Specialist Dental Treatment for Children
At 76 Harley Street, our specialist paediatrics team understand that your child’s first dental experience is paramount for their future oral health. Dr Sara Johnstone and Dr Joanna Johnson have undertaken advanced training and attained further qualifications in paediatric dentistry so that they can cater specifically to children and provide the highest possible level of care where prevention is key.
At what age can my child’s first dental visit be?
We recommend a first visit at one year old, or as soon as their first teeth erupt into the mouth. Early preventive advice can help establish good dental habits and dietary practices and so keep your child’s teeth healthy and prevent cavities or the need for more complex treatment in the future.
If your child is under the care of a medical specialist, you should see a paediatric dentist to reduce the risk of having any dental problems which may arise as a result of their condition, or may impair their health.
What can I expect from my child’s first visit to the dentist?
The purpose of the first visit is to build a trusting relationship with your child, while building the foundations for a lifetime of happy, confident patients, with healthy gums and teeth. At the first appointment, the specialist paediatric dentist will focus on getting to know your child. After discussing any concerns or problems, we will gather a detailed medical and background history and carry out a complete oral examination. We will evaluate any behavioural issues and assess the teeth , gums and surrounding tissues in order to identify any potential problems. We may take some digital x-rays. Any findings will be discussed and the recommended procedures and options will be explained to you. We will discuss brushing techniques, flossing, fluoride recommendations, and healthy eating habits with you and your child.
We understand that every child is unique and so we tailor our treatment to your child’s specific needs.
We are experienced in dealing with apprehensive and anxious children and want to make this first appointment a happy and positive dental experience for them.
We may need to carry out some emergency treatment, if your child is in pain or if your child has sustained dental trauma.
What if my child is nervous about visiting the dentist?
Many children are fearful or nervous when they first go to the dentist, or they may be very anxious following a previous medical or dental experience. Our Paediatric Dentists understand these fears and concerns and have many years of experience in providing dental care to children of all ages, in the most compassionate and comfortable manner possible.
Sometimes these fears can be easily overcome by talking and explaining each part of the proposed treatment to the child before it happens. This can help build up to build up their confidence and give them the ability to deal with the dental appointment , even though they are anxious.
Part of specialist paediatric dental training includes early childhood development and childhood psychology and we use this with behaviour management techniques to help overcome their fears.
However, in some instances children are unable to cope and may require more advanced techniques.
What techniques are available for nervous children visiting the dentist?
Inhalation Sedation using a mixture of Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen, is often recommended for children that need to undergo a dental procedure that may be cause fear or anxiety. The purpose of Nitrous Oxide is to help your child to relax in order to receive dental treatment with less discomfort and anxiety. Your child will be awake and able to interact and communicate at all times. It can also reduce the gag reflex, which can interfere with effective dental treatment and make patients uncomfortable and stressed. Patients do well with this form of sedation, helping them cope so that in the future they can receive treatment without it.
Nitrous Oxide is completely safe to use during treatment and is eliminated from the body quickly once the gas is turned off. Our team of staff and fully trained in paediatric dental sedation.
However, for some paediatric patients, the only treatment option may be full sedation under a General Anaesthetic as a day case patient. This may be selected when the child is very young and there is extensive dental work to be carried out, or where all other options have proved unsuccessful.
We carry out treatment under General Anaesthesia in hospital at the Harley Street Clinic with a Consultant Specialist Paediatric Anaesthetist and specialised paediatric nursing staff.