Dental Pain Management Techniques: An Introduction

Mar 7, 2022

If you were to ask people what it is about going to the dentist that makes them feel the most uncomfortable, there’s a good chance that at least a few of them would talk about the pain or discomfort they experience. Dealing with pain or discomfort is enough to put any kid off of going to the dentist. Fortunately, Stellar Kids Dentistry offers multiple options for dental pain management to address the issue.

Local Anesthesia

One of the simplest pain management techniques used at Stellar Kids Dentistry is local anesthesia. The point is to numb the tooth so that larger fillings and extractions are painless and your child is completely comfortable. Dr. Emily Pham knows how important it is to both you and your child that the visit be as easy and comfortable as possible, which is why topical anesthetics and behavioral coaching techniques rule the day. Given the talent in administering local anesthetics, it’s possible that your child won’t even know their tooth has been numbed.

Nitrous Oxide

You may know nitrous oxide by its colloquial names: laughing gas and happy gas. Its capacity to reduce anxiety, pain, and the gag reflex make it popular with parents, kids, and dentists alike. The feelings of relative calmness that it creates can even help children sit still longer. That makes everything go more smoothly. Light foods that are easy to digest should be eaten prior to an appointment where nitrous oxide is used. Be aware that any sort of nasal congestion could result in the nitrous oxide being less effective.

Oral Sedation

Some children are too anxious or require procedures that are too in depth to be handled just by local anesthesia or nitrous oxide. In that case, oral sedation may be used. This is different from general anesthesia, since your child will still be conscious. Roughly 10 minutes prior to treatment, a dose of Midazolam mixed with Tylenol is administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide. Think Valium, but with a shorter duration and stronger effect. The mixture helps with anxiety, pain, and relaxation. Expect your child’s memories of the appointment to be fuzzy because of the oral sedation.

Pain management techniques can go a long way towards helping dental patients feel more comfortable when they attend their dentist appointments. The technique used will depend in part on the procedure, and in part on the needs of the patient. If you have any questions about what sort of dental pain management technique will be best for your child, be sure to talk to your child’s pediatric dentist. They’ll be able to answer any questions you may have about it.

Stellar Kids Dentistry is committed to helping you protect the health of your child’s teeth in a safe, comfortable manner. Check out the different services we offer here.