The First Consultation Visit
Ideally we like children to have a dental check up by their first birthday. Seeing children by this age gives us the opportunity to examine the mouth and confirm normal oral development.
It gives us the opportunity to provide advice on prevention of tooth and gum diseases and make the best care plan for your child. Regular 6 monthly check-ups then allow children to become accustomed to the routine of visiting the dentist and ensuring good co-operation in the future.
The aim of the first visit is to carry out a full examination and create a plan for your child’s dental treatment. Older children generally have their examination in the dental chair, however young children can be examined ‘knee to knee’ which allows them to still be close to their parent, while ensuring a good examination of the mouth.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide sedation (happy gas) is frequently used for children who are mildly or moderately anxious about dental treatment. It is a safe and effective way of helping your child relax and minimising the stresses involved in completing dental treatment in the chair.
Nitrous oxide is administered through a small mask that sits over the patient’s nose. The patient is still awake and can talk and communicate with the dentist. When the gas is turned off, pure oxygen is delivered and the effects of the sedation wear off almost immediately.
General Anaesthesia for Dental Treatment
A general anaesthetic is carried out in hospital and puts a child into a deep sleep where they are unable to feel pain or move around. This is the same kind of sleep a child would have for operations such as grommet placement or removal of tonsils.
A general anaesthetic may be recommended if your child:
- Is very young or isn’t able to allow treatment to be performed safely in the dental chair.
- Needs dental treatment that would be difficult to tolerate whilst awake.
- Needs a lot of dental work that is best carried out in one long appointment rather than many separate visits.
- Has a medical, physical or emotional condition that limits our capacity to carry out treatment in the dental chair.
The general anaesthetic is a short day-stay procedure completed in a hospital with excellent paediatric and dental facilities. A Specialist Anaesthetist with the support of highly trained nursing staff will administer the anaesthetic and monitor your child throughout the entire procedure.
The Day-Stay Procedure in Hospital
You will be required to arrive at the hospital at a pre-designated time with your child fasted. The arrival time and fasting instructions will be confirmed by our reception staff prior to the operation. Dr Elliott and Dr Eggers will be present prior to the operation to answer any last-minute questions, and then again after the procedure to go over the treatment carried out. Our reception staff will contact you on the day after the operation to organise a review appointment in 2-3 weeks time.
We understand that a dental emergency or dental pain is a stressful experience for both you and your child. Patients in pain will always receive first priority for appointments and we will do our best to see you as soon as possible.
If your child has had a dental injury after hours, please contact the Children’s Hospital at Westmead where you will be put in contact with the Paediatric Dentistry registrar.
Nutritional Guidelines for Prevention of Decay
Please find below a link to our Nutritional Guidelines for Healthy Living and Prevention of Decay. It is based on a diet high in fresh, unprocessed foods and low in packaged and processed foods, refined carbohydrates and sugar. It is a healthy way of eating for the whole family, and is aimed at preventing decay along with other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. It is also easily modified for children who are gluten or dairy intolerant.