“My Child Is Afraid of the Dentist”

“My Child Is Afraid of the Dentist”
Posted on 03/10/2016

An appointment at a dental office can cause a range of emotional responses for both adults and children. The team here at Meckler Pediatric Dentistry has the utmost concern for your child’s experience during their dental appointment. Therefore, every step in our process of care is intentional and purposeful.

From regularly scheduled dental cleanings to necessary restorative work, we strive to make each visit as comfortable as possible for our patients.

Building Friendships

A relationship with your child which is built upon understanding, trust, and mutual respect is important to us. This is what allows us to provide the standard of care to each patient, regardless of individual preferences and personality differences.

Our team is happy to give a tour of our office prior to your child’s first appointment if they are anxious.

At the first appointment we make introductions, tour the office, give oral hygiene instruction, and examine the oral cavity to collect baseline information and screen for anything outside of normal limitations.

Any procedure that is considered elective will only be attempted when the patient allows us and is “ready.”

Tell, Show, Do

Before we get started with a procedure, we show our instruments and materials to our patients and explain their uses. Helping patients and their parents to understand why and how a procedure is done eliminates fear of the unknown. Both adults and children feel more at ease when they know what to expect during an appointment.

Age-Appropriate Terminology

When speaking with your child, we are careful not to use fear-inducing words like drill, shot, hurt, etc. We present findings and treatment plans to you and your child in a manner that conveys the facts without eliciting an anxious reaction.

For example, if your child requires local anesthetic to perform treatment, we will begin by explaining that a special medicine needs to be placed near the treatment site to make their tooth fall asleep. We then place a highly effective topical gel at the appropriate injection site. The dentist would then administer the injection using the “hidden syringe technique.” For most of our patients, an injection is a minor discomfort that is tolerated well. Some patients are unaware they have even had an injection.

We also encourage our patient’s parents not to over-prepare their child for a dental appointment. We recommend parents keep explanations brief and simple to help limit their child’s anxiety.

Chairside Manner

As a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Gary Meckler is well educated in all aspects of children’s dental care. This includes the psychological component of interaction with his patients.

Our team is specifically trained for the treatment of pediatric patients and strives for the most pleasant possible experience at every appointment.