On every visit our team aims to provide a relaxed, friendly environment.
Your child's first visit is usually a consultation only, with no treatment performed and takes about 45 minutes. Taking time to get to know each other right at the start, and establish how we can best meet your needs is a really important and sets the scene for Dorothy to be able to complete future treatment successfully.
To prepare for any visit, it is important that you talk about the dental visit briefly in a positive way, show them some of the photos of our practice, and RELAX! ON a first visit, you can explain to your child that they are coming to see us for a dental examination, or to "count the teeth". We will look after you!
As parents, many of us have anxieties about our own dental care, and children are very good at picking up when parents are worried. Be aware of this, and use positive words rather than negative words. A good example of this is with the words “comfortable” which is positive and “hurt” which is negative.
It is helpful to say “The dentist will count your teeth and keep you comfortable” rather than “The dentist will count your teeth and it won’t hurt”.
When you first arrive, we will take a full medical and dental history in a comfortable, non-clinical area where the children can play with toys or books while we all talk and get to know each other. We then move through to the clinic to do a clinical examination of teeth, gums, soft tissues and occlusion (bite). When necessary, radiographs (xrays) and photographs are taken. A parent or caregiver is encouraged to be present in the clinic. If treatment is needed, a treatment plan with treatment options will be discussed, and if requested, a printed estimate of costs will be provided. Treatment visits will be explained to you and your child, so that they are prepared for each and every visit.
Although many children can cope well with dental care, sometimes sedation is needed, or general anaesthetic to enable treatment to be completed. We provide sedation using nitrous oxide and oxygen sedation if needed at our rooms. If general anaesthesia is required for treatment, this is carried out by our highly specialized and experienced team at Mercy Hospital, Dunedin.
Our goal is that children will enjoy their dental visits, and develop the skills and behaviours needed to have a healthy set of teeth. When a young child has treatment, it is important to have follow-up visits for examinations to help keep feeling positive about dental visits. This also gives the opportunity for some simple but effective preventive treatments to be done, and to review previously treated teeth and repair any problems as they arise.
Prevention of dental decay and gum problems is possible with some simple, but important steps.