An anxious child may be fearful of visiting the dentist. Professionals who work with children should always approach with understanding and a calm demeanor. Let the staff know that your child may be afraid so they can plan accordingly and take extra care. Most pediatric dentists are able to work around anxiety, but it may still be helpful for parents to prepare for the experience.
If you have a highly anxious child, you should ask these questions prior to their dental exam:
Is a practice appointment available?
Taking a child to the dental office for a practice appointment is sometimes helpful. The child can see the office, meet the staff, and look at the equipment before having anything done. This may reduce much of their fear before the actual examination appointment.
Are there any videos or books that may help before the visit?
Parents can search for resources online, but the dental staff may have some recommendations as well.
What forms of distraction are available during the dental exam?
Does the office have televisions, music, or toys to squeeze? May the child bring his own comfort item from home? A parent can discuss with dental staff the distraction techniques that work best for anxious patients.
Does the staff have any specialized clinical training?
Most pediatric dentists have special training to treat children with special needs, and this is helpful with anxious children as well. In addition to preparing dental staff for interaction with an anxious child, specialized training may also help them to provide guidance to parents regarding at-home care.
Having a highly anxious child can make even standard dental procedures more difficult. If your child is fearful of the dentist, contact Capital City Pediatric Dentistry to discuss your options and prepare for the visit. We treat every patient with compassion and patience.