Our dental office is designed for children and young adults. Our staff members choose to work here because they like children and want to help provide positive early dental experiences. Some children are naturally relaxed and comfortable in our office and readily accept treatment. And for some children, achieving this goal may require a form of sedation. Our practice strives to use the minimum amount of sedation necessary to keep your child safe and comfortable.
Which sedation options are available?
Our practice uses many different forms of sedation. During your consultation the City Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry team will discuss the options available and our goal is to arrive at a plan that is suitable and individually tailored to your child's needs.
Does my child need sedation?
The decision of whether or not a child needs sedation is made by consensus of the pediatric dentist and the parents. Our doctors and parents work as a team to determine the plan. The factors that are considered include:
- How old is the child? What is the expected cooperative ability?
- How much treatment needs to be completed?
- How long will the treatment take to complete?
- What is the urgency of the dental treatment?
- How does the child behave at the consultation visit?
- What are the child's general personality / disposition?
Sedation has to be provided by trained and qualified medical personnel. Problems with sedation usually arise from treatment by inexperienced or unqualified doctors or from using unsafe quantities or combinations of medications.
Sedation may minimize the reaction from children to the dental treatment, it is sometimes a safer way of completing treatment.
Nitrous oxide/oxygen is administered by inhalation and is commonly referred to as "laughing gas". A mask is fitted over your child's nose, and as he breathes, there will be a feeling of relaxation. Nitrous oxide also raises the pain threshold so your child will feel less during the procedure. Any child who is feeling nervous or anxious about dental treatment may benefit from the use of nitrous oxide. At the end of the procedure, the nitrous oxide is turned off and there are no lasting effects.
Dentistry & General Anesthesia
For some patients, the best way to provide safe and effective dental treatment is by treating them while they are asleep. After careful assessment, we may recommend treatment under general anesthesia, which will be provided by a medical anesthesiologist. General anesthesia may be appropriate for very young children, children with extensive dental needs, or special needs patients. This is the same kind of procedure that would be provided if your child were to have ear tubes placed or tonsils removed.
Advantages of treatment under general anesthesia
- Allows for treatment of children who cannot be treated awake
- Allows for safe delivery of dental care in a very controlled environment
- Can treat all cavities in all areas of the mouth during one visit
- Since the child is asleep, the treatment is not traumatic, and the child will not feel anything or remember the actual procedure
There is always some risk associated with any procedure; however, it is a relatively safe procedure. In most cases, the risks of infection from no treatment or psychological trauma from multiple, extensive appointments will outweigh the risks of complications from general anesthesia. We take every precaution to ensure your child's safety.
Your child will need a physical examination by a pediatrician or family doctor before treatment with general anesthesia. The purpose of this examination is to rule out any medical conditions that may interfere with the procedure. It is imperative that you provide us with an accurate description of any medical conditions your child may have, including any medications, hospitalizations, or previous surgeries.