Child-friendly pediatric dental care practice leverages proven techniques to reduce anxiety

Rolling Hills Pediatric Dentistry, a practice that specializes in eliminating the anxiety and fear that children may associate with the dentist, announced today that it is releasing a new video introducing Dr. Nutter, his staff, and long-time patients.

The video highlights the practice’s success in providing successful treatment to children using minimally invasive techniques in a comfortable, child-friendly environment. Dr. Dennis Nutter, a pediatric dentist who has been practicing pediatric dental techniques for over 25 years, states, “We understand that the amount of pain or anxiety that a child will have is dependent on their previous pain experience and, to some extent, their inherited tendencies. Because previous pain experience and inherited tendencies will differ from child to child, we quickly modify our approach according to the child’s unique distress response.  In this way, we are often able to dial back the invasiveness of a procedure to one that the child can tolerate. The intention is to prevent a negative, sensitizing dental experience that can incapacitate their ability to cooperate for future necessary medical treatments.”

The video demonstrates a minimally invasive technique that Dr. Nutter and his staff use to reduce pediatric distress during dental procedures. Children do not process the dental office environment in a way that an adult would.  Very young children may not be able to distinguish between the dental office and a medical environment where they may have had a negative, emergency room experience. This can lead to anxiety that leads to increase in their pain perception. Dr. Nutter uses a number of psychological techniques to lower a child’s pain perception. Prior to the procedure, he will often use a “trial exposure” to familiarize (and desensitize) the child to the dental suction, air and water spray, mirror retraction, and the sounds and feel of the dental handpiece. During the procedure, he uses a distraction technique to turn the child’s attention away from the procedure and thereby lower pain perception.  Simultaneously, he may also use nitrous oxide (Happy Air!) to further lower pain perception. In younger children, lowering procedural stimulation is often the most effective way to get to a place where the child can tolerate the procedure while avoiding the risks of a general anesthetic.

At the end of the procedure, preschool children’s pain is rated using a behavioral scale while older children are asked to self-report their pain using a simple “faces” scale.

Rolling Hills Pediatric Dentistry is located in Fairfield, CA at the junction of Interstate 80 and Manual Campos Parkway.  Dr. Nutter and his staff are committed to eliminating the anxiety children experience at the dentist by leveraging recognized techniques to reduce pain so that the child’s overall dental experience is a pleasant and comfortable one. Please visit to learn more.

Contact:  Dr. Dennis Paul Nutter
Rolling Hills Pediatric Dentistry
3694 Hilborn Rd., Suite 100
Fairfield, CA 94534
(707) 422-5444


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