Dental treatment for very young children

I have a 2 year-old son with cavities in two of his upper back teeth. They need to be treated. I am told they will probably have to sedate him because he is so young. Are there any other ways to have this work completed? I have seen an article on T.V. about some type of electrical device that allows dentists to fill teeth virtually pain free with no freezing or sedation. Do you advise finding a pediatric dentist? What can I expect at a pediatric dentist office? What are my options for the work that needs to be done? Is there any easy way to get this over with?

Question:

I understand your concerns. Treating children at such a young age can be somewhat challenging. Dentists and parents both want children to have positive, comfortable dental experiences. There are two main advantages if you take your son to a pedodontist: 1) the environment in the pedodontist's office is specifically designed for children and; 2) the pedodontist has received extra training in treating and handling children. This is not to say a general dentist is not capable of treating children successfully. I am a general dentist and I have good success treating many children in my practice. However, a visit to the pedodontist can be beneficial for children in certain situations.

The sedation may be helpful in creating a comfortable experience for your son. Sedation is safe and effective if the proper dosages are followed, medical history is considered, and the child is properly monitored.

There are a couple of different machines on the market that supply anesthesia transcutaneously (i.e. through the skin). These devices create a comfortable environment for performing dental procedures without the need for an injection. Another product, called Cedeta, achieves anesthesia by using small electrical currents. Cedeta may not be widely available due, in part, to the relatively high cost of the equipment and the extra training required to insure proper use. If these products are used, our son will remain conscious during the procedure. These advances show great promise. They will certainly be commonly used in the future.

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