Who can benefit from sedation? Children who are very young, have high anxiety, or are unable to cooperate due to maturity level can benefit from sedation. Sedation is also helpful for special needs children. There are many safe and effective drugs available today that can help relax the child and promote a good environment for optimal and safe dental treatment. Specific details tailored to each patient will be discussed with the parent of the patient before treatment to ensure the optimum beneficial outcome.
Types of Sedation
GENERAL ANESTHESIA IN-OFFICE
Dr. John plans to offer in-office general anesthesia in the near future. This in-office setting can save private insurance families costly trips to the hospital, totaling savings of up to $5,000.
Anesthesiologists who are specially trained to work with children come to our office and provide the same safety as in a hospital, but with much lower costs. You can be sure that during your child’s procedure, an anesthesiologist will be with Dr. John, your child and the team from start to finish.
ORAL CONSCIOUS SEDATION
Sedation is used to increase the cooperation of children during treatment. When behavior management techniques such as tell-show-do, voice control, non-verbal communication, positive reinforcement, distraction and parental presence are insufficient for dental treatment, sedation or general anesthesia may become necessary.
Conscious sedation or minimal sedation is part of various techniques that are used by dentists, especially pediatric dentists, alongside behavior management techniques. The goal is to provide quality dental treatment in both cooperative and uncooperative children. Depending on the personality of the child, oral sedative medications and nitrous oxide can be used successfully and safely during dental procedures. Psychosomatic behavior problems and/or an inflexible temperament trait often contribute to sedation failure in children undergoing dental treatment. Therefore, appropriate patient evaluation and selection contribute to sedation success in children.
It is important to manage a child’s pain and anxiety early in their treatment. Inadequate pain control for initial procedures in young children may diminish the effect of adequate analgesia in subsequent procedures. Sedative medications will then have to overcome increased anxiety from previous appointments.
NITROUS OXIDE “LAUGHING GAS”
For children who need help with reducing anxiety or undergoing longer appointments, nitrous oxide is a safe and easy to administer solution. Nitrous oxide can also help children reduce their gag reflex, in turn making it easier for them to tolerate dental instruments in their mouths. A few other benefits achieved through the use of nitrous oxide are: a reduction of untoward movement and it can help to decrease pain and sensitivity.
Patients remain completely conscious when under the treatment of nitrous oxide. They are able to fully respond to questions and react to stimuli. Eating prior to treatment with nitrous oxide is fine, but it is recommended to avoid heavy meals at least 2 hours prior due to nausea being a side effect that occurs in 0.5 percent of patients.
At the end of every visit with nitrous oxide, 100% oxygen is administered for 5 minutes in order to completely flush the body of the gas. The child will leave his or her appointment completely free of nitrous oxide and its effects.