Types of Sedation
Children who are very young or have a high level of anxiety which interferes with the cooperation necessary for the dentist to perform treatment may require some level of sedation. In contrast to general anesthesia (which renders the child unconscious), dental sedation is only intended to reduce the child’s anxiety and discomfort during dental visits, while the child’s reflexes remain fully intact. Sedation maybe helpful for a patient with special needs to accept treatment only if they are willing to be open to the idea of receiving treatment.
Conscious sedation is an option for children who are older (three years and above) and are mildly apprehensive. This highly effective method can be administered in an inhalation method using nitrous oxide (N2O-O2). This is also referred to as “laughing gas” or “silly air”. Because nitrous oxide is a gas once all the nitrous is exhaled there are no lasting effects. Exhaling the nitrous is performed during the last 5 minutes of the procedure. Patient scheduled for nitrous are usually scheduled for morning appointments and should avoid heavy foods prior to appointment, reducing the risk of vomiting.
Nitrous oxide sedation is most helpful for:
- Children who require major treatment
- A very anxious child
- Children who have had a traumatic dental experience (sound, smell, taste aversion).
- Children with a strong gag reflex
- Children who are medically compromised or have special needs
Deep sedation is sometime necessary for children unable, by either age, maturity level or medical issues to cooperate during dental treatment. Our practice utilizes a team of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists for cases where the patient will need deeper sedation. These highly trained CRNA’s administer anesthesia to only one patient at a time, closely monitoring vital signals as the dentist performs the dental procedures. The CRNA remains in the treatment room through the entire duration of the procedure.
Our patients and their families enjoy the efficiency of IV sedation over the alternative of a in hospital based appointment, cutting out hours of hospital wait time, and arriving to a comfortable close to home familiar environment.
Sometimes a patient is unable to be sedated in an office setting and we schedule time to have the dental procedure completed at a local surgical center. For more information about our teams of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists please click here or here.
Our practice works in partnership with local surgical centers to provide outpatient surgery for specific cases.
General anesthesia will be performed under the direction of an anesthesiologist and will be offered for patients who due to their compromised medical history may be at risk to have anesthesia performed outside a hospital settling.