In many cases, pediatric dental treatment can be performed rather quickly in the office. There are a couple of goals that the pediatric dentist has for a dental treatment appointment. First, the dentist wants to make sure that the treatment is done well to remove or repair the effected teeth. The other goal is to keep the patient comfortable and stable throughout the treatment process. These goals go hand in hand, as keeping the patient comfortable makes it easier for the dentist to treat the effected areas.
There are several different approaches to keeping the child comfortable. Keep in mind that all of the following options are accompanied by informed and written consents from parents.
Nitrous Oxide, or laughing gas, may be used to relax the child while the work is being done. For certain patients, a papoose may be used. The papoose offers an important option to parents who prefer that their child not be sedated. This option is reserved for quick procedures or emergencies.
For children who require an extensive amount of dental treatment, sedation can be a good option. One type of anesthesia available is oral sedation, which involves minimal to moderate levels of sedation. In this case the oral sedation medication is given to the child in the dental office under the direction of the pediatric dentist.
Another type of sedation available is General Anesthesia. This type of medication is usually administered under the direction of a medical anesthesiologist. Depending on your pediatric dentist, this option may be available in the dental office, or in a hospital setting.
Your pediatric dentist can suggest and explain the best option for your child’s individual oral health care needs. In all cases, the overall health of your child will be monitored closely throughout the treatment appointment. Also, no matter which option you choose, its important to closely follow all pre-op and post-op instructions to ensure that your child will have the best experience possible.
The goal for you and your pediatric dentist is to get your child’s oral health care at its best and do everything possible to keep it at its best. With consistent home hygiene and twice-yearly cleanings and check-ups, your child can have a healthy, beautiful smile!