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Restorative Care

Q: Why is restorative care so important?

The health of your childís teeth goes deeper than cavity prevention. Teeth that are crooked or crowded make it difficult to floss and properly clean. This means that bacteria have an easier time sticking around, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

Dentistry for children is critically important, even if your childís permanent teeth havenít yet made an appearance. Crooked, crowded or misaligned teeth can lead to speech problems, impaired chewing comfort or ability and stress on gums and bones. Baby teeth provide a pathway for permanent teeth, so itís vital that this pathway is as strong and healthy as possible.

Q: What are the results of restorative treatment?

After surgical restorative treatment, your childís teeth will be straight and properly aligned. Brushing and flossing will be easier. Chewing will be more comfortable. Any speech or pronunciation problems your child may have experienced will be improved. In the case of baby teeth, a pathway will be provided for permanent teeth that will encourage the same improved function and comfort.

Q: What can I expect at the initial consultation?

You and your child are encouraged to attend the initial consultation together. During your consultation, a dental/medical history and thorough dental/oral exam will be completed on your child., along with a caries risk assessment. Your concerns and questions will be answered. . If restorative treatment is necessary, the options available for your child will be outlined for you.

Calming the Anxious Child

Q: How does the pediatric dentist help with dental anxiety?

A: Pediatric dentists have special training in helping anxious children feel secure during dental treatment. And, pediatric dental offices are designed for children. Staff members choose to work in a pediatric dental practice because they like kids. So, most children are calm, comfortable and confident in a pediatric dental office.

Q: How will the pediatric dentist help my child feel comfortable?

A: Pediatric dentists are trained in many methods to help children feel comfortable with dental treatment. For example, in the "Tell-Show-Do" technique, the pediatric dentist might name a dental instrument, demonstrate the instrument by using it to count your child's fingers, then apply the instrument in treatment. The modeling technique pairs a timid child in dental treatment with a cooperative child of similar age. Coaching, distraction, and parent participation are other possibilities to give your child confidence in dentistry. But by far the most preferred technique is praise. Every child does something right during a dental visit, and pediatric dentists let children know that.

Q: Should I accompany my child into treatment?

A: Infants and some young children may feel more confident when parents stay close during treatment. With older children, doctor-child communication is often enhanced if parents remain in the reception room.

Q: What if a child misbehaves during treatment?

A: Occasionally a child's behaviour during treatment requires assertive management to protect him or her from possible injury. Voice control (speaking calmly but firmly) usually takes care of it. Some children need gentle restraint of the arms or legs as well. Mild sedation, such as nitrous oxide/oxygen or a sedative, may benefit an anxious child. If a child is especially fearful or requires extensive treatment, other sedative techniques or general anesthesia may be recommended.

Pediatric Dentistry Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Most children are calm, comfortable and confident in a pediatric dental office. The office is designed for young people, and pediatric dentists have additional training in caring for infants, children and adolescents. Staff members choose to work in a pediatric dental office because they like children and want to cater to their special needs. These elements combine to make your child feel relaxed and special.

Sometimes, however, a child may feel anxious before or during treatment. Your child may need more support than a gentle, caring manner to feel comfortable. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a safe, effective sedative agent used to calm a childís fear of the dental visit and enhance effective communication. Additionally, it works well for children whose gag reflex interferes with dental treatment.

Q: What is nitrous oxide/oxygen?

Nitrous oxide/oxygen (N2O-O2) is a blend of two gases: oxygen and nitrous oxide. A fitted mask is placed over the nose and, as the patient breathes normally, uptake occurs through the lungs. At the end of treatment, it is eliminated after a short period of breathing oxygen and has no lingering effects.

Q: How will my child feel when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen?

Your child will smell a faint, sweet aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. Since it may produce a feeling of giddiness or euphoria, it is often called "laughing gas." Children sometimes report dreaming and their arms and legs may feel "tingly." It raises the pain threshold and may even make the time appear to pass quickly. If your child is worried by the sights, sounds or sensations of dental treatment, he or she may respond more positively with the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen.

Q: How safe is nitrous oxide/oxygen?

Very safe. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It is well tolerated. It has a rapid onset, is reversible, can be adjusted in various concentrations and is non-allergenic. Your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen. He/she will be capable of responding to a question or request. Nitrous oxide/oxygen may also be used in combination with other sedative agents.

Q: Are there any special instructions for nitrous oxide/oxygen?

First, give your child no food in the two hours preceding the dental visit (occasionally, nausea or vomiting occurs when a child has a full stomach). Second, tell the pediatric dentist about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child, as it may limit the effectiveness of nitrous oxide/oxygen. Third, tell the pediatric dentist if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.

