Dental anxiety also prevails in children and reports available suggest approximately 19.5 percent of school-age children are scared of dentists. Dealing with a child with dental anxiety is a challenge to the dental clinician. It has been reported that the fear of a child is one of the most problematic scenarios for dentists. The anxiety is not only problematic for the dentist but also has detrimental effects on the child when receiving optimal dental care. Dentists are required to follow many behavioral strategies that prove helpful when managing a child with dental anxiety.
Children are at their best when they have been informed about what to expect at the dentist’s office. The dentist in Richmond, TX, attempts to describe what he or she will be doing and the sensations the child can expect such as the noises that will be heard, the kind of vibrations, and any tastes which the child may experience. Children have difficulty understanding complex verbal explanations and it will be better for them to see a demonstration or role-play in a language that is developmentally appropriate.
Relaxation strategies are particularly important for a child who reports anxiousness to the clinician or is visibly anxious. Children begin to display a sense of relaxation when they are asked to follow a simple deep breathing exercise or blowing bubbles through a wand can produce similar results as the child would be distracted. Muscle relaxation although time-consuming is also another method that is routinely being used by pediatric dentistry in Richmond, TX.
For minimizing dental anxiety distraction can be a useful tool. The clinician can consider different methods of distraction such as letting the child carry the toy he or she was playing with, in the waiting room to the dental chair. Alternatively, the dentist may also use methods of engaging the child in a discussion as a method not only for the distraction but also to build rapport. Giving a child minor tasks such as counting the tiles on the ceiling or doing some mental arithmetic is useful to shift the focus of the child away from the procedure. Video games, television, and videotapes can also prove effective as long as the dentist has a wide collection for their patients.
Incentivizing the child with some small and tangible rewards can prove effective for remaining brave in the dentist’s chair. However, these incentives may be a frequent requirement among younger children than young adults. The dentist must be certain that the incentive offered is something that will be valued by the child. They must not hesitate to have a word with the parents about what may be an effective incentive for the child because it will help both the dentist as well as the child to have a fruitful appointment.
Parental involvement can be extremely helpful for anxious children. The clinician at children dentistry in Richmond, TX, do not hesitate to ask the parent for some assistance if the child is experiencing a significant level of distress. In most cases, the child would have exhibited such anxiety in other contexts the parent would be aware of. Moreover, many children feel reassured with their parents being beside them during the procedure. Parents should be considered as role models for their children because if the clinician can model a procedure on a parent the child will not only get the information he or she needs about the procedure but the parent will be able to demonstrate what is expected of their behavior during the procedure.
The management strategies spoken about in this discussion will increase the likelihood of dental appointments for children going ahead smoothly to be ultimately completed. When dealing with children that are anxious is extremely important to complete the treatment in a single appointment if possible. The completion of the treatment not only has implications on the health of the patient but will also make the child realize that the procedure wasn’t as aversive is expected. It will also encourage the child to confront future dental appointments with less anxiety. Understanding the prevalence of dental anxiety along with its implications dentists have adopted a wide range of management strategies that can be easily implemented in a dental setting.