Laughing gas is the common term for Nitrous Oxide, a safe and mild method used during dental procedures. Your child will be awake and responsive throughout the procedure, in a more relaxed state. Because this type of dentistry is short-lived with a gentle effect, it is often used for children. Nitrous oxide puts patients at ease to remain relaxed during dental procedures allowing the anxious child a more pleasant dental experience! We customize each case individually and will discuss sedation only if necessary.
Many children suffer from dental anxiety, feeling extreme fear that keeps them from attending dental visits. We want all patients to receive excellent dental care despite their dental anxiety. To this end, we offer in-house IV sedation dentistry from an anesthesiologist to ensure the comfort of our patients. If your child fears going to the dentist, call us today to learn more about intravenous “IV” sedation.
Oral conscious sedation (OCS) is a safe, effective, and non-invasive method to help increase cooperation and reduce anxiety and discomfort/pain associated with dental treatment. Various medications can be used to sedate a child and are selected based on your child’s age, overall health, level of anxiety, and dental treatment recommendations.
Once the medications have been administered orally, it may take up to an hour or more before your child shows signs of sedation and is ready for dental treatment. In addition to the oral medication, nitrous oxide gas will be used in conjunction to help achieve an ideal level of sedation. Most children become relaxed and drowsy and may drift into a light sleep from which they can be aroused easily. Unlike general anesthesia, sedation is not intended to make a patient unconscious or unresponsive. Some children may not experience relaxation but an opposite reaction such as agitation or crying. This response to the medication may prevent us from completing the dental procedures.
OCS is only effective about 90% of the time with proper case selection. It is much more effective than using nitrous oxide alone. Parents are allowed in the room.-
Commonly referred to as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide is the combination of two gases: nitrogen and oxygen. When nitrous oxide is inhaled into the body,
it has a mild calming effect that works well for mildly-apprehensive children. Once your child is comfortable in the dental chair, a sterilized nosepiece is placed on his or her nose and they begin to inhale a sweet, pleasant aroma (of their choice). This gives them a calming sensation that relaxes them after 5 minutes.
(more than four teeth require treatment), very young children and children with developmental delays and special needs.
treatment will be completed. They will also need to be monitored closely to avoid biting their tongue, lips or cheek.
treatment and your child may experience dental fatigue after the second appointment.
Prior to the initiation of dental treatment, your child is given an oral medication to drink that is dosed according to his or her weight. The oral medication usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to work. Oral sedation is not intended to make your child unconscious – it IS NOT GENERAL ANESTHESIA. Reactions to oral sedation include drowsiness.
IV sedation provides a controlled sleep that provides a buffer for your child during dental treatment so that treatment can be completed in a safe and efficient manner. An anesthesiologist administers this type of sedation. A sedative medication is usually given in the upper arm while your child is distracted; this sedation works quickly and reliably within about 3 minutes. Once sedated your child is moved to the dental procedure room and is monitored with blood pressure, heart and breathing monitors. The intramuscular sedatives are then supplemented with intravenous (IV) sedatives.
Dr. Smith is credentialed at the Children’s Hospital of Plano and Dallas to perform dental treatment alongside a Pediatric Anesthesiologist. Children’s Hospital is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to treating children and special needs adults for dental care. Pediatric Anesthesiologists and a medical/nursing staff certified in ACLS/PALS will care for your child. Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. Dr. Smith will help your family to decide if this option is right for you.
Ultimately the parents decide if the child requires oral sedation. Our pediatric dentist will help you to make an informed decision based on your child’s behavior, dental treatments needs (based on exam and x-rays) and medical history. You can be assured that if you select dental sedation you will be in good hands.
Sedation helps children that:
Although small, there are certain risks associated with dental sedation, as with any medical or dental procedure. Our top priority is your child’s safety. Prior to performing any sedation technique, our staff and doctor will review any and all risks with you in person and answer any questions you may have.
Coverage for sedation will depend on your dental insurance and for IV or hospital sedation on your medical insurance coverage. Our patient care coordinator will be happy to discuss the options available to you for dental sedation coverage.
Oral Sedation (Oral Medications):
(IV Sedation) Intramuscular:
(IV Sedation and General Anesthesia) Intravenous Medications:
The following methods will be used during sedation to ensure your child’s safety: