Techniques Dentists Can Use To Reduce Fear And Anxiety Among Children
It is common knowledge that children panic when they are taken to a doctor, but making children visit a dentist is even more challenging, as they are really afraid of dentists and the instruments used by them. Also, it is a challenging task for a dentist to treat children. Thus, there are some techniques that are used to reduce fear and anxiety among children. These techniques are as follows:
Ensure A Pleasant Environment
The dental office environment should be pleasant and home-like. The waiting room should also be lively with cartoons, paintings and a fish tank. The older children should have access to story books, toys and even a play area so that they can enjoy the place.
Adopt An Empathetic Attitude
The dentist should be empathetic when talking to the children, so as to gain their confidence. This can be achieved by initiating conversations with the child about his/her school, friends, favourite cartoons, actors, hobbies etc. keeping in mind to not restrict the conversation to the details of the treatment, This approach by the dentist helps the child to easily trust the dentist.
Schedule Appointments Correctly
Scheduling of appointments plays an Important role. Hence, sufficient time should be given between two appointments long enough to relax emotionally. but short enough to keep in touch with the dentist and the dental clinic environment. Longer appointments should be avoided, as it may make both the child getting treated and the clild who is waiting for the next appointment restless.
Provide Positive Reinforcement
Applauding the dud for his/her cooperation Is always needed. The dentist can offer a congratulatory message or a small gift/ reward like a shining star or the child s favourite cartoon character to the child for cooperation. This encourages the child for the next appointment.
Use A Model Prior To The Treatment
This is a technique which can reduce anxiety in children. The procedure should be explained as simply as possible to the child, then it can be demonstrated using a model prior to the treatment on the child. This can be helpful, as the child will be aware of what to expect.
Opt For Conscious Sedation
This technique employs the use of anaesthetic drugs and a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen is commonly used for a dental sedation procedure for children, who are easily frightened. Nitrous oxide is a sedative and is also an analgesic. The procedure is carried out by keeping up a continuous verbal communication with the patient, thus the children’s fear is reduced and the pain tolerance threshold is bolstered.
Give General Anaesthesia When Required
For children who are highly uncooperative due to fear or for those who are medically and emotionally compromised, all procedures should be performed safely, under general anaesthesia with a well-trained anaesthetist. Since the child will be in a sleepy state, multiple treatments can be completed in a shorter period of time and quite efficiently.