Did you know that pediatric dental disease, also referred to as childhood tooth decay, is the #1 chronic childhood illness?
Recently, a mother concerned about her child’s physical and mental wellbeing came to me with a dilemma: Her ten-year-old son (We’ll call him Joey.) had multiple cavities that need to be treated. He was in constant pain, she told me. He wouldn’t eat. He couldn’t sleep. But the thing was, every time she took him to their family dentist, he’d freeze and refuse to open his mouth. He was afraid. And she wasn’t sure where else to turn.
Smilez Pediatric Dental Group recommended Joey for sedation dentistry.
You want to do what… to my child?
This mom was reasonably skeptical about the use of sedation dentistry in a pediatric patient, but it was right for her son and it may be right for yours, too. A child who learns from a young age to be fearful of the dentist will grow to be an adult who is fearful of the dentist; with the recent, and increasing use of dental sedation for children, pediatric dentists are discovering the method as a way to ensure and maintain proper dental health while also instilling a sense of trust between dentist, patient, and parents too.
Pediatric sedation dentistry might be right for your child…
But we know you have questions, so consider this:
How will my Dulles pediatric dentist determine if sedation is right for my child?
Before we’ll even discuss the use of sedation, our caring and compassionate staff of hygienists and dentists at Smilez Pediatric Dental Group Loudoun will meet with you and our newest, youngest patient. We’ll talk openly and honestly about the work that needs to be done, all the while keeping in mind that each family’s needs and comfort level are different. Dr. Bhatti makes it her primary goal to build honest relationships with, and to treat her pediatric dental patients with the utmost respect; together, we’ll develop a treatment plan on your schedule, at your pace, and if deemed necessary: with the aid of dental sedation.
How does pediatric dental sedation work exactly?
Pediatric dental sedation can be achieved in one of three ways, the most common of which is the use of nitrous oxide. When determined and agreed upon, your child’s Dulles pediatric dentist will choose to administer nitrous oxide in a mask placed over the nose. This most minimal form of conscious sedation will render your child deeply relaxed while allowing him to retain the ability to breathe independently and respond appropriately and normally to physical tactile stimulation and verbal commands.
Depending on your child’s dental needs and his anxiety level, the sedation method can be adjusted using oral medication (or in some rare cases, the use of general anesthesia in a hospital setting) to reach moderate, or higher levels of sedation as necessary.
Will my child be safe during pediatric dental sedation?
Worry not. Your sedated child’s vital signs — his heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, temperature, and blood oxygen level — will be continuously monitored throughout the dental procedures to be completed, and for a short while after. To further ensure his safety, your Dulles pediatric dentist may use special positioning and immobilizing equipment to keep movement to a minimum during the procedure, thus protecting his airway and preventing instrument-related injury.
As dental professionals like those at Smilez Pediatric Dental Group have gained advanced training in the proper ways to employ and monitor the use of pediatric dental sedation, its practice is becoming more widespread — with as many as 250,000 pediatric dental sedations performed each year. More parents in Loudoun County are making the choice to get their children the regular, routine, or restorative dental care they need without the potential for lingering, painful memories. Because no one should be afraid of the dentist.
Is pediatric sedation dentistry right for your child?
It could be.
Contact your Dulles pediatric dentist for an appointment and a consultation today.