It's estimated that up to 20% of American adults feel anxious about visiting the dentist. Pediatric dentists like Dr. Mario Martinez and Dr. Rebecca Lenard of South Miami Pediatric Dental Association understand that their young patients are at risk for developing dental anxiety that can last a lifetime, which is why they offer sedation to make the experience easier for everyone. Read to learn more about sedation dentistry in this post.
What is dental anxiety?
Anyone who feels uncomfortable about going to the dentist - with sweaty palms, a racing heart, or an upset stomach - is likely dealing with a degree of dental anxiety. These fears often stem from a prior bad experience, concern about pain, or embarrassment about oral health. For children, it may simply be an unfamiliar environment that triggers feelings of dread. However dental anxiety manifests itself, your South Miami pediatric dentist can help keep it at bay with sedation dentistry.
How does sedation dentistry work?
Your South Miami pediatric dentist offers a variety of techniques for helping your child calm his or her fears about dental procedures. For milder instances of dental anxiety, there are medications that can be taken orally; these help to relax the patient and wear off after about four hours. Other methods of sedation dentistry include inhalation of nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, or intravenous (IV) treatment with tranquilizers. With the latter, the patient is awake and able to respond to instructions, but remains very relaxed while the IV is in place. Most patients remember very little, if anything, about their procedure once the IV is removed.
Regardless of your child's dental needs, we're here to make the experience comfortable and simple. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Martinez or Dr. Lenard, contact South Miami Pediatric Dental Association in South Miami, FL, today.
Oral hygiene is one of the first things you should teach your child when he or she can do things independently. That includes brushing, flossing, and eating healthy foods. Learn how you can best teach your child good oral hygiene habits from a young age and visit a pediatric dentist at South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates in South Miami, FL, regularly.
Importance of Early Oral Hygiene
You’ve probably heard your dentist tell you about the importance of good oral hygiene as an adult countless times. It is just as important for young children and teens, if not more. Children aren’t as consistent with dental care, and they like to snack on foods and beverages that aren’t kind to their smiles. If you begin to teach them good oral care habits when they are very young, they’ll carry those valuable lessons with them as they get older.
Ways to Teach Your Child Good Oral Hygiene
Children are very impressionable and often will mimic the behaviors and teachings of their parents. Try these tips for teaching your child about good oral hygiene:
- Explain in detail why having healthy teeth and gums is important.
- Show your child how to brush and floss their teeth, and keep up with the healthy habits yourself on a daily basis.
- Schedule and keep regular appointments with your South Miami, FL, pediatric dentist. Have your teeth cleaned at a visit with your child so that he or she can see the results.
Long-Term Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
The better your child’s oral hygiene, the more likely you’ll be able to avoid extra visits to the dentist for cavity treatments, extractions, and crowns in the future. Losing a tooth as a child could have long-term repercussions, including bone loss, orthodontic problems, and reduced self-confidence. Good oral hygiene also helps ensure that your child has fresh breath and strong dental enamel that stays resilient for years.
Help Protect Your Child’s Smile
One of the best things you can do when you’re trying to keep your child’s smile healthy is to teach her or him good hygiene habits. Talk to a pediatric dentist at South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates in South Miami, FL, for more advice and tips. Call (305) 666-2068 today to schedule a family visit with Dr. Mario Martinez or Dr. Rebecca Lenard.
Would you like your child to experience pediatric dental care at its best? Then, come to South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates where Dr. Mario Martinez and Dr. Rebecca Lenard provide caring, knowledgeable services to the youngest of patients. For kids who are nervous about dental visits or who need complex procedures, this South Miami, FL, practice offers sedation dentistry for maximum comfort.
FAQs about Sedation Dentistry
What is Sedation Dentistry? For both children and adults, sedation dentistry involves administration of medications which eliminate pain and provide relaxation. This service helps the anxious patient get through fillings, extractions, and even cleanings, if need be, says the American Society of Dentist Anesthetists.
What kinds of Sedation does Dr. Martinez and Dr. Lenard offer in South Miami, FL? They offer local and topical anesthetics, inhaled medication (nitrous oxide, or laughing gas), oral sedation (tranquilizers in pill form), and IV sedation. For very complicated smile reconstructions, they deliver in-hospital anesthesia which allows a child to sleep through their treatments.
Nitrous Oxide seems like an Old-style Sedation. How does it work? Yes, nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, has been used for generations to relax patients and as an adjunct to IV sedation. It confers a euphoric feeling as it is administered by facial mask. The effects wear off quickly once it is turned off.
What is General Anesthesia? This anesthesia is used in the hospital and is given by an anesthesiologist. It helps children get through complex treatments or children who have such a negative reaction to medical and dental treatments that they need medication to stay comfortable and safe.
My Child is so Nervous before a Dental Appointment that it almost seems that they have a Phobia. Is this possible? Many patients, adults included, are very fearful of going to the dentist. Perhaps the person has a sensitive gag reflex, trouble sitting still in the dental chair, or a bad medical or dental experience in another facility. With special needs children, the extra and unfamiliar stimuli in a dental office seems intolerable. So, yes, the fear is real, and it can be extreme. However, sedation definitely helps.
