When you have pediatric patients who aren’t good candidates for procedures in your own office – whether they’re extractions, fillings, crowns or other procedures – you might be hesitant to refer them to other practices. However, in some cases, it’s absolutely necessary.
Here’s how to choose where to send your pediatric dental patients who have anxiety or who can’t be treated in your office.
How to Choose a Dental and Surgery Center for Referrals
Children who have extreme dental anxiety – the kind that can’t be solved by sitting on a parent’s lap or through the use of reason, distractions or prizes – are often good candidates for special treatment options that many pediatric dentists can’t provide in their own offices, such as anesthesia.
Rather than resorting to brutal measures like papoose boards, which worsen dental anxiety and can cause life-long fear of dentists, many dentists choose to refer these patients to dental and surgery centers that specialize in more humane methods.
When you’re looking for a dental practice to send your pediatric patients, you need a group of professionals who can do four things:
- Understand the value in creating positive associations with dental work
- Perform the right services, such as tooth extraction, fillings, IntraOral procedures, NuSmile crowns, pulpotomies and sealants
- Never interfere in your patient-dentist relationship and will send your patients right back to you for routine care
- Can handle children’s needs, including special needs, without creating more dental anxiety
Before you refer your patients to another dental professional, it’s in your best interest to do your homework. The best possible outcome is that you refer patients to a practice that’s focused on overall dental health – and that includes fostering a positive attitude toward dental treatment while performing necessary services that are outside the scope of your own practice (such as anesthesia).
What About Sedation Dentistry?
While there are ways to help kids overcome dental anxiety, those methods often take time – and sometimes they’re not as effective as they could be.
The best way to treat children with extreme dental anxiety or special needs, or those who need extensive dental work, is often through sedation. The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes sedation as a safe, effective way to provide dental treatment. Even better, it’s a way for children to get through dental procedures without associating them with trauma of any kind.
Do You Need to Refer Your Patients to a Specialty Pediatric Dental Center?
If you have patients with special dental needs – and if your practice isn’t equipped to handle them – we’d love to talk to you about how we can help. Our mission is to help you maintain a good relationship with each of your patients; we perform our services and send your patients right back to you for their routine dental care. Call us today to discuss how we can partner with you to keep your patients smiling.