Imagine your child undergoing a complex dental treatment such as a root canal, extraction, or oral surgery. When treatment is complete, your child will have no recollection of the time it took, the pain, the noise, or the discomfort.
We are pleased to offer children the option of comfortable, safe, and effective sedation dentistry. Our pediatric dental patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:
- Fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
- Difficulty sitting still for long periods of time
- A hard time getting (and staying) numb from anesthetics
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry enables Dr. Ali and Dr. Sara to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for kids who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits to sedation dentistry, including:
- No memory of undergoing the procedure
- No sense of time while under sedation
- No sense of smell or sound
- No fear or anxiety during treatment
Levels of Sedation
Sedation dentistry is closely regulated by law. There are three sedative states at which we can administer treatment: mild sedation, moderate sedation, and deep sedation.
- Mild Sedation — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for children with mild anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations. Mild sedation is usually administered orally. Your child will remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure and will be able to breathe normally, but he or she will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover from anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete. Nitrous oxide inhalation (laughing gas) is another form of mild-to-moderate sedation that results in relaxation during treatment.
- Moderate Sedation — Used for patients with moderate dental anxiety and those who need longer or more complex procedures, conscious sedation often refers to the use of light IV sedation. With conscious sedation, your little one will remain awake throughout the procedure, but will be in a deep state of relaxation.
- Deep Sedation — Patients who receive deep sedation go between consciousness and unconsciousness during their dental procedure. They often have no recollection of the treatment and are unable to respond to commands, even if they are awake at times during the procedure.
How are sedatives administered?
- Inhalation — Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild-to-moderate anxiety. Recovery is quick so your child can resume normal activities immediately.
- Oral — An extremely common technique for dental sedation is oral sedation. It is easy and does not require the use of needles. Your litte one will be given a prescription pill which, taken about an hour before the appointment, will have him or her fully relaxed by the time you arrive at our office.
Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out which sedation dentistry method may be right for your child.
Prior to your appointment
- Please notify us of any change in your child’s health and/or medical condition. Do not bring your youngster for treatment with a fever, ear infection, or cold. Should your youngster become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
- You must tell the doctor of any drugs your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
- Please dress your son or daughter in loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.
- Please make sure your youngster goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
- Your child should not have solid food for at least 6 hours prior to the sedation appointment and only clear liquids for up to 4 hours before the appointment.
- The parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.
- Please watch your child closely while the medication is taking effect. Hold him or her in your lap or keep close to you. Do not let the patient “run around.”
- Your child will act drowsy and may become slightly excited at first.
After the sedation appointment
- Your youngster will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep the child away from areas of potential harm.
- If your child wants to sleep, place the patient on his or her side with chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage him or her to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first, it is best to give your little one sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
- If your youngster vomits, help him or her bend over and turn the head to the side to ensure the child does not inhale vomit.
- Because we use local anesthetic to numb your child’s mouth during the procedure, he or she may have a tendency to bite or chew lips, cheeks, and/or tongue and/or rub and scratch the face after treatment. Please observe your youngster carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.
- Please call our office for any questions or concerns you might have.