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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Mamas,

I just finished reading the Dental Work and Sedation thread, and it helped me a bit, but I still want to post with the issue I'm experiencing.

DS has a big cavity in one of his molars, and maybe another one in another tooth. He is 5, so these are all his baby teeth. It needs to be taken care of soon, but he is very apprehensive about the dentist. We found a great dentist in town, with lovely people, nice treatment rooms, even old school arcade games that he can play in the waiting area, and TV screens where he can watch whatever he likes while they work on his teeth. He loves it, but still won't sit in the dentist chair for even the smallest examination. We've been to a couple of other dentists before finding this one, and they all have said that sedation is the way to go for getting his teeth fixed, but my husband and I are worried about full sedation, and want to go with the least invasive measure possible. What was said about conscious sedation in the other thread (laughing gas, etc.) sounds more like what we are looking for. Furthermore, the clinic in our area that would do full sedation requires him to have a full medical beforehand, and I don't know how we are going to get him to go through with that, let alone get him in the door at the clinic for full sedation.

Can anyone tell me about both full or conscious sedation procedures, and how they are handled with a spirited child? I would like to know how conscious sedation works, and how the dentist and parents can help the child to cooperate until the sedation takes effect. Is the child given something orally beforehand to help calm him down? What are the risks with either procedure?

I haven't been able to talk to the dentist very much about these procedures, because DS is always with me and very inquisitive, and then anxious with the thought that something might be done to him. It is understandable that he would not like people talking about him when he is right there. DH has been doing most of the talking with the dentists in our past visits, but I have questions of my own.

Also, I need some advice on how to talk with my son to alleviate his anxiety about sitting in the chair. We are trying our best to be very positive about it, but he is still so young, and quite frankly inexperienced with anything medical, that he quickly loses his cool. It doesn't help that even the best dentist offices are noisy, with the sounds of drills and suction machines drifting through from other rooms. I can't blame him for being nervous.

*sigh*
I am taking him back to the dentist tomorrow, where a very nice pediatric dentist in training will have a quick look at his teeth, and I'd like to know how and what I should discuss with her. Like I said, it's difficult for me to get a chance to talk candidly with them, since I have DS with me, and quite often my toddler DD as well, who may be squirming in my arms or trying to run away. I myself have no issues with dentists, but I easily get flustered and distracted when trying to look after my children while having important conversations. I easily forget what I want to say or ask.

DH may be able to come with me, but he is very busy, so I have to try for the best on my own.

Any advice or soothing would help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just a quick update. I'm happy to report that we had a successful dental visit this afternoon. It took some persuasion, but with the most wonderful help from the very friendly hygienist and dentist, we got DS to sit in the dentist chair (on my lap most of the time) and he opened wide "like a lion" for both examination and cleaning. The dentist talked with me about getting his cavities fixed while the hygienist cleaned his teeth with the "tickly toothbrush". We think we can accomplish what needs to be done with a bit of laughing gas, and hopefully won't have to resort to sedation. So today I'm very relieved. And I think DS feels like a much bigger guy, now that he's gone through with it. Keeping my fingers crossed that we can get the rest of the work done without too much trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, and it has been good for me! We've now had a couple more successful visits with this very awesome dentist, and DS has had all his cavities filled, without the use of sedation. We had one false start, where he wouldn't sit still even after laughing gas was administered, but in hindsight I realised this was probably due to the fact that he had a stuffy nose! The gas is administered through the nose, so naturally that wouldn't work if he was mostly breathing through his mouth. But, we kept talking to him at home, about the 'sugar bugs' that the dentist was going to get rid of, and helped him practise breathing through his nose. He gradually got used to the idea of going back to the dentist, and by the next visit, he had pretty much gotten over the hump, only needing minimal coaxing for me to get him into the chair. Once they got the "bunny nose" on him for him to inhale the gas through, asking him what scent he wanted (strawberry or blueberry), he quickly calmed down and it was smooth sailing from there.

I think it just shows what you and your child can accomplish with gentle persistence. Most people were telling us that sedation was the only way to go, but we didn't feel comfortable with that option. Lucky for me, my husband is a persistent guy (and DS definitely takes after him!) and helped me to plan how we were going to help DS get over his fear. It took a good month of effort, but we did it!
 
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