Our doctors are trained in working with young, immature and sometimes frightened children and those children with special needs. At NOVA Children’s Dentistry, we do not sedate every child that comes to our office. Our goal is to treat children in the safest and least invasive way possible. Whether or not we use oral sedation for your child will depend on the doctor’s recommendation, your child’s condition and anxiety level, and the parent’s input.
If sedation is recommended for your child, we will take every precaution to make sure your child receives the proper monitoring and care necessary. We will use a combination of monitoring tools to assure the safety of your child. While we cannot make sedation risk-free, we do all we can to facilitate safety for our patients.
Some children are given nitrous oxide/oxygen, or “laughing gas” in order to relax them for dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gasses, nitrous oxide, and oxygen. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the child’s nose, allowing them to relax but without putting them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating children’s dental needs. The gas is mild, easily taken, then with normal breathing, it is quickly eliminated from the body. It is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes.
Prior to Your Appointment:
Please inform us of any change in your child’s health and/or medical condition. Tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide/oxygen. Let us know if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.
Your child should NOT have any food or drink at least 2 hours prior to their appointment.
Oral (conscious) sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatment. Your child may be quite drowsy and may even fall asleep but they will not become unconscious.
There are a variety of medications that can be used for conscious sedation. Our doctors will utilize the medication best suited for your child’s overall health and dental treatment recommendations. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning the specific medication we plan to give your child.
Prior to Your Appointment:
Please notify us of any change in your child’s health and/or medical condition. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment. You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
Please dress your child in loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Your child should not have solid food or liquids for at least 6 hours prior to their sedation appointment.
The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure. Please watch your child closely while the medication is taking effect. Do not let them “run around.” Your child will act drowsy and may become slightly excited.
After the Sedation Appointment:
Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first, it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to ensure that they do not inhale the vomit.
Because we use local anesthetic to numb your child’s mouth during the procedure, your child may have the tendency to bite or chew their lips, cheeks and/or tongue and/or rub and scratch their face after treatment. Please observe your child carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.
Please call our office for any questions or concerns you might have.
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