The best way to avoid the fear of the dentist is to visit him from a young age.
Dr. Mireia Velasco
Pediatric dentistry is a field of dentistry responsible for diagnosis, prevention and comprehensive treatment of the children’s oral and dental problems.
Treatment for children – Pediatric dentistry:
A preliminary visit should be arranged for a child before the treatment is started, in order to familiarize him more with the environment of the dental clinic.
We must tell the truth to a child but without emotional exaggerations.
It is a very important function of the pediatric dentist. It has the same function as a pediatrician and a school professor so that a child learns how to control his behavior and anxiety in dentist’s room. The technique “tell me – show me – do it”, as well as the exposition and introduction of the dental instruments to a child, as well as gingering a child up when he follows the instructions of the dentist.
Items that may increase the stress or anxiety of a child (such as fixators or blocks to keep the mouth of the child open) should be eliminated.
Duration and time of the visit: For the children of the preschool age the doctor visit should be short (less than 30 minutes) till a child gets familiarized with the instruments. For preschoolers it is also better to arrange the doctor visits in the morning since at this time of the day children are not yet tired, there are less delays in visits (less time to wait in a waiting room) and the specialist is more fresh.
It would be better if the parents do not enter inside the dentist room with a child from 3.5 years age. The fact that a parent is staying inside can distract the dentist, and the child will try to attract attention and make parents feel compassion, who will justify that a child wants to postpone the dental treatment.
We should avoid a famous saying: “Did he hurt you?” Or also: “Do not worry, doctor, I will talk to my son”.
Although most of the parents affirm to explain their children about the treatment, the pediatric dentist should explain all about the treatment and not parents.
Relaxation and distraction techniques /Audioanalgesia
5-10 minutes are enough before starting the treatment. It consists of applying music or stories through headphones of a reduced size. Depending on the age of the child there will be children’s songs, fairy tales, adventure stories, etc. It is often effective to alleviate tension and to reduce the fear and defensive reactions of a child, which always makes the dentist’s work easier.
Psycopharmaceuticals: (diazepam, etc)
They are used when the behavior and control of a child during the treatment is difficult and cooperation is complicated. A child has the following symptoms: scared of the sight of the instruments, has tension in the legs or intents lift them, cries and doesn’t talk nor establish communication with the pediatric dentist.
Psycopharmaceuticals allow the treatment but do not make the communication with the dentist better.
It is necessary when it is not possible to perform the treatment with the pharmaceuticals, or also in case the treatment is more aggressive.
It is the best treatment in order to avoid the child had fear of visiting a dental clinic. For this reason it is necessary to explain the methods of the oral hygiene from the early childhood (at the beginning of the eruption of the primary teeth), and parents are the best example of practicing these methods.
Children must have a balanced diet, and both parents and school should give appropriate dietary advice, advices on the use of fluoride/tooth wash and about the techniques and frequency of brushing teeth after each meal.
In order to prevent caries both of the primary teeth and permanent teeth, regular visits to the pediatric dentist should be made in order to check the condition of the gums since the early diagnosis is very important.
We should discard the idea that since this tooth is “primary” there is no importance if it has caries, because the function of such teeth is very important during the process of the replacement of teeth both by saving space and by guiding the eruption of the permanent teeth.
Finally it worth emphasizing that most of the phobias of the dentist of adult patients are caused by traumatic experiences in childhood and adolescence. This is why we insist on the importance of the oral health in this stage of life.
The dental phobia is a fear that appears in the childhood
The fear of dentists is common for the majority of people in our society. When we have a dental problem the first thing that comes to our mind is pain.
This perception can end up being unhealthy and cause dental fears, known by the name of dental phobia. Individuals with dental phobia have insomnia, cry in the dental clinic and may even get sick.
The irrepressible panic to the dentist is a trauma acquired in childhood. The memories of the dentist we have from childhood limit us and make us obsessive till an incomprehensive fear is developed. For this reason, the treatment of the dentists to the children is that important, even more than professional skills. In fact pediatric dentistry is a specialization lasting two years. This is why the childhood is that important in the attitude of the adults while visiting the dentist.
In order to get done with the dental phobia it is essential that the dentists made pleasant the stay of children in the dental clinic, and give them incentives or gifts for good behavior. It is also necessary to avoid expressions like “he will not hurt you” or “it will be only a prick”, because it can scare a child. With all this the dentist pretends to build trust that a patient needs and make him be aware that the beautiful smile is a healthy smile.
Dr. Blade is sensitized with dental phobia and aims all his dental practice to offer comfortable conditions for the patients including small children.
Treatments for children that have fear of dentists
These children can be treated at the first stage only under sedation.
To the signs of the lack of cooperation and tension demonstrated by a child that has a certain grade of anxiety a negative behavior is added:
The child doesn’t open his mouth, closes with his hands, turns his head aside, kicks, puts the specialist off with jerks.
For these children psycopharmaceuticos are not effective any more.