Sedation Dentistry

Easing Your Child's Anxiety

We understand that visiting the dentist can be scary for kids of all ages, from young kids to pre-teens and even teenagers. Getting a treatment like a filling, crown, or tooth extraction can be a frightening prospect. But with sedation dentistry from our office, your child can relax in the dentist's chair and get the care they need without feeling uncomfortable, nervous, or anxious. And with multiple levels of sedation available, you can choose the one that's right for you and your child. * When to Consider Sedation For Your Child: Wondering if your child needs to be sedated at our office? We offer sedation for some levels of sedation in office, and our goal is always to keep your child feeling safe and comfortable. A few reasons you may want to consider sedation for your child would include helping with fear and anxiety, gag flex, fear of needles, and low pain tolerance. Even if your child is not nervous about going to the dentist, they may be scared of numbing needles, or have an overly strong gag reflex. Common sedation methods like nitrous oxide sedation can help with this, and are also very helpful if your child has a very low pain tolerance and you want to ensure that they feel comfortable during their treatment visit. Sedation is an easy way to help eliminate these feelings, and make their experience at our office more positive. * Hospital Dentistry: While we offer some forms of in-house sedation options, hospital dentistry with general anesthesia is also available for some procedures. In hospital dentistry with general anesthesia, your child will be completely unconscious, ensuring they do not feel any discomfort and can sleep through their entire procedure.

Is It Safe To Sedate My Child At The Dentist?

Yes. The dentists at North Texas Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics are experienced in modern sedation techniques. We use well-regarded drugs that are commonly used by dentists worldwide, and have a minimal risk of side effects. In addition to this, we will meet with you and your child to discuss their own unique health challenges, medications they're taking, and other such health details. Your dentist will also ask about your preferences for sedation, and which method you think may be right for your child. Together, you will collaborate to choose the best option for your child's needs. During the sedation process, your child will be observed by our experienced dental team. Depending on the level of sedation chosen, their vital signs may be monitored to ensure their safety throughout the entire procedure. You can trust the dentists at North Texas Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics to take great care of you and your child. If you have any concerns before their appointment, please get in touch with us to discuss them. We will provide you with the answers you need.

How Do I Prepare My Child To Be Sedated?

This depends on the method of sedation that your child undergoes. For nitrous oxide (laughing gas), you will not need to do anything special. However, we do recommend that your child avoids eating a heavy meal for about 2 hours before their appointment. This minimizes the risk of nausea and vomiting after their treatment. For oral conscious sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia (hospital dentistry), you will need to take some special steps to prepare your child. Their dentist will give you more information about this process. Typically, this involves fasting (avoiding eating or drinking) for at least 6 hours before the procedure. Your child can usually drink water until 2 hours before their procedure, but this may vary. Make sure to follow all of your doctor's instructions. If you don't, your child's procedure may not proceed. Generally speaking, you should also plan to take a day or two off of work to help your child rest and recover, unless they are getting nitrous oxide sedation. All other types of sedation take a long time to wear off, and can have some significant side effects.

How Long Does Sedation Last?

Nitrous oxide sedation usually lasts about 5 minutes after your child's procedure ends. Before their dentist removes the nose mask, they will send oxygen through the mask to flush out any of the nitrous oxide gas that remains in your child's lungs and bloodstream. This minimizes side effects. Your child can get back to their routine right away. Oral conscious sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia all have much longer effects. The after-effects usually peak within a few hours, then fade within 4-6 hours. You'll need to supervise your child and take care of them. They may feel confused or groggy. Nausea is a common side effect, and other symptoms can include headaches and dizziness. Some after-effects could linger for up to 24 hours, but your child should be mostly recovered by the end of the day. For more information about what to expect as your child recovers, consult with your child's dentist at North Texas Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.

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