Pediatric Dentistry Sedation

Q: What is sedation?

Sedation is a technique to guide a childís behavior during dental treatment. Medications are used to help increase cooperation and to reduce anxiety or discomfort associated with dental procedures. Sedative medications cause most children to become relaxed and drowsy. Unlike general anesthesia, sedation is not intended to make a patient unconscious or unresponsive.

Q: Who should be sedated for dental treatment?

Sedation may be indicated for children who have a level of anxiety that prevents good coping skills, those who are very young and do not understand how to cope in a cooperative fashion, or those requiring extensive dental treatment. Sedation can also be helpful for some patients who have special needs.

Q: Why utilize sedation?

Sedation is used for a childís safety and comfort during dental procedures. It allows the child to cope better with dental treatment and helps prevent injury to the child from uncontrolled or undesirable movements. Sedation promotes a better environment for providing dental care.

Q: What medications are used?

Various medications can be used to sedate a child. Medicines will be selected based upon your childís overall health, level of anxiety and dental treatment recommendations.

Q: Is sedation safe?

Sedation can be used safely and effectively when administered by a pediatric dentist who follows the sedation guidelines of the Alberta Dental Association and College. The pediatric dentist will discuss sedation options and patient monitoring for the safety and comfort of your child.

Q: What special instructions should I follow before the sedation appointment?

Children often perceive a parentís anxiety. This makes them more fearful. They tolerate procedures best when their parents understand what to expect and prepare them for the experience. If you have any questions about the sedation process, please ask. As you become more confident, so will your child. Should your child become ill, contact the pediatric dentist to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment. Tell the pediatric dentist about any prescribed, over-the-counter or herbal medications your child is taking. Check with the pediatric dentist to see if routine medications should be taken the day of the sedation.

The pediatric dentist will provide you with additional detailed instructions before your sedation visit. It is very important to follow the directions regarding fasting from fluids and foods prior to the sedation appointment.

Q: What special instructions should I follow after the sedation appointment?

The pediatric dentist will evaluate your childís health status and discharge your child when she is responsive, stable and ready to go. Children recover from effects of sedatives at different rates so be prepared to remain at the office until the after-effects are minimal. Once home, your child must remain under adult supervision until fully recovered from the effects of the sedation. The pediatric dentist will discuss specific post-sedation instructions with you, including appropriate diet and physical activity.

General Anesthesia

Q: What is general anaesthesia?

General anaesthesia is a controlled state of unconsciousness that eliminates awareness, movement and discomfort during dental treatment. A physician with specialized training can use various medications to provide general anesthesia for patients receiving dental care.

Q: Who should receive general anaesthesia for dental treatment?

General anaesthesia may be indicated for children with extensive dental needs who are extremely uncooperative, fearful or anxious or for the very young who do not understand how to cope in a cooperative fashion. General anaesthesia also can be helpful for children requiring significant surgical procedures or patients having special health care needs.

Q: Is general anaesthesia safe?

Although there is some risk associated with general anaesthesia, it can be used safely and effectively when administered by an appropriately-trained individual in an appropriately-equipped facility. Precautions are taken to protect your child during general anesthesia; personnel who are trained to manage complications will monitor your child closely. The pediatric dentist will discuss the benefits and risks of general anaesthesia and why it is recommended for your child.

Q: What special considerations are associated with the general aneasthesia appointment?

A physical evaluation is required prior to general anaesthesia for dental care. This physical assessment provides information to ensure the safety of your child during the general anaesthesia procedure. The pediatric dentist or surgical facility staff will advise you about evaluation appointments that are required. Parents are instructed to report to the pediatric dentist any illness that occurs prior to the general anaesthesia appointment. It may be necessary to reschedule the appointment. It is very important to follow instructions regarding fasting from fluids and foods prior to the appointment. Your child will be discharged when stable, alert, and ready to depart. Patients often are tired following general anaesthesia. You will be instructed to let the child rest at home with minimal activity until the next day. Post-operative dietary recommendations also will be given.

Surgical Instructions

Before your surgical appointment, print and fill out this medical/dental history form. Please be as thorough as possible so we can better understand your child. Please fill out both sides of the form. All answers are kept in strict confidence.

Arrive for your childís appointment 10 minutes before scheduled time. Please have alternative care for all other siblings; only the patient and a parent or guardian is allowed in the restorative room during the appointment. Payment for this appointment is due on day of appointment. All necessary information will be sent to your respective insurance carrier for your reimbursement.