Dental care for children – making them feel safe

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Dr. Deborah Aber and Dr. Vandna Sharma are co-owners of Little Pearls Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Aber received her dental degree from New York University College of Dentistry and her specialty training at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, New York. Dr. Vandna Sharma received her dental degree from the University of Saskatchewan and her specialist training and master’s degree from the University of Toronto.


Q: In what ways can pediatric dentists treat children?

A: There are a number of treatment mod options that can help children feel more comfortable receiving dental care. These choices are made based on the age of the patient, the scope of the work to be done, dental and medical history. In every interaction with the patient, pediatric dentists use behavior management techniques. Some of these techniques are: Tell-Show-Do where each step is explained in age-appropriate language and visually demonstrated before starting, Distraction, Positive reinforcement, and many more.

In addition to behavior management, pediatric dentists offer nitrous oxide or laughing gas treatment, oral sedation, and general anesthesia. Nitrous oxide or laughing gas provides pain relief and helps the child feel more relaxed during dental treatment. Oral sedation can be combined with laughing gas to help moderately anxious children receive awake and calm dental care. Pediatric dentists may also prescribe medication that a child takes before their dental appointment to help them relax.

Finally, general anesthesia can be used when the child’s age, scope of labor, and the patient’s degree of nervousness for dental treatment prevent the completion of awake dental treatment. General anesthesia is a mode of treatment where the patient is treated asleep. General anesthesia is given by anesthesiologists trained to administer this type of sedation. Anesthesiologists work as a team with pediatric dentists. Nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and general anesthesia are all safe treatment modalities that can be tailored to meet the dental and developmental needs of each child. Pediatric dentists strive to provide treatment with positive behavioral results so that children feel safe and happy to receive dental care.

Q: Why should I see a pediatric dentist for treatment for my child?

A: Pediatric dentists have 2 to 4 years of additional training to treat children. The training includes clinical and pharmacological training in the dental management of children while focusing on their emotional and psychological needs. Pediatric dentists aim to foster positive relationships with their patients so that they continue to seek good oral care throughout their lives.


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