It is highly recommended that children start to visit the dentist around the age of twelve months. This not only provides the opportunity for a brief exam, but early appointments with your kid’s dental provider will acclimate your child to the sights, sounds, and smells of the dental office. And regular preventative appointments might help to eliminate the need for an emergency visit due to a toothache.
If that first dental visit to treat a toothache is coupled with frightening sounds like a whirring drill, the appearance of a needle used to anesthetize the young patient, pairs of hands in your child’s mouth – not to mention any pain your child might be experiencing – any follow-up visits are going to be tough.
You now know and understand the importance of maintaining regular dental visits. But if your child’s anxiety level is preventing even visits to have teeth cleaned, your child might be a candidate for IV sedation.
A pediatric anesthesiologist will work with your kid’s dentist to provide the appropriate amount of sedation and will monitor your child’s health throughout the dental visit. Teeth can be cleaned and any restorative work needed can be completed. And your child will have no recollection of the appointment. Your child will need to return home and remain quiet for the balance of the day as a groggy feeling will be felt for a while.
This type of sedation dentistry is not just for apprehensive kids. There are children suffering from illnesses and conditions that make sitting still for extended periods difficult, if not impossible. These children also make ideal candidates for IV sedation dentistry.
For years, sedation dentistry was used primarily for surgical cases, but it is now a little more commonplace with availability in dental offices other than oral surgeons. If you know your child suffers from severe anxiety or a physical/mental disorder putting their oral care in jeopardy, parents need to research the availability and discuss their options with their dental provider.
In between dental appointments, you can help to ensure your child’s dental health is maximized by supervising daily flossing, brushing twice daily with a fluoridated tooth paste and monitoring what your child eats and drinks to prevent exposure to excessive sugary treats.
Contact us at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry if you have further questions or to schedule an appointment for your child!