Sedation Learning Center
Many patients may feel anxious at the thought of going to the dentist, due to painful past experiences or just a general fear of dental procedures. If your child struggles with the idea of visiting the dentist, sedation dentistry can help. Sedation dentistry can help your child feel relaxed and at ease throughout their entire appointment. We hope the information in our Sedation Learning Center will help you make an informed decision about your children’s dental needs. Take a look through the points below for more details!
Sedation dentistry utilizes prescription medication to help patients relax during their dental procedures. Sometimes it is referred to as “sleep dentistry,” although that is not entirely true. Many patients tend to be so relaxed they may take a nap through their dental appointment, but they are not completely unconscious.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation – Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide, combined with oxygen, is given through a mask that is placed over the nose. The gas helps the patient relax and feel comfortable throughout their procedure. The amount of sedation administered is controlled and the gas tends to wear off quickly after the mask is removed.
For oral sedation, your child will take a pill. Although they will remain awake, the oral sedation will make them drowsy. This is the most common type of anesthesia associated with sedation dentistry.
IV Sedation is used on rare occasions for children with an extreme amount of anxiety, only when considered necessary. It is administered through a vein in the hand or arm, so it goes to work more quickly. IV sedation allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation. This method is especially beneficial when sitting through more than one treatment or if your child has a strong gag reflex.
The amount of time it takes for sedation to wear off depends on which form of sedation is administered, how long the treatment is, and how quickly the body is able to recover. With nitrous oxide, your child will recover immediately following their procedure. With oral or IV sedation, the effects can take a few hours to wear off.
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