We understand that some children are nervous, fearful, or restless during dental appointments, so we offer sedation dentistry to make their treatment smooth and stress-free. We offer a variety of sedation methods to meet the needs of every patient, so if you think that your child would benefit from sedation dentistry, give us a call to go over your options and discuss the details.
Nitrous oxide (more often referred to as laughing gas) is one of the most common forms of sedation used in dentistry. Laughing gas is administered through a comfortable mask that fits over your child’s nose, and takes effect when it is inhaled. This option will keep your child calm and give them feelings of euphoria throughout treatment. Laughing gas wears off quickly, so your little one will be able to enjoy the rest of their day after their visit.
Oral sedation won’t put your child to sleep during their appointment, but they will be calm and relaxed in the dentist’s chair. This sedative is taken in liquid form, and since the effects of drowsiness don’t wear off immediately after treatment, we will prepare you with all the information you need to care for your child both before and after their appointment. Instructions include limiting food and fluid intake prior to you child’s visit and preparing to stay with them for several hours afterward until the sedative wears off completely.
This form of sedation is not typically administered for children unless they will be undergoing a procedure that cannot be performed safely without it, or if your child has a condition that limits cooperation or the ability to follow instructions.
Our goal is to make sure your child is happy, healthy, and comfortable. That’s why we offer sedation options to keep your little one safe and calm during necessary dental treatments. If you think your child may benefit from sedation dentistry, we can help! Call us today to discuss your needs, and one of our experts will go over your options.
Yes. Sedation is 100% safe. We use the latest techniques and time-tested sedative medications at Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, and our dentists have years of combined experience in the field of sedation dentistry.
We will always discuss your child’s health history and other information before their appointment to ensure they can be sedated safely, and our dental team will keep a close eye on them throughout the entire sedation process to make sure the procedure goes smoothly.
For young kids, less information is more. Just let them know that the dentist will give them a special medicine to make them sleep or feel more comfortable during their treatment.
If you have an older kid like a pre-teen, you can explain the process in a bit more detail, since they’ll actually be able to understand what will happen when they’re sedated. Once they know a bit more about what to expect, they’ll feel more comfortable with the treatment process.
It’s also a good idea to stay with your child during their procedure. At Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we allow parents to stay with their kids throughout their entire appointment. It really helps when your child knows you’re nearby and you can comfort them.
Young kids may also benefit from bringing a comfort item like a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, or toy. This makes them feel more safe and secure during the treatment process.
The at-home care required for your child depends on the method of sedation they’re given, as well as the specifics of their procedure. For specific instructions on how to care for their mouth after oral surgery or another procedure, consult with your dentist at Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry after your child’s treatment.
As far as sedation aftercare goes, laughing gas sedation requires no special care. It wears off within 5 minutes, and your child can get back to their day-to-day routine right away as long as they have only had a minor treatment like a dental filling.
However, aftercare for oral conscious sedation or general sedation is different. Your child will be very groggy, sleepy, and confused after their treatment. We will typically keep them in our office for at least an hour after their treatment ends to ensure they recover from sedation properly.
Then, you and your child will be sent home. Your child should rest and relax for the rest of the day as their sedation wears off. Give them plenty of clear liquids so they stay hydrated, and feed them mild, easy-to-digest foods like applesauce, yogurt, and mashed potatoes. This will help prevent nausea and discomfort. Most of the effects of the sedatives will wear off within a few hours, though they can persist up to 12-24 hours after treatment in some cases.
Follow-up visits are usually not necessary after sedation. However, some oral surgeries like tooth extractions or root canal therapy may require a follow-up. Your dentist will provide you with more information and schedule your child’s follow-up after their initial treatment at Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry.