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Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your dental treatment, but feel relaxed and peaceful? You are not alone if you feel anxious about a visit to the dentist. We understand your concerns and strive to make every dental visit comfortable. We offer pre-medication and topical anesthesia, as well as “painless injections.”

Conscious Sedation

Let’s face it…going to the dentist can be a nerve-racking experience. How many times have you wished that you could just sleep right through your appointment? Well, there is a solution called oral conscious sedation. It’s called conscious because you are still aware of where you are but you are so relaxed that you are no longer focused on your surroundings.

What you should know

Conscious Sedation is performed when you are given medicine that makes you drowsy, reduces any anxiety that you might have towards the procedure and relieves any pain which you might perhaps otherwise experience during the procedure. .

You will still be awake (but drowsy) and in control, and able to talk to your dentist. An advantage of some of the medicines is that you may not be able to remember the procedure, although you will remember everything before being given the medicine and after it has worn off.

To cause conscious sedation, you will usually be given one or more medicines,either oral or intra-venous. The advantage of oral sedation is that it is less that R20.00 for the medication, but the disadvantage is that the sedation will last 8-12 hours. Intra-venous sedation only last for the time that the procedure is performed, but it can run into a few thousand Rand, depending on the duration of the procedure. You will be carefully monitored by our staff, using various instruments during the entire procedure.

Before the procedure

  • Carefully follow any instructions given to you by your doctor.
  • No solid food 6 hours before the procedure.
  • Adults can have liquids up to 4 hours before the procedure.
  • Children: Parents to follow their dentist’s advice.
  • Someone else must take you to the clinic/hospital, as you are not allowed to drive afterwards.
  • Before the procedure, remember to tell your dentist about any other medicines that you are taking, any allergies or other medical
  • conditions that you have. Ask her about any special instructions.
  • Make a follow-up appointment for the next daywith your dentist. This should be for 30 minutes, and is needed to correct any bite problems on the new fillings.

During the procedure

  • You are likely to have a small injection needle inserted and taped to your arm (particularly for intravenous sedation).
  • You will be monitored by certain equipment during the procedure: a pulse monitor clip on one of your fingers, a blood pressure cuff
  • on your arm and perhaps some small patches attached to your chest to monitor your heart beat.
  • You may have a small oxygen mask, or a tube placed near your nose for oxygen.

After the procedure

  • Once your dentist is happy with your recovery, you will be allowed to go home.
  • A responsible adult should take you home.
  • You may not drive or operate any machinery for 24 hours after the procedure.
  • You should not sign any legal documents for 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Contact your dentist immediately if you experience any problems such as pain in the neck, chest or stomach.

You may drink any fluids (other than alcohol), and eat a half an hour after the procedure.

The view from our treatment rooms offers nature’s best throughout the seasons. Music has been specially selected for your relaxation. If there is anything else we can do to ensure your comfort, please let us know!

Prevent your children from having dental phobia

Adults (parents, care givers, grandparents) are a child’s role model. If you frequently refer to dental treatment in a negative manner, the child will associate the dental visit as a negative experience

There are various ways that a child can learn dental phobia.

  1. Children can be traumatized during an early dental visit. This can happen in a few ways:
  • Physically restraining the uncooperative child. In the modern practice, should a child need to be physically restrained, no dental procedure will be done as physical restraints, even by the parents themselves, are not used and should not be used any more.
  • Unsympathetic dentist of parent / care giver.
  • The first dental visit that is an emergency, i.e. due to broken teeth, pain or trauma to the teeth. The children are unfamiliar with the dental office, the dental staff and the dentist, as well as what is expected of him/her during a dental visit. Add to this the dental trauma that now needs treatment, and you have a recipe for an uncooperative child. If the emergency is an abscess the chances are good the tooth will not numb properly, which, if the procedure is continued, will cause pain which the child will remember into adulthood.
  1. Adults (parents, care givers, grandparents) are a child’s role model. If you frequently refer to dental treatment in a negative manner, the child will associate the dental visit as a negative experience without anything negative that may have happened during his/her visit. He/she can actually refuse to go (even if he/she has not been there before) because of the fear of what might happen.
  1. Where the dentist is used as the “boogey man” or the dental treatment used as negative reinforcement for actions (e.g. “If you eat all those sweets the dentist will have to pull your teeth/put fillings in your teeth/ etc”). Grandparents with false teeth have been known to remove the dentures and “bite” them up and down and scare the living daylights out of the poor kids! This is usually accompanied with threats e.g. “if you don’t brush your teeth the dentist will give you teeth like these!” In one such case the toddler began to wet his bed after he was told he was going to the dentist! In another case the boy refused to even enter the reception area, and was kicking and screaming all the way from the car to the office

