Many children are calm, comfortable, and confident in a pediatric dental office. Because we specialize in treating children, we make children feel special. Sometimes, however, a child feels anxious during treatment. Our staff is fully trained and licensed to provide different types of sedation and we will decide after further discussion with the parent which one will benefit your child the best.
Nitrous Oxide (happy gas)
Your child may need more support than a gentle, caring manner to feel comfortable. Nitrous oxide is a safe, effective technique to calm a child’s fear of the dental visit.
Your child will smell a sweet, pleasant aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation. 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 non-addictive, mild, easily taken, and quickly eliminated by the body. Your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen.
We recommend you limit your child’s food intake before the dental visit, as nausea or vomiting occasionally occurs when a child has a full stomach. Also, tell Dr. Rodriguez about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child, as it may limit the effectiveness of nitrous oxide/oxygen.
Conscious sedation is a management technique that uses medications to assist the child to cope with fear and anxiety and cooperate with dental treatment. Medications and dosages used are unlikely to cause loss of consciousness in the patient, although children often become drowsy and may even sleep. Conscious sedation should be considered for children who have a high level of anxiety and are unable to cooperate. It is also extremely helpful for children who are very young or who have special needs.
Conscious sedation aids in allowing a child to cope better with dental treatment, therefore preventing injury to the child and promoting a better environment for dental care. Many different medications can be used for conscious sedation. Dr. Rodriguez will discuss different options for your child.
General anesthesia is a management technique that uses medications to cause the child to become unconscious and asleep while receiving dental care. It is provided in a hospital setting by a physician or dentist who has special training in anesthesia. Children with severe anxiety, inability to cooperate, or who need extensive treatment are candidates for general anesthesia. A child’s age, health, and mental maturity level are all relevant factors when considering hospital sedation.