Approaching the pediatric patient is certainly one of the most important challenges for doctors and health professionals. Making the difference, i.e., knowing how to approach a child as opposed to an adult, is of fundamental importance, from the simple examination to the more complex procedures.
From the point of view of physical health, children are usually considered particularly delicate subjects, when in fact their immune system is usually at its best, except for particular conditions. Therefore, we can say that, apart from routine check-ups for control and prevention and a few flu episodes, luckily their relationship with doctors is generally limited.
The most common medical treatments that children usually undergo are those that take place at the pediatrician’s or related to child vaccination coverage.
In the event of a specialist investigation being necessary, the most common ones are usually related to ophthalmology, orthopedics, dermatology, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, and dietetics. This is followed by the whole range of neuro-psychological investigations, in their various branches.
In addition to the above, with a view to prevention and, often, correction, dental visits are certainly one of the routine appointments that should be scheduled for all children.
The most common dental services for children fall into the following categories: treatment of infections, caries, or trauma with broken teeth.
Moreover, it is certainly fundamental to take care of the growth of teeth, starting from the transition phase between deciduous teeth and permanent teeth, up to the management of issues related to the spaces in the dental arch and all the potential related criticalities.
These aspects refer to the branch of orthodontics, i.e. the medical subject that deals with the study, diagnosis, and treatment of the abnormal position of one or more dental elements: specifically, dentofacial orthopedics.
Contrary to what one might think, orthodontics does not have a purely aesthetic purpose: the correction of dental dysfunctions, such as gaps between teeth that are too narrow or too wide, protruding teeth, imperfect or crossbite, has repercussions on the whole body and avoids the occurrence of symptoms such as headaches, tinnitus, pain in the osteoarticular system, back pain, and incorrect posture.
In addition, the correct management and correction of the mouth allow the subject to carry out correct hygiene and, therefore, prevent possible infections, but it also allows to act on elocution defects and speech disorders.
In pre-school and school-age children, the probability of behavioral signs of anxiety towards medical treatment is estimated at around 16%. Therefore, it is essential that the practitioner, first of all, understands the state of anxiety and the psychological attitude of the young patient and, accordingly, decides how to manage it most appropriately to minimize stress and help the little patient to overcome fear.
The treatment of patients in childhood is certainly different from the treatment of adults in many respects, which dentists and doctors, in general, should take into account in order to make the visit or the treatment as serene as possible for the young patient. It will be necessary to consider the different communication skills, the unpredictability of reactions, and, finally, the limited capacity for tolerance of these particular patients.
This attitude is of fundamental importance in forming generations that do not fear the figure of the doctor, and in establishing a positive relationship with the patient from an early age in order to make the subject more cooperative as an adult.
In caring for the young patient, it is also essential to establish effective three-way communication. The relationship between the pediatric patient and the doctor is, in fact, closely related to the relationship with the parents.
An effective approach to the relationship with the pediatric patient will also allow the professional to carry out his/her work in a much smoother way: this can be achieved by putting into practice a series of expedients that will increase the satisfaction of the children and their parents.
First and foremost, it is essential that the entire medical team has an empathetic, positive, and affectionate attitude, controlling the tone of voice and non-verbal language.
It would also be desirable for part of the waiting room to be equipped with play material and suitable furniture to recreate the playful atmosphere of the nursery as far as possible.
Other elements also play a strategic role from a psychological point of view, such as the flow of natural light, the view from the windows, the colours of the walls, and equipment, which should be studied following the principles of colour therapy.
Last but not least, the operators’ coats should be chosen in soft colours and possibly with references to the world of cartoons. Precision and rapid intervention are also strategic: the rule of ‘good first take’ should never be more important than with children, in the dentist’s, and in other medical environments.
Concerning the actual practice, many elements can make a difference in the satisfaction and comfort of the pediatric patient, but also of the operator under ergonomic postural principles.
Tecnodent stand-alone chairs can be fitted with a series of extras specifically designed to meet the needs of dental practices that treat pediatric patients.
To this end, magnetic headrest cushions are available and can be positioned on both the headrest and the backrest to accommodate and adequately treat patients of different heights. A rise that can be positioned on the seat also makes it possible to accommodate smaller patients, ensuring safe treatment.
Independent “knee break” chair models (see LINDA NEXT) facilitate the accommodation of pediatric patients.
A wide range of upholstery in terms of colour and padding (standard, memory, or soft) completes the possible customization of the product making the Tecnodent experience particularly inviting.
The ability to respond to the needs of different types of patients by contributing to the creation of welcoming practices and providing ergonomic, functional, and design-oriented equipment and furnishings based on solid know-how and craftsmanship make Tecnodent the optimal choice for patients of all ages.
For more information, do not hesitate to contact us.