Pediatric Sedation Dentistry
Sedation is incredibly beneficial to providing a comfortable, relaxed and positive experience for our patients. Not only does sedation ease the minds of our guests, it can increase the efficiency of treatment and prevent discomfort associated with certain types of procedures. At Smiley Tooth Pediatric Dental Specialists, we offer different sedation options that have applications for common procedures such as placing fillings, performing endodontic therapy and removing diseased or damaged teeth.
Types of Sedation
Here are four types of sedation available at our practice; nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, intravenous (IV) sedation, and general anesthesia.
Nitrous oxide is one of the oldest (and safest) forms of sedation. It has been used in dental and medical settings for over 100 years. Administered through a comfortable nasal mask, nitrous oxide is a gaseous compound that produces mild analgesic, sedating and euphoric effects. Also called “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide is a non-narcotic method of promoting relaxation and comfort that does not have lingering sedative effects after one’s procedure. This type of sedation is ideal for children who have short, less invasive procedures such as the placement of a filling.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is stronger than nitrous oxide, and the medication will have lingering effects following the procedure. This sedation method involves your child taking an oral medication from specific classes of drugs. Oral sedation is useful and utilized to minimize physical discomfort and pain, control anxiety, minimize psychological trauma and to modify behavior to allow the safe completion of the dental procedure. Sedation Dentistry can also make a patient feel tired or groggy, but oral sedation is not strong enough to render a patient unconscious. While one may fall asleep during treatment, he or she will still be responsive to commands and questions, and the patient’s vitals will be monitored on a constant basis.
Intravenous (IV) sedation is a deeper form of sedation dentistry. Since the medication is delivered through an IV, its effects can be controlled by adjusting the dosage for the desired effect. In some instances, IV sedation can be used to produce a semi-conscious state for long or invasive treatments. If necessary, the dosage can be adjusted to provide a stronger anesthetic effect. Determining the dose of IV sedation is a careful process that involves evaluating your child’s overall health, medical and medication history and his or her weight. When IV sedation is administered, patients’ vitals will be monitored on a constant basis by our dental anesthesiologist. Our staff has training to respond to complications that might arise during treatment.
During General Anesthesia your child will be seen at a surgery center. General Anesthesia is indicated when a child has many dental caries, is to young to cooperated in a dental setting or is dental phobic and oral sedation was not successful.
How Sedation is Beneficial
Sedation can be a very useful tool for improving comfort and promoting a positive experience with receiving dental treatment. Sometimes children develop fears of the dentist because of the sounds they hear in a practice. Others might have difficulty being still for long amounts of time. In either instance, sedation dentistry can assuage fears and anxiety while allowing our team to work without interruption or obstruction. With sedation, fearful children can develop positive experiences with treatment so that they don’t develop debilitating phobias. Sedation can also be beneficial for children with special needs.
Our team at Smiley Tooth Pediatric Dental Specialists is dedicated to providing excellent oral healthcare to children in our community. We believe that dental treatment should not be uncomfortable or scary for our guests, and this is why sedation dentistry can be very useful.
To learn more about your child’s treatment options, call our practice to speak with a member of our pediatric dental team.
Our Patients Love Us!
Took my daughter here today for her first ever dental visit (2 y/o) and had a fantastic experience! They made her feel so comfortable and did a great job explaining things on her level and keeping me informed. They let me sit in the room with her, something I've heard other offices don't allow. I'm so thankful she had a good experience and will definitely keep coming here!
This place is the best place to take ur kids. The staff is absolutely amazing they make u feel like family. They truly care about their kids. U feel right at home. My kids love going to the dentist because of the staff here! We are always well taken care of!
Dr. Chou and her staff are amazing. Who thought getting a 4 year old and 2 year old their first cleaning would be so easy! Dr. Chou's technique is perfect for gaining kid's trust and she had my girls in and out of the chair in a matter of minutes. My two year old said she wants to return...out of the blue...4 days later. I can't wait until their next appointment. Their teeth look great!!!
Patient, kind and fun staff! My 5 year old didn't want to leave!
Frequently Asked Questions
There are four types of sedation available. The mildest is nitrous oxide, which is administered in the form of a gas. Nitrous oxide produces mild sedating and pain relieving effects without the need for narcotic or prescription medication.
The second type of sedation is called “oral conscious sedation.” This method involves prescribing sedatives that are taken orally. Oral sedation has stronger effects than nitrous oxide. It will prevent feelings of panic and worry while also promoting serene and comfortable sensations. Many times, patients will fall asleep during and after treatment.
IV sedation is the third type. Its use is normally reserved for invasive or complex procedures or for patients with special needs. Administered through an IV, intravenous sedation has powerful but highly controllable effects.
If your child is anxious, sedation might be a good idea for improving treatment and combating fears. When children are afraid of shots, we may administer nitrous oxide or sedation medication to ensure their comfort during treatment. This type of sedation can make receiving local anesthetics much easier.
If we feel that sedation dentistry is necessary, determining the type of sedation we use is a very careful process. We know that every patient is different and his or her needs must be considered on a case-by-case basis. Before administering sedation, we look at a person’s overall health, behavior and medical history to determine the appropriate course of action.
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Our Dental Team
Our goal is to make dentistry a great experience for both kids and parents!
Dr. Chou has completed multiple years of specialized dental training in order to provide the best care for your children. Our wonderful team members are specially trained to deal with children’s dental needs. We make every effort to keep your child relaxed and comfortable. A child’s experience with the dentist sets the attitude towards dental health as an adult, so we want them to have fun and enjoy their visits.