Going to the dentist can make some children anxious, especially if they need a dental procedure like a cavity filling or oral surgery. Sedation dentistry might be a good option for your child. Sedation dentistry involves methods that help patients relax for dental procedures. We can also use mild sedatives to manage anxiety around visiting the dentist, dental phobia, low pain tolerance, physical handicaps, or strong gag reflexes. We’re here to walk you through the safe and effective options of sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry is endorsed by the American Dental Association (ADA) as a safe, effective way to manage anxiety and keep patients comfortable during treatment. We only use the safest, most effective sedatives at our office. We use sedatives most commonly for procedures like fillings, crowns, root canals and extraction, but we can employ sedation dentistry for any treatment we offer.
Nitrous Oxide Or “Laughing Gas” Dentistry
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a safe and mild anesthetic that we frequently use to manage anxiety in younger patients. Laughing gas has a mild calming and euphoric effect. Most patients feel “giggly” while under the effects. Your child is fully conscious during laughing gas sedation and the effects wear off almost immediately after removing the mask. Nitrous oxide is non-addictive, mild, easy to administer, and 100% safe. If your child feels particularly fearful or anxious about the dentist, nitrous oxide may be the best way to help them feel comfortable during the treatment process.
While nitrous oxide is most effective for minor procedures, more extensive dental procedures may require IV sedation or general anesthesia. These are deeper forms of sedation in which your child will be only partially conscious or fully unconscious while under the effects. IV sedation will put your child to sleep but not fully unconscious. They will feel as if they are asleep during the procedure, but will still be able to respond to questions and requests. Your child can be brought back to consciousness quickly and will most likely not remember anything about the procedure afterwards. We normally use IV sedation for major dental procedures or for patients with special needs, children less than 4 years old, or children with severe anxiety around the dentist’s office. We have a dedicated anesthesiologist on staff: Dr. Ivan Reese, who will work with Dr. Hersch and Dr. Butler to administer the precise dose that is right for your child. Your child will stay comfortable and 100% safe during all parts of the procedure.
Sedation dentistry is widely used for a variety of procedures and we’re proud to offer it as an option to help your child stay as comfortable as possible during treatment. If you’re interested in learning more or think it may be a good option for your child, we would love to speak with you. Contact us today, we look forward to hearing from you!