When is dental treatment performed?
For patients under 6 years old, treatment is performed in the morning. We find their cooperation is better in the morning and our ability to work with them is better too! We may also recommend a morning appointment for some older children, who are nervous or anxious. Some afternoon treatment appointments are available for older children who we feel will be comfortable with treatment.
What if my child is very nervous?
We offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for patients that are a little nervous! Nitrous may or may not be covered by the insurance and our staff can help you determine the out-of-pocket cost, if applicable. For patients receiving nitrous oxide, we recommend that the patient only has a light meal beforehand. Things to stay away from are meat, greasy foods (like a burger, fries, or pizza), and dairy. Better options are toast or oatmeal. The patient will be able to resume eating these foods after their appointment.
If the child is very nervous, very wiggly, or has a strong gag reflex, we have the option of IV sedation in our Land O’ Lakes office. A Pediatric Anesthesiologist comes to the Land O’ Lakes office every Wednesday. Her fee is not covered by insurance and is based on the amount of time needed for sedation. More information about this is available if the doctor recommends sedation or if you feel your child will not be able to accomplish the treatment needed without it.
Can I sit with them during treatment?
Yes! We allow one parent back in the room with the patient. We find that having more than one person in the room is distracting to the patient and to us. Some parents are nervous about treatment and opt to stay in the waiting room as not to pass the nerves onto the patient. Children can be very intuitive about what their parents are feeling, so if you feel like you will pass your feelings or anxiety onto them, we encourage you to consider staying out of the room.
Will my child be numb?
Many procedures require local anesthesia. We place topical anesthetic with a cotton tip application or “flavored jelly” as we say for our patients. We follow that with an injection, which we refer to as “sleepy juice” for the tooth. We find that using age-appropriate language helps make the procedure easier for your child. For that reason, we ask that you refrain from using words like “shots”, “needles”, or “pulling.”
What types of treatment are done?
Small cavities in the back teeth are restored with composite fillings, which are tooth colored. We frequently tell the patients we are “painting” on their teeth.
Larger cavities may need a nerve treatment and/or a crown. In the back, we primarily do stainless steel crowns, which are silver, but white porcelain crowns are also available. In the front, we may use a tooth colored filling material to complete the crown called a strip crown, white porcelain crown or a stainless steel crown with a white resin face. Patients should avoid biting into things with their front teeth to increase the longevity of these restorations.
We do our best to give you a treatment plan of what your child will need. However, treatment can change during the visit. Cavities tend to grow over time and we recommend completing treatment sooner rather than later.