Sedation / Hospital Dentistry
Pediatric Dental Sedation
Dental sedation refers to medicine that is designed to reduce physical pain associated with treatment or to reduce anxiety and help your child feel more relaxed while dental work is being completed. Many adults and children are apprehensive or anxious about going to the dentist. Our dental team can use sedation dentistry to calm even the most fearful child. Our office can provide nitrous oxide (laughing gas), IV sedation or oral sedation.
Thanks to these techniques and our friendly staff, we can guarantee a comfortable appointment for everyone who comes to see us, ensuring follow-up visits are even easier. Do you think your child would benefit from dental sedation? If so, contact us today to learn more.
What is hospital dentistry?
Hospital dentistry involves performing dental treatments at a hospital or outpatient surgery center so that a child can receive general anesthesia safely, before their dental work is performed. There are many factors that go into the decision to take a child to the surgery center. Their age, how many cavities they have, and their anxiety / other medical conditions are all factors in deciding if the surgery center is the best option for them. When kids are too young or they have disabilities that prevent them from being able to sit still for a long period of time, we have the option to take them to a surgery center to complete their dental treatment under general anesthesia. This gives us the opportunity to complete treatment and x-rays, that isn’t possible in a dental office, in a safe and comfortable environment.
What is nitrous oxide and what does it do?
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is an excellent way to help children feel more relaxed during their dental appointments. This gentle type of sedation has been used for over 100 years and is still very effective today.
A child simply inhales the gas through a small nasal mask, and they should almost immediately feel warm, calm, and happy in the chair. The mask stays on for the entire visit, and once it comes off, your child should feel completely normal. After a few minutes, your child should be able to resume their regular routine.
Is anesthesia safe for children?
Local anesthesia and general anesthesia is safe for children.
Local anesthesia is a numbing medication that is injected directly in the area that is to be treated—usually the gums around an infected tooth.
General anesthesia enables a child to literally sleep through their appointment and wake up with no memory of it afterward. To ensure the health and safety of our patients, this is always administered by a licensed anesthesiologist in a hospital setting.
We normally recommend this approach for children who:
- Have extreme dental phobia
- Are in need of multiple involved procedures
- Have special needs
- Have behavioral issues that make sitting for an entire appointment difficult
- Have a sensitive gag reflex
If you have more questions about dental sedation and the procedures used by Dental School Pediatric Dentistry, please contact our office and we will be happy to discuss further.