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Your Sedation Dentist: How We Help Your Child Stay Relaxed and Cool

Little boy sleeping in bedNearly 75% of the entire US adult population has some kind of fear or anxiety associated with going to the dentist, so you can only imagine what children experience! At Tic Tac Tooth, we do everything we can to provide a comfortable and kid-friendly environment, but some children still need a little bit of extra help to feel safe and relaxed. For them, we can offer sedation dentistry, which is a collection of techniques that help us calm a child’s nervous mind while protecting them from pain. Be sure to let us know if your child is anxious about their next dental appointment, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure they have a pleasant experience.

Hand holding breathing mask

Nitrous Oxide – “Laughing Gas”

This sedation method is perfect for children who are only slightly nervous about visiting the dentist, those who are very young, and those who have special care needs. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has deemed this sedation method as safe and gentle for kids. Nitrous Oxide is not a general sedation and does not put your child to sleep. He or she will be awake, able to talk and move on their own throughout their visit. Often referred to as “laughing gas,” this quick and effective relaxation method puts your child right at ease. Your child will simply breathe in the “happy air” through a small nasal mask, and within moments, they will feel a comforting sensation. After their treatment has been completed, the nasal mask will be removed and they’ll be right back to their typical level of activity.

Excited young girl with big smile

General Anesthesiology (Sleep Dentistry) in a Hospital Setting

In order to ensure your child’s complete comfort and safety, we may recommend general anesthesia. This is what most people think of when they hear the phrase “sedation dentistry.” Completed by trained medical professionals in a hospital setting, this kind of sedation will put your child completely to sleep. They will have no memory of their visit afterward. We typically use it for children with special care needs, children with severe behavioral problems, as well as medically compromised children. This will be administered by a board-certified pediatric anesthesiologist, and your child will basically feel like they’ve taken a nice long nap afterward.

Mother and Daughter enjoying playing on tablet

Considerations Prior to Sedation

It’s important to remember that children all have unique needs when it comes to ensuring their comfort and safety in a dental office. For some kids, there’s never a problem with treatment using just local anesthesia and our team’s kind, gentle touch. Other kids need some level of sedation even for what seems to their parents to be minor treatment. We’re here to help you better understand your child’s needs and ensure they are comfortable throughout their time in our office. Some things to remember when planning for dental sedation include:

  • Does your child take any medications?
  • Does your child have medical or latex allergies?
  • Does your child have any medical conditions?
  • Has your child ever experienced adverse effects during dental or medical care, especially while sedated?

Do you think your child could benefit from sedation dentistry? Could it help them finally not be afraid of the dentist? Your child’s comfort is always one of our top priorities, and these techniques are just another way we can take care of them. To learn more about how sedation dentistry works or to schedule an appointment, simply contact our office today.