Desensitization Appointment & “Happy Visit”
At Chestermere Station Pediatric Dentistry, we want your child’s first dental experience to be a positive one! Since we know that every child is unique, it is our goal to teach children the skills necessary to start them on the path to a lifetime of good oral health.
Dr. Ethan Zuker and his team use applied behavior techniques to help your child learn that sitting in a dental chair is no different than any other learned skill (such as dressing, toilet training, brushing teeth). Teaching these skills requires specialized knowledge, patience, and time. However, to us, it also about making these visits fun!
Dr. Zuker teaches children how to allow simple dental procedures such as dental exams, teeth cleanings, and x-rays. However, providing dental treatments to a child with a phobia, or a child with behavioral problems, may require the use of Desensitization Appointments.
What is Desensitization?
Desensitization involves gradually exposing a fearful child to aspects of dentistry they may find frightening. We use relaxation strategies to help reduce anxiety. One technique we use is called Tell-Show-Do. By using this method, a child will be told what will happen; he/she will see a demonstration of what will happen, and then have the procedure performed on them. This can be used along with encouragement and relaxation techniques to help the child overcome their anxiety.
Additionally, we may use distraction techniques and positive reinforcement to help the child better relax in the dentist’s chair.
We believe that by giving you and your child as much information as possible, children tend to do better as they have a sense of predictability. This increases the chances that the child will tolerate the procedure as they have been told in advance what to expect. This can include visualizations of the typical noises, sights, and sensations they may experience. By better helping your child understand what is involved and minimizing the fear of the unknown, they can be encouraged and feel they have more control over the situation.
By being more involved, you can be a role model for your children. It is well known that children can pick up on a parent’s own fear and anxiety about visiting the dentist. It is crucial for you to be confident and encouraging, as well as explain things clearly and be patient with your child as they face their anxiety about going to the dentist. The team at Chestermere Station Pediatric Dentistry will work with you to help you accomplish this goal!