It is important that relationships are developed with our younger patients as soon as possible.
This allows an essential trust to be formed between patient and dentist which may be called upon, should treatment ever be required. The more trust and confidence that exist, the smoother any procedure will be.
This relationship can start to form at an early age, by children watching parents or older siblings having an examination. Soon they may wish to have ‘a ride in the chair’ on sit on a knee for a simple examination.
By the age of about 4, most children will then feel comfortable enough for an examination, a polish and an application of fluoride.
Now, with regular check ups, the relationship can continue to develop. We will monitor for signs of problems, offer appropriate preventive advice and recommend preventive procedures, like fissure sealing, if necessary.
Of course, while starting this relationship at an early age is ideal, it is not essential or even possible and we can start to build our trust from any stage.
With the right prevention and care, it is possible for children to grow up without requiring fillings at all and this is our goal.
However, some treatment is sometimes necessary, which may include fillings and extractions (usually for orthodontics when a brace is required).
Such treatment would almost always be carried out under local anaesthetic with great success. Topical anaesthetic (magic cream!) and a careful no show technique, can ensure that this can be done with minimal upset in the vast majority of cases.
If we can help our patients reach the age of 18 with minimal or no fillings and a good knowledge of how to care for their teeth, then it will set them up to keep their teeth for life, with less need for any dental intervention. Remember, most teeth we repair in adults are teeth that are already filled and gum problems start with poor oral hygiene measures. Prevention is key!