Pediatric dentistry is the branch of dentistry dealing with children from birth through adolescence. It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that a dental visit should occur within six months after the presence of the first tooth or by a child's first birthday.
An early oral examination aids in the detection of the early stages of tooth decay. Early detection is essential to maintain oral health, modify aberrant habits, and treat as needed and as simply as possible.
Children begin to get their baby teeth during the first 6 months of life. By age 6 or 7 years, they start to lose their first set of teeth, which eventually are replaced by secondary, permanent teeth. Without proper dental care, children face possible oral decay and disease that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications. Today, early childhood dental caries—an infectious disease—is 5 times more common in children than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.
Facts related to sedation dentistry (Anaesthesia)
There are three different types of sedation dentistry. You can opt for sedation administered in one of the following ways:
• Oral Sedation – A pharmacological agent administered prior to treatment to alleviate anxiety and help patients relax.
• Inhalation Sedation – Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide offers a euphoric feeling that makes dental treatments more pleasant.
• IV Sedation – This is a deeper conscious sedation reserved for patients who want little or no memory of their dental visits.
All of these types of sedation dentistry provide the same benefit: They allow you to get the dental treatment you need, without fear or discomfort.
What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?
The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.
How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.
Should I choose sedation dentistry?
Only you and Dr. Panchal can determine if sedation is right for you. Because sedation covers a spectrum of treatments, you will need to consult with Dr. Panchal to discuss what level of sedation best meets your needs. Your eligibility for sedation will depend on your age, health, and any other medications you may be taking.
What should I expect if I am sedated for my dental procedure?
That depends on the type of sedation you undergo. Oral sedation is relatively simple and involves taking a prescribed medication here in the office about an hour prior to starting your procedure. You’ll feel more relaxed, yet completely aware of your surroundings during treatment. If you choose nitrous oxide, you’ll be instructed to inhale the gas at the beginning of your appointment. Additional nitrous can be administered throughout your procedure to keep you in a state of euphoria. At the conclusion of your treatment, you’ll be given oxygen to help ‘snap’ you out of your sedated state.
If IV sedation is right for you, you’ll be instructed to avoid foods and beverages the night before your treatment. A sedative will be administered to you intravenously prior to your procedure, causing you to fall into a deeper conscious sedated state. Dr. Panchal will monitor you throughout the procedure and adjust dosage as needed.
Are there any precautions I need to take after being sedated?
If you undergo IV sedation, you may need to be supervised for several hours following the procedure.