Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medication during dental treatment. It is most commonly used for children who are young and have as sever anxiety, for patients requiring extensive treatment, or for patients with dental phobia. There are different types of sedation, including nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”), IV sedation, and general anesthesia. Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit.
NITROUS OXIDE/LAUGHING GAS
Nitrous Oxide, or better known as laughing gas, is a mild form of sedation for children who visit the pediatric dentist and may be overly nervous or anxious about their scheduled treatments. Nitrous Oxide helps to ease patient’s fears so as to help them relax during their visit, and to receive dental treatment in a comfortable and safe manner. Typically delivered through a mask over the nose, nitrous oxide is mixed directly with oxygen and delivered as the patient breathes in and out regularly. The patient is usually asked to breath normally through the nose, and as the gas begins to take effect, the child will become more relaxed and less nervous.
Is Nitrous Oxide Safe
Nitrous Oxide is 100% safe to use during treatment and is eliminated from the body quickly after the gas is turned off. The child will remain awake during the entire procedure and will be able to interact and communicate with the pediatric dentist. After the procedure(s) are over, the nitrous oxide gas will be turned off and typically Dr. T. will continue to deliver oxygen for a few minutes to ensure that all gas is flushed from the system.
How is Nitrous Used
Nitrous oxide is a safe, effective sedative agent used to calm a child’s fear of the dental visit and actually enhances communication between your child and Dr. T. during dental procedures. Additionally it reduces the gag reflex which can interfere with effective dental treatment. Nitrous oxide blends two gases oxygen and nitrous oxide and is administered by a fitted mask placed over your child’s nose. Your child then breathes normally, they become very relaxed in a matter of minutes and once Nitrous is stopped your child will be given oxygen for 3 to 5 minutes. There are no lingering effects.
While breathing in the Nitrous oxide your child will smell a faint sweet aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. Since it may produce a feeling of giddiness or euphoria, it is often called “laughing gas”. Children sometimes report dreaming and their arms and legs may feel “tingly”. It raises the pain threshold and may even make the time appear to pass quickly. If your child is worried by the sights sounds or sensations of dental treatment, he or she may respond more positively with the use of Nitrous Oxide.
Nitrous Oxide is perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. It is well tolerated, having a rapid onset, and is reversible, can be adjusted in various concentrations and is non-allergenic. Your child remains fully conscious keeps all natural reflexes when breathing the gases. He or she will be capable of responding to a question or request. You should inform our office regarding any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child.
Children are of course not all alike all of our Dental Services are tailored specifically to your child. In a very small percentage of children Nitrous oxide may not be effective, especially those children who have severe anxiety, nasal congestion or discomfort wearing a nasal mask. We will review your child’s medical history, level of anxiety, and treatment needs and inform you if nitrous oxide is recommended for your child.
Dr. T. will evaluate your child to determine if IV sedation is necessary for your child's treatment. Before using a sedative, it is important to tell the office about any medical problems your child may have or medications they are taking.
We are very excited to offer our patients the option of having their treatment done with the benefit of in-office pediatric IV sedation that is outpatient. Clermont Kids Dentistry has a Pediatric Dental Anesthesia Associates, Board Certified Pediatric Anesthesiologists, on staff will be present and perform the sedation. Dr. T. will perform all necessary dental treatment.
Benefits of IV sedation
The child is asleep during the IV sedation. They are not aware of the treatment being done. They do not, generally, need to be numb for treatment. This can eliminate the numb feeling following the procedure, which can last up to 4 hours. With numbing young children do not understand this feeling and can potentially chew the inside of their cheek and lip.
In some cases, medical insurance will pick up some or all of the costs associated with the anesthesia. Parents will need to contact their medical providers to see if this is a covered expense. Once the appointments are booked, the pediatric anesthesiologist can assist in the paperwork concerning this aspect.
We can take necessary dental x-rays when they are asleep, which allows us to see if there are more areas affected and treat at the same time. This may result in a change in the original treatment plan given at the child's examination visit, but can benefit the child by reducing the need for additional future procedures.