I’m sort of kicking of myself for how my son’s last dental appointment went. He’s been going to my dentist for all his check ups. This last appointment didn’t go so well. He’s six year old and normally does so well. This time, however, he was a bit fidgety. Our dentist said he had a cavity and mentioned that he could take care of it right then. My son melted down and slid out of the chair and started crying. He didn’t let anyone touch him. Now I’m wondering if I should have not tried to bring him to a sedation dentist. Now I am afraid he’ll never cooperate at the dentist again. Did I ruin his view of the dentist by not planning ahead?
Dear Callie Anne,
I’m glad you wrote. I don’t think you’ve completely ruined your son. Hindsight is always 20/20 so don’t judge yourself too harshly. You obviously care about your son and have been careful to take care of his oral health. It is equally obvious that your dentist is not used to working with children. Had he been familiar with children, he would not have just sprung a new procedure on your son like that. Children need a little bit of preparation for the unfamiliar.
My suggestion to you is similar to what you’ve already figured out. It would help him adjust back to the dentist by having sedation for this filling. I don’t think he would need anything strong, such as oral conscious sedation. Just some nitrous oxide would be enough to relax him enough to be calm and allow the dentist to do the work.
However, I am also going to suggest you look for another dentist for your son. It does not have to be a pediatric dentist. Instead, you could see a general dentist who is good with children. One way to know if they enjoy children is to ask what age they are first willing to see them. If they first see children around two years old, you can know that they enjoy working with children. If they want to wait until they are around five years old, then I would look for someone else.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.