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Archive for the ‘Special Needs Dentistry’ Category

Preparing Your Special Needs Child for Pediatric Dental Sedation & Anesthesia

Smile Reef

Special needs children often have to be sedated or require anesthesia to get their dental work done efficiently. When your child’s appointment approaches, it is natural for parents to become uneasy. There are many questions that come to mind and wanting to know what to expect when your child undergoes the anesthesia. How it is administered, how the child will experience the process, and how you should prepare for the procedure and take care of the child afterwards often top the list. There are many circumstances when anesthesia is utilized to help your child get the dental work they need to maintain healthy oral care. Today we at Smile Reef would like to elaborate on the use of the anesthesia.

Pediatric Dental Sedation Guidelines

Pediatric dentists that routinely care for children, especially those with special needs, often have an Anesthesiologist they use and trust to help them achieve their dental procedures. To help the child feel drowsy, the general anesthesiologist will give the child some oral medication first. From there, the child is put completely to sleep when the anesthesiologist starts an IV and administers the right dosage of drugs. While the pediatric dentist provides all necessary treatment, the anesthesiologist monitors the child’s breathing and vital signs once the child is completely asleep. The biggest advantage to the anesthesia is that they are sleeping throughout the dental procedures and they will not have any traumatizing association to getting dental work. In many instances the medications used will help the child forget about the whole event during the dental experience. All treatment, including x-rays, fillings, crowns, and cleanings can be done more efficiently while the child is asleep and immobile which helps the experience go by smoothly without the traumatic and seemingly scary activities going on around the child to be affected.

Preparing Your Child for Anesthesia

Generally, the dentists that suggest the help of an anesthesiologist will schedule the procedure coherent with both of their schedules. Instructions are frequently given to the parents on how to prepare the night before the procedure. A medical history and pertinent information is often asked prior to the appointment so that the right choice of anesthetic medicines is used to better fit the individual child’s needs. Typically, you will be instructed on what your child can eat or drink before the procedure. Usually, they are not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight. However, specific instructions based on your child’s age, medical condition, and the time of day of the procedure will be given. Eating is not allowed because of the effects anesthesia medicines have. The body normally has reflexes that prevent food from being aspirated, or inhaled, into the lungs when it’s swallowed or regurgitated, or thrown up. The medicines can suspend these reflexes, which could cause food to become inhaled into the lungs if there is vomiting or regurgitation under anesthesia. In some cases, clear liquids may be permitted, or specific medications may be given a few prior to the appointment. Answer the anesthesiologist’s questions as honestly and thoroughly as possible to ensure the child’s safety. What you may think is harmless can have poor interactions with the anesthesia.

Pediatric Dentistry

If you have any questions regarding the anesthesia, you have ample opportunity to consult the anesthesiologist. If you feel your child may batter benefit from being sedated for their dental procedure, make an appointment with Smile Reef today to discuss your child’s needs.

Finding an Autism & Special Needs Dentist for Your Autistic Child; Management & Comfort Tips

Smile Reef

Most parents of autistic children know that these special kids can react differently to the senses of strangers putting their hands their mouth, the strange sounds and tastes, in addition to bright lights, and occasional pain they are already sensitive to on top of the common fears of the dentist that many children share. Needless to say, the experience can be traumatic for both parents and autistic kids. With that in mind, we at Smile Reef would like to discuss some tips and suggestions that can help make the experience less traumatizing for you both.

Dentist for Autistic Child Near Me

First things first, not all dentists are comfortable, prepared, or trained to treat children with autism. Most pediatric dentists are more likely, but even then, it is best to call ahead and talk to the office about it. You can ask questions such as:
– Do you treat kids with special needs?
– How is children’s anxiety handled?
– Are parents permitted to stay with their children throughout the whole duration of the visit?
– What does the dentist do if a child’s behavior is a challenge?
– Consider their responses carefully and determine the experience they have working with special needs kids, including those with autism. Many pediatric dentists take on the extra training and continued education to work with these special kids. A major red flag, however, to a solution for managing a child’s erratic behavior and anxiety is to strap the child to a “papoose board” to keep them immobile, unless in the event of an EXTREME emergency. It may be temporary fix for the moment, but all it would do is increase the anxiety and melt downs on future dental visits.

Tips for Management & Comfort of Autistic Child in Pediatric Dental Clinic

1) Consider printing some pictures or finding a kids book regarding a trip to the dentist. Explain what goes on at the dentist and what the dentist does for their teeth. Read through the story or relate the pictures you find frequently and bring it with you when you get to the dentist to familiarize your child with the procedure.
2) Invest in some basic dental tools to let your child touch, see, and interact with them before heading to the dentist.
3) Avoid the discomforts and exploit the comforts of your child. For example, some kids detest mint flavored tooth paste and react well with a bubble gum flavored, bring their toothpaste for the dentist team to use to avoid the sensory melt downs.
4) Bring your kid’s tablet or portable device to play their favorite movies and such during the visit. A distraction might be all that is needed to get the visit completed.
5) If you fear that the lights and noises might be an issue, have your child wear sunglasses, headphones or ear plugs.
6) If the dentists allow parents to be with the kids, do not back seat drive or flinch, it will distract the dentist and give your child more anxiety. Let the dentist do their job and if you feel the dentist didn’t handle your child right, simply find a new dentist.

Special Needs Dentristy

These are just a few ideas to help you, your child, and the dentist get through the experience. You know your kid best. If you have any specific, unique questions or requests regarding your child’s individual concerns, always feel welcome to ask the dentist. Smile Reef has the training and experience to work with special needs children including those with autism, and even offer sedation dentistry if that is the best solution for your child. Call our office today to learn more.

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