If your child has a dental procedure coming up, they may feel anxious and not know what to expect. Our pediatric dentists recommend that you answer any questions your child has about the procedure and reassure them that you can remain in the room with them.
If their anxiety remains and you feel it is appropriate, we can arrange sedation for the treatment so your little one will be comfortable and relaxed.
Laughing gas is a gaseous mixture administered through a nasal mask. It is the lightest form of sedation we offer and is completely safe for children. It may make your child feel light-headed or like they are “on a space ride.” The gas will not only help them be calm and still, which will make the procedure go more quickly. The effects will wear off 2-3 minutes after removing the nasal hood.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is offered in the form of an oral suspension, or syrup. This is a light level of sedation that will calm and still your child while allowing them to still respond normally to the dentist’s requests. When the medication clears from their system, they will most likely not remember the procedure.
Intravenous Sedation (IV)
Intravenous sedation is administered when there is an extensive procedure requiring that your child be completely still. Usually, this is used for a child who is not old enough to understand and cooperate with the dentist, although it may also be used in cases of extreme anxiety or with an older child who has special needs. We will monitor the child’s heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen while they are under IV sedation. At the end of the procedure, we will remove the IV and they will wake up. The sedative will completely clear from their system within a couple of hours.
What To Know Before Sedation
Oral Conscious and IV Sedation do not offer any pain relief, so we may also need to administer a local anesthetic by an injection in the gum or jaw. This will happen after your child is already sedated. Laughing gas does offer some pain relief. It can be used at the same time as oral conscious or IV sedation. It may also be used to relax your child before starting an IV for sedation.
As with any procedure, you are welcome and encouraged to be present in the treatment room while your little one is sedated. We know that this will keep them more calm and happy than if you are not there!
What to Do After Local Anesthesia
- When the anesthetic is applied to the lower jaw, your child’s lip, tongue, teeth, and surrounding gums will feel numb for a few hours after the visit.
- When the anesthetic is applied to the upper jaw, your child's lip, teeth, and surrounding gums will feel numb for a few hours after the visit.
- The lack of feeling that anesthetic causes is new and interesting to a younger child. He may probe, suck, scratch, or chew with the numb area without understanding what has happened. Discourage your child from bothering the numb area, as it can cause irritation, swelling, and abrasions to the oral tissue.
- Keep a close eye on your child for two or three hours after the appointment. Let them have liquids and very soft foods until you are sure the anesthesia has worn off. If they eat harder foods while their mouth is still numb, they may unknowingly bite down on their cheeks, lip, or tongue.
Come Visit Us Today
Sedation for pediatric dentistry is not only safe, but it is also recommended for younger children when any procedure is indicated. It can mean the difference between fearing the dentist or viewing them as a friend! As part of our services, our more complex sedation cases are administered and monitored through Banner Health Hospital. Call our Chandler office to find out if sedation is an option to help treat your child’s dental needs!