What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the use of medications to help patients relax during dental treatment. Sedation can help increase cooperation and reduce anxiety and/or discomfort associated with a dental procedure. There are many types of sedation available for the pediatric patient.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous Oxide sometimes called laughing gas is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask. The small mask is usually scented and fits over the nose. We offer a variety of scented noses; cherry, bubble gum, grape and orange.
Nitrous oxide is the mildest sedative used in pediatric dentistry. It is not intended to put a patient to sleep but to place the patient in a more relaxed state. Nitrous Oxide is useful for reducing anxiety, reducing untoward movements toward dental treatment, increasing tolerance for longer procedures, reducing the gag reflex and to aid in dental treatment of individual with special health care needs.
Oral Conscious Sedation
When nitrous oxide sedation is not enough, oral conscious sedation or “oral sedation” can help increase cooperation and reduce any anxiety and/or discomfort associated with dental treatment. A child will drink a liquid medication chosen based upon your child’s overall health, level of anxiety, and dental treatment recommendations. Most children become relaxed and/or drowsy and may drift into a light sleep from which they can be aroused easily. Unlike general anesthesia, oral sedation is not intended to make a patient unconscious or unresponsive. Some children may not experience relaxation, but have an opposite reaction such as agitation or crying. These are also common responses to the medicines and may prevent us from completing the dental procedures. In any case, our staff will observe your child’s response to the medications and provide assistance as needed.
Children, who are of a young age, have high anxiety, or who have special health needs and who have extensive dental decay may receive a recommendation to have their dental treatment completed in under general anesthesia.
General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes placed, or a hernia repaired. All necessary dental treatment is performed under an ideal setting and helps prevent the development of a lifelong fear of dentists and dental treatment. Once all of the caries have been addressed, good dietary and home care instructions will be shared for implementation at home for a path to healthy dental habits for your child.
Our office offers general anesthesia in office or in a hospital setting.