Helping Children Early On Means They May Not Need Sedation Dentistry in the Future
The fear of heights, public speaking, and spiders are all pretty common. And how about the fear of the dentist? Colgate.com says that as much as 15% of U.S. patients suffer from this type of anxiety–to put that in perspective, that’s well over 20 million people!
Thankfully dentists do understand this problem and that’s why sedation dentistry has really helped many people. A recent blog post goes over what sedation is and how it can help?
Sedation dentistry is very safe for children, but like with any procedure, there are potential side effects. You understandably may not want to consider this option for your child, so what can you do?
First off, if you have a fear of the dentist yourself, it’s best not to talk about it in front of your son or daughter so they don’t pick up the fear themselves. You can also decrease their anxiety by reading children’s books about dentists. Instead of just telling them to not be afraid, these books will have illustrations and a story showing how positive this experience can be. Also, you may want to go in with your son or daughter during the appointment and sit by them if they are very afraid.
Drbicuspid.com editor Lori Roniger posted a study that showed that dentists who said reassuring phrases also were able to improve dental anxiety and seem more empathetic to caregivers:
What Can You Say to Reassure Pediatric Patients?
Practitioners who provide more positive reinforcement and reassurance when speaking with pediatric patients were perceived by caregivers to be more patient-centered and empathetic, according to a new study conducted in Hong Kong.
In addition, the inclusion of caregivers in conversation, such as the clinician mentioning the parent or caregiver present, was a key factor in producing a quality clinical experience, the study authors reported in PLOS One (January 3, 2017).
“Unlike the conversations focusing on the treatment procedures, those offering positive reinforcement and reassurance appeared to the caregivers that the clinicians were providing more patient-centered care and showing more concern to the patients, thereby creating more clinician-patient interaction,” wrote Hai Ming Wong, PhD, DDS, and colleagues at the University of Hong Kong. “Engaging patient-centered care can help clinicians build stronger clinician-patient relationships for productive engagement in preventive care.”
Dr. Wong is a clinical associate professor of pediatric dentistry at the university. Researchers from disciplines such as dental public health, psychology, and education at the university participated in the study.
Saying ‘mommy’ is helpful
The authors noted that good communication has been found to result in improved patient cooperation, self-care skills, and treatment plan adherence, as well as better treatment outcomes and a lower likelihood of dental anxiety. However, good communication may not be sufficient to achieve these results, with other active ingredients likely embedded within good communication underpinning those effects, they explained.
If you want to learn more about pediatric dentistry and how to help your child get over their fears, take a look at lagunavistadental.com/services/general-dentistry/pediatric/