Occasionally sedation may be required for patients when anxiety is present or extensive dental work is necessary.
DFK offices offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for dental treatments for the slightly anxious child. Nitrous oxide is a very safe, odorless, gas that helps calm a fearful child who is cooperative but worried about their appointment.
Nitrous oxide does not put your child to sleep. Nitrous oxide is administered with a "Mr. Nose" which is a nasal hood that is scented with flavors like bubblegum and strawberry. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off in a few minutes.
If the child is too young or too anxious to sit in a chair and breathe through a nose-piece, nitrous oxide is not an option. It is not always effective in extremely anxious/fearful children.
In those situations, pharmacological intervention may be necessary for work to be completed in a safe environment.
Most dental procedures in children are completed in office using local anesthesia or laughing gas; however, very young, fearful, uncooperative children or those who need lots of dental work may require IV sedation to safely provide dental care. Intravenous (IV) sedation is a deep sleep that insulates your child from the stress and discomfort associated with dental procedures.
It is not the same as general anesthesia used in a hospital. We work with trained pediatric anesthesiologists who administer anti-anxiety drugs intended to help put your child at ease for the treatment.
The pediatric dentist performs the dental treatment while the anesthesiologist monitors your child’s sedation levels. IV sedation is also beneficial because your child will have no recollection of the procedure after the fact, which means that there are no bad memories that may make the child fearful or resistant to future appointments and treatments.
Your pediatric dentist will decide if your child is a good candidate for this service.