Unlike with adults, oral sedation (liquid medicine) is dispensed only at the office for your child’s safety, not at home.
Who should use sedation dentistry?
It is no secret that most of us do not like going to the dentist. In fact, many people go years without even a check-up or cleaning. Some reasons for avoiding the dentist include:
- Fear of needles, drills, or other dental
- Behavioral or developmental
- Past traumatic dental experiences
- Sensitive teeth and/or difficulty getting numb
- Discomfort with the smells, noises, and tastes
that accompany dental work
- High gag reflex
- Individuals with Special Needs
Fortunately, in this day and age, these issues are no longer a reason to avoid the dentist. With sedation dentistry, patients are able to have a comfortable, anxiety-free experience while having their dental work performed.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry has been around for over 100 years and has continued to evolve over the last 40 years as more options are made available to patients. While it is common practice to be sedated by doctors for medical procedures, for some time there has been the misconception that routine dental work does not justify the use of sedation. Fortunately, dental sedation is now used worldwide. It has proven to be a safe and effective option for a variety of patients and procedures.
Depending on the extent of the work being done and the needs of the individual patient, we offer three different methods of sedation:
- Nitrous Oxide ~
Also known as inhalation sedation or “laughing gas.” A mask is placed over the patient’s nose, and the flow
level is adjusted by the dentist until the patient is comfortable. You or your child may feel as if you are
floating and become more relaxed and able to cooperate for dental treatment. One advantage of this method is
that as soon as the dental work is complete, the patient receives 100% oxygen and the feeling of sedation is
gone within a few minutes.
- Oral Sedation (pill) ~
This is for patients who are afraid of getting a shot or are just anxious about having dental work done. For adults, a pill may be prescribed for you to take the night before to help the patient sleep, then another an hour prior to the dental appointment. Children who are too young to cooperate or who have anxiety or problems sitting still can also benefit from sedation. Your child may appear sleepy or silly during treatment and should have limited memory of the procedure. The medication used will be a liquid and will only be administered in the dental office for your child’s safety.
- General Anesthesia ~
This type of sedation is utilized in our office for children and is ideal for patients with extreme anxiety when it comes to dental procedures, or for those who are having complex dental work that takes a longer period of time to complete. The patient will be
unconscious and he or she will remember nothing about the dental work being performed.
What to Expect
With conscious sedation, most patients describe feeling as though they have “slept” through the appointment. Those who have had nitrous oxide sedation often compare it to feeling like they are “floating” or to having had a few glasses of wine. The oral sedatives have a similar effect, depending on the type of medication and dosage. Nitrous oxide and oral sedation methods will allow you to communicate with your dentist during the procedure. Throughout the appointment, your doctor will closely monitor your vital signs and overall comfort level.
If you are sedated you will need someone to bring you to our office on the day of your appointment. Also, you MUST make sure you have someone to take you home afterward.
How do I know if sedation is right for me?
Talking with your dentist is the first step in deciding if sedation dentistry is for you or your child. Whether you are afraid of needles, have trouble getting numb, or are simply anxious when it comes to dental work, you and your dentist can discuss your individual case and options.
Do you live in or around Woodbridge? There is no reason to put off your dental work – all it takes is a phone call to get the dental care you need. Call us today.