At subsequent restorative visits, the dentist may recommend that your child enter the dental operatory room on his or her own. Most parents agree that children tend to be more cooperative for other adults, especially uniformed professionals, than for their own parents. This is because a child knows exactly how his or her response can affect a parent’s underlying emotions. When accompanied by a parent, children almost exclusively focus on the parent in an attempt to elicit a response. This, in turn, makes it much more difficult to provide safe and effective care. It has been proven that children are also effective at reading anxiety and fear in a parent’s expressions and mannerisms.
On the other hand, when a parent is not present during care, children tend to focus directly on the doctor and dental assistant who are continuously providing calming explanations, directions and distractions throughout the appointment.
Children also subconsciously understand how much trust is involved in allowing them to be escorted by a dental assistant for care without the parent coming along. They realize that their parents would never put them in a situation where they would be harmed. Therefore, there is a calming effect to letting us do this. When you allow your child to be alone for care, you are encouraging independence. Your child will be proud that he or she is “doing it all by myself.” However, if you are not completely comfortable with this method, please discuss this with us well in advance of your child’s restorative appointment.
Parents sometimes inquire about how to describe upcoming treatments to their child before a restorative visit. Because most young children typically are not yet equipped with advanced coping skills, we suggest that parents avoid providing too many details about impending treatments. Words such as “needle, shot, pull, hurt, blood, pain, or drill” should be avoided, as these tend to elicit negative emotions that have been found to dramatically increase preoperative anxiety. This precipitates poor cooperation. We recommend using easy-to-understand explanations, such as explaining that the child has several “sugar bugs” on his or her teeth that the dentist wants to remove. You may add that we will paint some sleepy jelly around the sick tooth, which will help the tooth feel better.
1618 Canyon Creek Dr Ste 110
Temple, TX 76502