Dental anxiety in children | Dental Treatment Guide

It has been estimated that around 20% of children have a fear of visiting the dentist. It is therefore vital that your child's dentist has the ability to make your child feel comfortable and relaxed so they are at ease throughout their appointment. By making sure that visits to the dentist are a pleasant as possible, it will ensure that your child will not have a negative view or memory of such appointments and so their anxiety may be relieved throughout their entire life.

When a dentist is confronted with a child who suffers from dental anxiety, it can be a testing experience. They must be able to perform the necessary procedure whilst ensuring that the child is at ease and not in pain throughout. However, it is not only the dentist who is affected by dental anxiety but also the patient as the fear may result in them not receiving the sufficient amount of dental treatment and care.

It would appear that the best way to manage a child's anxiety surrounding a visit to a dental clinic is to fully inform them about what to expect when they are there. Both the parent and the dentist can do this, although it must be ensured that the information being given is completely true or else the child may lose trust. During the procedure itself, the dentist must contemplate exactly how each thing they are doing may affect the child.

There is a slight issue, however, when it comes to younger children. They may not understand certain explanations, as they may just be too complicated to understand. Instead, it may be advised to demonstrate what will happen using visual aids such as dolls and drawings. This method is beneficial in terms of calming the child down and repressing strong feelings of anxiety surrounding the dentist.

Managing anxiety is very different depending on the individual child. Dental anxiety can exist in people of all ages so it cannot be assumed that your young child will "grow out of it". Therefore, it is the job of both the parent and the dentist to work at lowering the feeling of fear prior to dental treatments to try and minimise the levels of anxiety for the rest of your child's life.

Further Information Childrens Dental Treatments