Children who are very young or who have a high level of anxiety that interferes with the cooperation necessary for the dentist to perform treatment may require some level of 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.
NITROUS OXIDE AND OXYGEN SEDATION ("LAUGHING GAS")
Conscious sedation is an option for children who are apprehensive and/or anxious. We administer this highly effective method in the form if an inhalation method using nitrous oxide ("laughing gas") and oxygen. This sedative has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and 100% oxygen is administered for five minutes to flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately and side effects are rare. Rarely, children will experience minor nausea after using nitrous oxide and oxygen sedation. Nitrous oxide is non-addictive, is easily administered, and is rapidly eliminated from the body once turned off. Dr. Butler will provide you with pre- and post-sedation instructions.
Oral sedation is syrup medication that is used to alleviate more moderate dental anxiety or for a child who has special needs. There are many different types of oral medications that can be prescribed and tailored to meet your child’s specific dental treatment and extent of anxiety. Our dental anesthesiologist Dr. Kathryn Le comes into our office to administer Oral Sedation to our patients. This allows Dr. Butler to focus entirely on your child’s dental needs, while Dr. Le focuses entirely on your child while under sedation with state-of-the-art monitoring systems. We feel that this is the best way to administer Oral Sedation to our patients who are in need of this treatment option. Dr. Butler and Dr. Le will provide you with pre- and post-sedation instructions.
IV SEDATION/GENERAL ANESTHESIA
Deep sedation is sometimes necessary for children that are unable, by either age or maturity level, to cooperate during dental treatment. Dr. Butler may recommend IV sedation or general anesthesia for some children in order to complete their dental treatment. This deeper sedation, often times, is the only method for treating those with special needs, very young children, children that are very anxious, or children that have extremely severe dental problems. In cases where the safety of a child is compromised due to excessive movement or lack of cooperation, Dr. Butler might also recommend this form of sedation. In the event that we do recommend IV sedation for a child, Dr. Butler calls upon Dr. Kathryn Le or Dr. Barry Krall, our designated dental anesthesiologists, to administer medication to allow a child to comfortably and safely receive dental care. We have your child’s best interest and comfort in mind.