What kind of Sedation is Right for my Child? Your board-certified pediatric dentist will review your child's care plan with you, including choices for sedation services as needed. Also, Dr. Martinez and Dr. Lenard will help you prepare for your child's appointment and outline what to expect afterwards.
Find Out More
Your child's oral health is one of their most valuable assets, and at South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates in South Miami, FL, we can help you protect it for life. If you have questions about sedation dentistry or any other service we offer, please contact us at (305) 666-2068.
Hospital dentistry is a specialized branch of dentistry that makes it easier for children and other patients with certain conditions to receive much needed dental care that would otherwise be extremely difficult to carry out. At South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates, Dr. Mario Martinez and Dr. Rebecca Lenard are your pediatric dentists for hospital dentistry in South Miami, FL.
What is hospital dentistry?
Hospital dentistry is a specialized branch of dentistry in which patients with certain conditions receive dental care in a hospital or similar setting. Providing dental care in a hospital setting makes it possible to administer general anesthesia and allow patients to sleep through dental work. Hospital dentistry helps patients who usually cannot tolerate dental procedures feel more comfortable undergoing such procedures.
Who can benefit from hospital dentistry?
Hospital dentistry is best for children and other patients who experience extreme anxiety during any type of dental or medical treatment or who have a medical condition that makes it difficult to undergo dental procedures. In South Miami, hospital dentistry can benefit patients with the following conditions or concerns:
- Severe anxiety
- Special needs
- Behavioral disorders
- Certain medical disorders
- Down Syndrome
- Cerebral Palsy
Hospital dentistry can also benefit patients who need to undergo extensive dental procedures. Some patients cannot tolerate undergoing extensive procedures all at once and need to return for multiple appointments to complete their dental work, which can be inconvenient. Since hospital dentistry makes it possible for patients to sleep during dental work, all necessary dental work can be completed in a single appointment with discomfort, anxiety, or pain.
How do I know if hospital dentistry is right for my child?
A pediatric dentist can assess your child to determine if hospital dentistry is the right option. A special instrument referred to as the Frankl Behavioral Rating Scale, developed by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, is used to evaluate a child’s potential level of cooperation when undergoing dental treatment. A child who is resistant to dental work and demonstrates an unwillingness to cooperate during treatment could benefit from hospital dentistry, as could a child with severe fear and anxiety.
Hospital dentistry makes it possible for children to receive necessary dental care who could otherwise not tolerate undergoing any type of dental treatment, whether due to special needs, severe anxiety, or a medical condition. For hospital dentistry in South Miami, schedule an appointment with Dr. Martinez or Dr. Lenard by calling South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates at (305) 666-2068.
Does your child become nervous when visiting the dentist? At South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates, your dentists, Dr. Mario Martinez and Dr. Rebecca Lenard, understand those fears and can help your child (and you) feel more comfortable. At their South Miami office, this experienced and caring team know the whys and hows of sedation dentistry and will get your child the care that they deserve.
The Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology journal states that up to 20 percent of people in the US, both adults and children, suffer from dental anxiety to one extent or other. Some patients are so phobic they even bypass dental care altogether! This then causes extensive decay, gum disease and even systemic health effects.
Symptoms of dental anxiety include:
- Increased heart rate
- Expressions of fear and nervousness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Inability to relax in the dental chair
When children have dental phobias, parents are impacted, too, as they strive to get their youngsters the care young teeth and jaws so crucially need. Sometimes, fear comes from a past bad experience with another dentist, or perhaps the child is a bit claustrophobic. Whatever the case, children take cues from parents—if Mom and Dad are relaxed, this helps the child.
Fortunately, South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates have the skill, experience, and compassion to make your child's dental visits comfortable. The entire dental practice is child-friendly, and the staff is specially trained to meet the needs of both fearful children and ones with special needs. This includes experience in sedation dentistry.
Types of sedation
Dr. Lenard and Dr. Martinez offer four kinds of sedation to meet your child's unique needs. They are:
- Nitrous oxide: Also nicknamed "laughing gas," this inhaled sedative allows the child to feel relaxed, and even a little giddy. Administered through a nasal mask with adjustments as needed, laughing gas still allows the child to respond to questions and commands, and it wears off right away.
- Local anesthetic: This typical "numbing shot" keeps the area around the treated tooth numb so that the child feels nothing during their filling or other procedure. The dentist preps the gums with topical anesthetic before injecting this medication, thereby avoiding any discomfort.
- Oral sedation: Valium and Versed are common tranquilizing pills used at the dental office. They help the patient feel relaxed—somtimes so much that they even fall asleep! However, the child is easily awakened after the completion of treatments.
- IV sedation: Administered through a needle in the arm, intravenous sedation generally allows a child to sleep all the way through treatments. Vital signs are fully monitored. This kind of sedation works well for lengthy and multiple procedures.
We can help
Your child can have a good experience at the dental office. Call Dr. Martinez or Dr. Lenard for a consultation on pediatric dental sedation, and put those fears to rest. Phone today: (305) 666-2068.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.