Is Paediatric Dentistry for my child ?
Paediatric dentistry is a field concerned with dental treatment specialised for infants, children and adolescents. For a child, their very first visits to the dentist are formative of their attitude towards dentistry for the remainder of their life. Therefore, it is crucial that they are with a qualified specialist who is attuned to their needs and who is able to provide them with a comfortable environment for their dental check ups. On the first visit we also aim to provide children and parents with information about their dental issues and assess their individual needs.
Sometimes, we are required to provide treatment for children that display a variety of conditions that have to be corrected. This may include management of trauma to the teeth, endodontic treatment of teeth, management of impacted, unerupted or supernumerary (extra) teeth, treatment of cavities, and so on. Due to the specialised nature of dental treatment for children, it is often required for the child to undergo anaesthetics while remedying their condition. This not only means that the child is compliant during the procedure, it also means that any related traumatic or harrowing feelings towards dental work can also be avoided. It is our aim at all times to provide children with the reassurance that going to the dentist is an enjoyable activity.
So what is general anaesthetics? It is a procedure where the child is induced to sleep. There will be a specialist paediatric anaesthetist, available from our panel, on hand to administer the general anaesthetic and also monitor the child during the entirety of the treatment. This is usually suggested for young children, or those who are uncooperative with complex dental procedures. We treat approximately 15 cases a week under general anaesthetic in our rooms each week. We have been providing the service of general anaesthetic for dental treatment for young children, both in our rooms and at St Andrew's Hospital, for the past twenty years and have been met with no major problems.
For children who are older or more mature, and a little more co-operative, treatment may be done under relative analgesia (also known as "happy gas"). Children are still aware of their surroundings but will feel more comfortable having treatment done in the chair. After a couple of breaths of "happy gas", children will feel more relaxed and the gas may induce a certain "happy drunk" sensation.