First Visit  |  Relaxation Techniques


First Visit

Infant Glowing EyesPediatric dentist Dr. Stanley A. Sheppard, as well as the The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a "Dental Home" for your child by one year of age. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care.

The Dental Home is intended to provide a place
other than the Emergency Room for parents.

You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. If old enough, your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do concerning the visit, the better.

It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as "needle", "shot", "pull", "drill" or "hurt". The office makes a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.

We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. During future appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and overcome apprehension. However, if you choose, you are more than welcome to accompany your child to the treatment room. For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.

We strive to make each and every visit to our office a fun one!

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Relaxation Techniques

Nitrous Oxide   /   Valium Sedation   /   Outpatient General Anesthesia

Girl with painted faceNitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide, also referred to as laughing gas, is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. This gas can be administered through a small breathing mask that is placed over the child’s nose, allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe and effective way to treat children’s dental needs. The gas is mild, easily taken and non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes. Then with normal breathing, it is quickly eliminated from the body.

Prior to your child’s appointment:

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Valium Sedation

For very apprehensive children we may recommend using Valium sedation. It is used to calm your child and to reduce their anxiety. Your child may be quite drowsy, but they will not become unconscious.

The dosage given is according to your child’s weight. We ask that you arrive at our office an hour prior to your child’s scheduled appointment. This allows us to take your child’s vital signs, and then administer by mouth, the dosage decided upon according to the child’s weight.

Prior to your child’s appointment:

After the sedation appointment:

Outpatient General Anesthesia

On occasion, we recommend Outpatient General Anesthesia for patients that we feel will be more safely treated in a hospital setting. This may be due to a child’s high level of anxiety, immaturity level due to age, or a child with special needs. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed or ear tubes. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. Most medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.

Prior to appointment:

After the appointment:

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