illawarra paediatric dentistry
To arrange a consultation appointment with our paediatric dental specialist, Dr. Jason Michael, a referral from your local, family dental practitioner or medical practitioner is required. Please email a copy of the referral and any X-rays taken prior to your child's consultation appointment. During your consultation appointment, you will have the opportunity to discuss your child's oral health issues in a relaxed, child friendly setting. It is also a time for your child to build trust in the clinical environment with Dr. Jason and his staff. If required low-dose X-rays maybe taken to assist in the diagnosis and treatment planning. As a general rule no treatment is performed at the consultation. You will provided with information regarding management options and fee estimates.
We also assess your child’s coping abilities and this will also determine how best to approach our treatment plan. This ensures that your child feels comfortable whilst undergoing treatment in our caring environment. You can then book a treatment appointment in the dental practice or an operating date at one of our designated local hospitals
treatment under local anaesthesia
Emergencies, such as dental injuries or facial swellings from dental infection, will be managed with priority. During office hours we will provide an appointment as soon as possible.
After hours emergencies can be managed through seeking care at your local hospital emergency department or through the Children’s Hospital at Westmead emergency department that has an after hours on-call service for paediatric dental emergencies.
Many procedures in the dental chair require local anaesthetic. The use of techniques such as topic anaesthetic ('numbing') gel, 'The Wand' anaesthetic delivery system and distraction will make the process as comfortable as possible for your child. Most of the time, your child won’t realise they have had local anaesthesia administered until after the procedure when they notice their numb lip and cheek!
The sensation of having a numb lip and cheek generally takes 2-4 hours to wear off. During this time it is important to ensure your child avoids disturbing the area (eg. pinching and poking), and eating or drinking anything hot is best avoided until the effects have reversed.
nitrous oxide sedation ('happy gas')
Nitrous oxide is a clear, sweet smelling gas that provides mild sedation and a state of relaxation. Your child will maintain consciousness and will be able to communicate throughout the procedure. It is effective for older children who have limited treatment needs and mild to moderate levels of anxiety about the dental environment. Local anaesthesia is still often required for dental treatment under happy gas.
Nitrous oxide and oxygen are mixed at varying concentrations and are administered through a small mask that sits on the nose. It is safe, effective and has minimal side effects.
It is quickly reversible so that by the time you leave the dental practice the effects have worn off.
For some children, dental treatment under general anaesthesia will be recommended, as a day surgery procedure. This maybe due to many factors such as the age of the child, complexity of treatment, the quanitity of teeth requiring work, dental anxiety and/or complex medical conditions.
General anaesthesia results in your child becoming unconscious (deep sleep) and they are unable to feel pain. It is administered in hospital by a specialist anaesthetist. The paediatric dentist is then able to carry out their treatment in one visit.