Sedation Dentistry uses medication to help your child relax for a better dental care experience. Sedation dentistry can even help patients with severe dental anxiety.
Sedation dentistry offers many benefits to meet your child’s individual needs. Sedation allows your child’s body to relax more completely. This increases the effectiveness of local anesthesia. Sedation dentistry reduces the sensation of passing time. This can be very useful if your child needs complex or multiple treatments in a single sitting. It also prevents their muscles from stiffening or becoming sore due to spending extended periods of time in one position.
In every case, your child’s sedation is closely monitored by experienced dental professionals who ensure your child’s safety and comfort.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a mild dental sedation medication. Once inhaled, it induces a state of mild relaxation. It also reduces sensitivity to pain. Nitrous Oxide is safe for virtually every patient, regardless of age. Following treatment, oxygen is used to neutralize the effects of the nitrous oxide. Once this is complete, your child will be fully alert.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral Conscious Sedation, or OCS, provides a stronger level of sedation than Nitrous Oxide. Many patients prefer to use OCS for the deeper relaxation it provides. Though your child will still able to stand, walk, or answer questions, they remain in a calm and drowsy state throughout the treatment. With OCS, many patients have found they have little memory of the procedure after the fact. For patients with dental anxiety, this can be a great benefit.
Intravenous Sedation, or IV Sedation, is generally used with shorter treatment sessions. The effects are immediate and may cause your child to feel as though you slept through the treatment. Your child may feel groggy when the IV is stopped, but this will fade over the next few hours.
While there are no lingering aftereffects, the sedative effects of these options can take up to 24 hours to fully diminish.
With general anesthesia, your child will be unconscious and unable to respond during dental procedures. In this unconscious state, he or she will not feel any pain and there is a complete absence of any anxiety or fear, which is why many parents ask about using general anesthesia. The effects typically wear off after a few hours.
Your child’s safety is our top priority. At their appointment, be sure to tell us about:
- Any prescription medications or over-the-counter medications your child is taking
- Any herbal or nutritional supplements your child is using
- Any allergies your child may have, particularly medication reactions
- Any health conditions your child may have
- Any questions or concerns you or your child may have about their treatment or about sedation dentistry
For more information about using sedation dentistry with your next treatment, contact East Mesa Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics.