What are the different kinds of Dental Sedation used at Stellar Kids Dentistry?
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide Sedation is known by many names: inhalation sedation, happy gas, laughing gas, or NO sedation. It is a type of conscious sedation, and administered through a mask that delivers the gas quickly and safely for truly pain-free dentistry. Your child will be asked to breathe through the nose, not through the mouth. It is important to emphasize the correct breathing to your child.
Effects of the gas can be immediate, with your child usually becoming far less nervous or agitated. Children who are mildly to moderately anxious about a visit to the dentist may benefit from nitrous oxide sedation, which relaxes them enough to receive the necessary dental treatments.
Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen, and the effects of the gas are mild as it is quickly eliminated from your child’s lungs. Oxygen is administered after treatment is complete to help your child flush any of the remaining nitrous oxide gas.
Prior to any dental treatment, it is important to determine whether nitrous oxide is the right option for your child. If your child rejects wearing the mask, you may have to consider other pediatric dental sedation options. One side effect of nitrous oxide sedation is temporary nausea. We recommend a liquid-only or light-meal diet for a couple of hours before the appointment. If your child has a cold or allergies, is congested, or has trouble breathing through the nose on the day of treatment, nitrous oxide may be less effective.
Oral sedation is another example of conscious sedation. If your child is particularly anxious or does not respond to nitrous oxide correctly, a pill may be given orally. Dosage depends on your child’s level of anxiety, level of cooperation, and particular treatment(s).
Drowsiness is a common side effect of oral sedation. Nausea/vomiting may occur. Prior to your dental sedation appointment, our office will provide you with instructions on permitted foods/drinks prior to the procedure, and what to expect during and after treatment. We ask that you and your child remain after the procedure for a short period so that we can ensure there are no issues.
General anesthesia may be recommended for children of a pre-cooperative age with dental needs, or for older children with dental anxiety. This option allows dentistry to be accomplished safely and in one visit.
What is General Anesthesia?
General anesthesia involves fully sedating your child, usually through an intravenous needle, in order to perform more complex dental procedures such as wisdom teeth extractions.
Our office may recommend general anesthesia if your child:
- Cannot relax enough for treatment to be safely performed
- Does not respond well to nitrous oxide sedation or oral sedation
- Requires oral surgery that may be difficult to tolerate awake
- Requires extensive dental treatments that are best done in a single appointment
- Has a disability that limits their ability to understand directions
Prior to receiving general anesthesia, your child will undergo a physical examination to ensure that they’re healthy and don’t have any pre-conditions that may interfere with the anesthesia. If your child is eligible for general anesthesia, you will receive information on any restrictions and the procedure in depth.
If your child does not feel well (has a cold, the flu, a fever) on the day of the appointment, please inquire whether the procedures will need to be rescheduled.
Please speak to your child about the procedure, and give them time to ask questions.
Your child should be able to return to their normal routine even a day after general anesthesia. You are the best judge of whether your child requires more rest or if they are able to resume their activities. Don’t hesitate to call our office if you have any questions about general anesthesia, dental sedation for children, or how to best care for your child’s oral health.
111 SE Everett Mall Way, Ste. D
Everett, WA 98208
T: (425) 212-1810
13209 44th Ave SE, Ste. 101
Mill Creek, WA 98012
T: (425) 381-4490