Are we treating our children the best way possible when it comes to dental appointments for the treatment of cavities? Is there a better way to prevent a lifelong fear of dental care?
Dental decay is currently the most common childhood illness, which causes detrimental effects to the child’s nutrition, growth, and development. Despite historic efforts and continued advances in preventive dental health, it still remains the number one childhood illness according to the Center for Disease Control. It far exceeds asthma, obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and other high profile diseases in children. Its common occurrence is one of the reasons many people think tooth decay is no big deal.
However, for the parents of a child tooth decay, it is an unfortunate reality. Contrary to public belief that dental disease is more prevalent in lower socioeconomic families, current statistics show that dental disease is most common in those households with an income above $60,000 – the average middle class family. More and more children are growing up in homes where both parents work. Reinforcement of positive dental health habits at day care and after school care are often difficult.
The problems associated with tooth decay if left untreated in children can be fatal in the worst of circumstances. Advanced tooth decay can lead to an oral abscess that can easily spread to the brain. Plus, the longer dental disease is allowed to progress in a child the more costly and stressful it becomes to treat. The cost associated is not just for the treatment alone, but the income lost for working parents to take their children for the treatment appointments.
Dental schools teach dentists to treat children by the old “Show-Tell-Do” method of behavior modification. Research shows that this technique is effective for one or two visits of decay treatments. But multiple dental visits to treat dental decay often results in the child developing fear and anxiety of the treatment that continues into adulthood. Dental care is more accessible and better than ever before.
However, studies have shown that 40 percent of adults limit their dental visits due to fear developed during childhood dental visits. Half of this adult group never seeks care until the pain or infection is so severe that they have no choice but to seek treatment.
Paediatric conscious sedation is an excellent alternative to multiple tooth decay treatments. Modern sedative drugs are very safe, given orally, fast acting, reversible if necessary, a great supplement to nitrous oxide, wear off that same day, and enhance memory loss (amnesia) of the appointment. The dental decay can be treated in one appointment with no fear or anxiety involved for the child.
Plus, only one parent must take off of work for the treatment, loss of school time for the child is diminished, and the disease can be treated before it progresses into a more serious and costly issue. Dentists trained in paediatric sedation can not only treat many dental problems in one visit but also evaluate the child’s vital signs carefully during the sedation procedure using the latest in anesthesia monitors.
Call All Smiles Care today and find out how Sedation Dentistry can literally change your child’s life … for the better.
Dr. Imm and the All Smiles Care dental team offers sedation dentistry for kids for Westminster and surrounding communities in Carroll County MD.