Take your child from about 3 years to the dentist for check ups and to get the know the dental office environment. At this early age the dentist will check that all the primary teeth have erupted, that there are no cavities, that the jaw development is progressing normally, etc. So to you it may look as if the visit is all a game, but important information …

  1. Take your child from about 3 years to the dentist for check ups and to get the know the dental office environment. At this early age the dentist will check that all the primary teeth have erupted, that there are no cavities, that the jaw development is progressing normally, etc. So to you it may look as if the visit is all a game, but important information is learned. These visits should usually be repeated every 6 months.
  2. Tell your child that he/she will be going to the dentist, and start practicing at home by getting him/her to open the mouth and have various people “check” their teeth. This will also be useful for the child to start getting used to keeping the mouth open for a period of time (quite difficult to do if one is not used to it!).
  3. Do not use bribes for good behaviour. If the behaviour is not good or he/she is even uncooperative, then you are going to have a problem. The use of praise (“Wait till we tell Dad/Grandpa/etc. how good you were at the dentist/that you have no cavities/etc.) should be reward enough.
  4. Do not tell the child that he/she has nothing to fear. That in itself is cause for concern for the young mind (Why warn that there is nothing to be afraid of? Might there be something to be afraid of?) Do not mention / promise “It won’t hurt/ it will be over soon/etc.”
  5. Do not make any fuss about little Tom/Jane going for their first check up. Treat going to the dentist in the same manner as going shopping – a routine procedure that is done twice a year. When, after the visit, and if the visit went well, a fuss can be made about their good cooperation/no cavities/etc to all who wants to listen!
  6. Dentists have various techniques of working with children and getting their trust. Do not expect the dentist to teach your child to sit still and to listen to instructions if he/she does not even do this at home. At Cape Town Smile Studios we do not allow parents or siblings to accompany the child that is older than 6 years into the dental office. By separating the 6 year old from the parent we have found that the cooperation is exceptionally good. There are also a host of other physiological reasons that we do this.
  7. Do not take your toddler to the dentist during the time of day when it is his/her nap time.
  8. Teach your child that the dentist is there to help him/her keep their teeth pearly white and healthy.
  9. Do not show your own fear of dental treatment to the child. Even a casual mention in this regard during a phone conversation is heard by little ears, and the information is stored in the data base!

Anxious kiddies

You play an important role in preventing your child from developing a fear of the dentist!

  1. Take your child from about 3 years to the dentist for check ups and to get the know the dental office environment. At this early age the dentist will check that all the primary teeth have erupted, that there are no cavities, that the jaw development is progressing normally, etc. So to you it may look as if the visit is all a game, but important information is learned. These visits should usually be repeated every 6 months.
  2. Tell your child that he/she will be going to the dentist, and start practicing at home by getting him/her to open the mouth and have various people “check” their teeth. This will also be useful for the child to start getting used to keeping the mouth open for a period of time (quite difficult to do if one is not used to it!).
  3. Do not use bribes for good behaviour. If the behaviour is not good or he/she is even uncooperative, then you are going to have a problem. The use of praise (“Wait till we tell Dad/Grandpa/etc. how good you were at the dentist/that you have no cavities/etc.) should be reward enough.
  4. Do not tell the child that he/she has nothing to fear. That in itself is cause for concern for the young mind (Why warn that there is nothing to be afraid of? Might there be something to be afraid of?) Do not mention / promise “It won’t hurt/ it will be over soon/etc.”
  5. Do not make any fuss about little Tom/Jane going for their first check up. Treat going to the dentist in the same manner as going shopping – a routine procedure that is done twice a year. When, after the visit, and if the visit went well, a fuss can be made about their good cooperation/no cavities/etc to all who wants to listen!
  6. Dentists have various techniques of working with children and getting their trust. Do not expect the dentist to teach your child to sit still and to listen to instructions if he/she does not even do this at home. At Cape Town SmileStudios we do not allow parents or siblings to accompany the child that is older than 6 years into the dental office. By separating the 6 year old from the parent we have found that the cooperation is exceptionally good. There are also a host of other physiological reasons that we do this.
  7. Do not take your toddler to the dentist during the time of day when it is his/her nap time.
  8. Teach your child that the dentist is there to help him/her keep their teeth pearly white and healthy.
  9. Do not show your own fear of dental treatment to the child. Even a casual mention in this regard during a phone conversation is heard by little ears, and the information is stored in the data base!
  10. Do not get into the unfortunate situation that the first visit is only when there is pain or trauma. No matter how good the dentist is, it is very likely that the child’ co-operation will be poor if he/she does not know the dentist and is familiar with the dental office environment.