Sedation dentistry is the use of medication to relax patients who have dental anxiety during a dentist appointment. It can be used for routine or complex procedures to put the patient at ease. It also has an amnesiac effect which causes the patient to forget the appointment, which can be helpful for those with extreme phobias or trauma related to dentistry or needles.
If your child is nervous about an upcoming dental appointment, let us know if you would like for them to be sedated beforehand. Contact us at Campfire Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nathan Benassi.
Not everyone is a good candidate for dental sedation. This is why we need to know what medical conditions your child has or what medications they take.
At your consultation, Dr. Benassi will review your child’s medical history to determine if they’re a good candidate for dental sedation.
Certain sedatives have requirements such as limiting what your child eats or drinks before coming in for their appointment.
Once you’ve arrived at your child’s appointment, we will administer sedation through a nasal mask or IV. Depending on the type of sedation, it will take between 30 seconds to 30 minutes to take effect. Then, we will perform your child’s treatment.
Once your child’s dental treatment is finished, they may need some time to recover before going home. IV sedation and general anesthesia take a little longer to wear off and we may need to monitor them for up to an hour before you leave. With laughing gas, we can remove its remnants immediately and you can go home right away.
Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is an inhaled sedative that is administered through a nasal mask. It has a very quick onset, taking effect within just a few minutes of inhalation. Effects include feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and giddiness.
Some children may laugh a lot after receiving laughing gas. Because it is the mildest sedative, it is also the safest and most accessible for all patients, including children. Your child will be fully conscious and can respond to the dentist during their appointment.
Once the procedure is done, we flush the gas mask with pure oxygen to remove remnants of nitrous oxide from the body. Within a couple of minutes, your child will be completely back to normal and can return to normal activities.
Sedation administered through an IV is more intense, but also has a wide range of how deep the sedation is. We can control the concentration of medication that is administered to your child through an IV.
This means though your child is typically completely conscious, they could feel a little drowsy or drift off to sleep. This is why it is often referred to as “twilight sleep.” However, there is no breathing assistance needed for IV sedation, because automatic breathing is not disrupted.
General anesthesia can be administered either through a gas mask or through an IV. It involves putting a patient under so that they are unconscious during the procedure. They will not be able to respond or be aware of their surroundings during the treatment and may wake up confused about where they are.
Breathing is controlled with a tube that is placed in the windpipe because the paralysis of muscles interferes with automatic breathing. This is typically used for complex procedures like oral surgery.
Your child can receive dental sedation for routine procedures like cleanings and checkups.
Dental sedation is completely safe when administered by a professional certified dentist who has received ample training in sedation. The more intense the sedation, the higher the associated risks are.
We will always evaluate your child’s medical history to determine if sedation is safe for them and what type of sedation they are a good candidate for. Our most accessible sedative is nitrous oxide, as it is very mild and the child stays fully conscious and aware of their surroundings.
In addition to relieving dental anxiety and putting patients at ease, sedation also prevents the sensation of pain and tooth sensitivity. It can also help restless children sit still for long periods and hold their mouths open when they would normally be uncomfortable.
Those with a sensitive gag reflex may struggle with oral procedures that work in the back of the mouth. Sedation relieves sensitive gag reflexes by suppressing them. If your child has a long or complicated procedure, sedation helps your child feel relaxed and helps the dentist get more work done.
Getting a pulpotomy can save your child’s tooth from more invasive procedures, like an extraction.