Choosing the safest methods for your child’s dental procedure is vital to ensuring they feel comfortable and safe at the dentist office. It’s common for children to be afraid when they visit the dentist. To help them relax, we are especially encouraging, patient, and sensitive to children in their first few appointments.
We implement several behavioral techniques to help them feel calm before a procedure. If they are afraid, it’s important we understand psychologically why they feel uncomfortable before we conclude sedation is the best method for your child. Our goal is to keep your child as content and relaxed as possible.
Your child is at the forefront when deciding whether sedation is necessary or not. If the doctors feel your child would be more calm during the procedure, they will administer the sedation properly and effectively. Our long-term goal is to help your child feel more and more comfortable with each visit to the dentist so they feel little to no fear in the future.
For conscious sedation, we may suggest “Laughing Gas,” or Nitrous Oxide. We place a breathing mask over the child’s face, they breathe in the scented air and it makes them feel a ticklish sensation throughout their body. Sometimes children find it so ticklish they giggle, which is where it takes its name. Other varieties of conscious sedation may be administered orally or by injection, though these methods are best discussed with doctors as there are a number of risks associated.
If you want your child to sleep peacefully through the procedure, we may recommend anesthetic medication. This allows for pain-free treatment in one session, rather than multiple sessions. While this option is not risk free, we ensure it is administered safely and monitored throughout the procedure. When children “wake up,” they often do not recall the procedure at all. This is normal. Please keep in mind, if our doctors suggest anesthesia, it is because we feel strongly that it is necessary for keeping your child comfortable throughout the operation.
Before receiving sedation:
- Do not bring your child to their appointment if they are running a fever or have cold-like symptoms. Please call our office, as we may need to reschedule your appointment for their safety.
- Do not let your child eat or drink anything before the operation.
- Please arrive to your appointment on time.
After receiving sedation:
- On the day of the scheduled operation, we will give you a document specifying what your child can and cannot do after surgery. It will include an emergency telephone number should any complications arise during recovery.
- Do not let your child bite or toy with their lips or cheeks, even if numb. This can cause accidental, yet serious trauma to the affected area.
- If your child is thirsty after the operation, please encourage your child to drink water.
- Avoid solid foods until your child is completely recovered.
- If they are in pain, give them regular doses of Children’s Motrin or Tylenol. If their pain persists while taking Motrin or Tylenol, please contact us. If your child starts to feel ill, discomfort, or any other problem please get in touch with us as soon as possible using the emergency phone number provided.