Pediatric Dentistry in Reno
What children experience at the dentist when they’re young can really shape how they feel about dental care in the future as adults. The dentists at Reno’s Absolute Dental understand the importance of these early experiences and go out of their way to make it as painless as possible for their younger patients.
Our Pediatric Dental Approach
Our team of professionals, from the front desk to the dental chair, want to create a positive environment for our pediatric patients. This ultimately sets them up to take a more proactive role in their future dental habits as they grow up. All our dentists are trained and have extensive experience in treating children of all ages.
Although some dentists in Reno specialize in pediatric dentistry, kids are often more comfortable seeing the same family dentist as their parents. Families usually have a relationship already established with their dentist, which then naturally extends to their kids. It’s also convenient for parents to make appointments at just one location. Our practitioners are more than happy to accommodate and treat all members of your family, no matter the age.
The aim of our Absolute Dental Reno team is to make every visit a positive experience for both child and parent. The entire Absolute Dental staff is trained to use behavioral management techniques in order to achieve the two following goals:
- Every child gets the best dental care they need
- Every parent gets the peace of mind they deserve
If a child shows a great deal of fear, our dentists will never force them to endure a procedure that isn’t completely necessary at that time. Sometimes it takes a little coaching to get a child to a place where they feel comfortable, and many procedures can be rescheduled unless it’s a more severe situation.
What is the Process When Kids Visit the Dentist?
Every parent will have a chance to consult with one of our dentists to share their child’s oral health history and any concerns they may have. If a service needs to be performed, our dentists will fully explain the procedure to the parents and show the child exactly what they can expect. This helps them to not feel so anxious while the procedure is taking place.
Our dentists strongly encourage parents to be present through any dental procedure if it makes the child more comfortable. Parental participation can ease a child’s emotional stress, making the procedure go much more quickly and smoothly. Our approach is to avoid creating an atmosphere full of distress or fear, so the child is set up for more successful visits in the future.
At the end of the appointment, a member of our team will sit down with the parents to give them a detailed breakdown of the dental work that was completed and any care instructions that will need to be followed. If a prescription is given, the medication and dosage will also be explained in detail at this time. Parents will also have the chance to ask questions before the completion of the appointment.
The Most Common Children’s Fears and How to Manage Them
It’s generally a good idea to be open and honest with children when it comes to dental procedures. It’s natural to be fearful of the unknown, so a child that understands what is happening and why is more likely to make it through the procedure without any serious problems or emotional stress.
But due to negative experiences in the past, your child may be fearful or anxious when visiting the dentist. These are the most common fears that can develop and how to help them cope:
- Fear of Embarrassment – Some children have very obvious dental issues, such as deformities, and feel self-conscious about it. This is especially strong with kids who have been teased about the issue. They might also be embarrassed about crying or panicking in the dentist’s office. At this point, it’s so important to reassure the child that the dental staff are professionals and have seen every issue before. They understand that fear is a natural response and the child shouldn’t feel bad about crying. Our professionals will continue to communicate with the parents and the child to help comfort them along the way.
- Fear of Needles or Injections – This fear is very common, even with adults. Knowing there is some pain associated with needles can be very scary for kids. However, our dentists know the best techniques to make an injection as painless as possible. Oftentimes, it’s best to keep the needle out of sight by asking the child to close their eyes before the injection is administered. Computerized injections are also a great option because they don’t look like a traditional needle and can control the speed and pressure of the shot.
- Fear of Anesthesia – Some patients are uncomfortable with the idea of being put to sleep and not being aware of what’s going on while they’re under. Others don’t like having a mask on their face. The best approach is to be informative and explain exactly what the patient can expect. Taking it slow and sharing the details of the procedure ahead of time can go a long way in calming the patient. If the stress is severe, our dentists will always opt to reschedule the procedure rather than forcing the situation.
- Fear of Pain – After hearing about painful experiences from other people who’ve had similar dental procedures, it’s hard to not expect the same. However, our dental professionals are dedicated to making our patients as comfortable and confident as possible. Pain management is taken very seriously and, as always, everything will be explained to our patients so they know what to expect before any procedure is done.
- Fear of Panicking or Loss of Control – The idea of being trapped can be a helpless feeling. Being in a dental chair as somebody performs a procedure can induce those feelings, especially in children, that leads to anxiety and panic. Having parents present during the procedure and constantly communicating with the patient is an important part of keeping everybody calm. We also make a point to let both parent and child know the progress that’s being made throughout the procedure, so they understand it will be over soon.
Working Together with Parents
Although we do our best to make every child’s dental experience as positive as possible, parental involvement is just as important to a successful outcome. Here are some tips for parents to help their children become more confident and cooperative dental patients:
- Take your child with you to appointments – It’s important for children to see that going to a dental appointment is routine and part of life. The more they’re exposed to it and see you relaxed during the appointment, the more positive their feelings will be towards it.
- Arrange for your child to meet their dentist – Introducing your dentist in a non-threatening setting allows a connection to be made prior to your child being in the dental chair. This can be done while your child is with you for an appointment. Children are much more relaxed with a familiar face, especially when they’re nervous.
- Set a good example – When at home, it’s up to you to teach good oral hygiene and to make sure your child knows how important it is to listen to their dentist. Making dental cleaning habits a routine will lead to less tooth decay later in life and less need for extensive procedures.
When it comes to pediatric dental care, the key is prevention. To prevent dental problems as adults, regular visits to the dentist for routine cleanings and check-ups as a child are necessary. We can help your child develop the best oral hygiene habits with our sensitive, honest, and involved approach. Give us a call today to set up an initial appointment. We’re looking forward to meeting your family and answering all your questions regarding our pediatric dental services!