There may be a time when your child needs to undergo a complex and lengthy dental procedure, like oral surgery, tooth extraction, or a root canal. For such procedures, we offer outpatient general anesthesia. If you and your child elect to have this type of anesthesia, they will have no memory of the time spent, the pain or discomfort, or even the noise, when we finish with the visit.
Here at Blue Water Pediatric Dentistry, we offer your son or daughter the option of general anesthesia. It is comfortable, safe, and preferred for many who need to undergo more complicated or lengthy procedures. These patients frequently choose this type of anesthesia because they suffer from:
- Anxiety or fear of going to the dentist
- Difficulty or unwillingness to sit still for extended periods
- Difficulty getting numb and staying numb from local anesthetics
WHAT IS SEDATION DENTISTRY?
Sedation Dentistry allows the dentist to deliver a wide variety of dental procedures safely and comfortably for those younger ones who become anxious when going to the dentist. Sedation dentistry offers several benefits, including:
- No memory of the dental procedure
- No sense of time passing while under sedation
- Absence of anxiety or fear during the medical treatment
LEVELS OF SEDATION
The law strictly regulates sedation during dentistry. There are three levels, or stages, of sedation with which we can administer the treatment. These three stages are mild, moderate, and deep sedation.
- Mild Sedation — The lowest or lightest state of sedation dentistry is Anxiolysis. We frequently use mild sedation for children undergoing more complex or time-consuming procedures. We usually administer this lowest level of sedation orally. This level also leaves your child awake but very sleepy during the procedure. They will be able to continue to breathe normally but will be in a state of great relaxation. Within a few hours after the procedure, your child will recover from Anxiolysis Sedation. Nitrous oxide (sometimes called laughing gas) is another common mild-to-moderate sedation that causes relaxation during a dental procedure.
- Moderate Sedation — This level of sedation is appropriate for patients who have mild anxiety at the dentist. We also use it for patients who need to undergo a procedure that is even more lengthy and complex. Conscious sedation frequently refers to the administration of light IV sedation. When using conscious sedation, your child will remain awake during the entire dental process but remain in a deep state of relaxation.
- Deep Sedation — Children who receive deep sedation will transition between consciousness and unconsciousness throughout their dental treatment. Afterward, patients will not remember the treatment they just received. Also, during their treatment, they will be unable to respond to questions or requests even if they are occasionally awake during the treatment.
HOW DO WE ADMINISTER SEDATIVES?
There are two methods through which we administer these sedatives.
- Inhalation — Nitrous oxide, sometimes called laughing gas, is the most common method chosen by dentists and patients for removing mild to moderate anxiety. One advantage to nitrous oxide is that your child will recover quickly and go about their normal activities immediately after the procedure.
- Oral — This is a very common approach used by many dentists where the patient takes oral sedation. It is straightforward to administer and does not require the dentist to use needles or gas masks. With this procedure, the child will receive a prescription pill that must be taken approximately one hour before the appointment. The effect of this pill will be that the patient will fully relax by the time you get to the dentist's office.
Feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation to become more educated about sedation dentistry and help determine which sedation dentistry method might be suitable for your little one.