We offer three different types of sedation, including:
- Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
- Oral conscious sedation
- General Anesthesia (sleep dentistry)
Sedation dentistry is most helpful for:
- Children who require major treatment
- A very anxious child
- Children that have had traumatic dental experiences
- Children with a strong gag reflex
- Children who are medically compromised or have special needs
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing gas)
Sedation with Nitrous Oxide is indicated if your child is worried by the sights, sounds, or sensation of dental treatment. It will smell sweet and pleasant to your child while causing them to experience a sense of well-being. A definite calming effect is seen with most children.
Nitrous oxide is a blend of two gases—oxygen and nitrogen, and is inhaled through the nose. It is mild, non addictive, and eliminated quickly from the body. Your child will remain fully conscious and will keep all of the natural reflexes. The gases will still be administered after the effects of the calming gases are present. There are few side effects associated with nitrous oxide.
Prior to Your Appointment:
- NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS BEFORE THE DENTAL VISIT. This precaution is for your child’s safety. Please inform the Dental Staff if your child possibly consumed anything in the last 2 hours.
- Be sure your child can breathe through their nose during the visit. This will make induction much easier for your child. Please inform the Dental Staff if your child has any nasal congestion.
- Let the Dental Staff know if your child takes any medication on the day of the appointment.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Conscious Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. Your child may be quite drowsy, and may even fall asleep, but they will not become unconscious.
There are a variety of different medications, which can be used for conscious sedation. The doctor will prescribe the medication best suited for your child’s overall health and dental treatment recommendations. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning the specific drugs we plan to give to your child.
General Anesthesia (Sleep Dentistry)
General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under mild or moderate sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This treatment modality is always performed in the presence of an anesthesiologist or dental anesthesiologist. If this option is recommended by the doctor and not chosen, the resulting treatment will most likely require multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.
Prior to Your Appointment:
- Your child should not have anything to eat or drink after midnight prior to the scheduled appointment.
- Please notify us of any change in your child’s health. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
- You must tell the doctor of any drugs your child is currently taking, and any drug reactions and/or changes in medical history.
- Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
- The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.
After the Appointment:
- Your child will be drowsy and will need to be watched very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
- If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
- If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
- Prior to leaving, you will be given a detailed list of “Post-Op Instructions” and an emergency contact number if needed.