Many children have a hard time sitting still, which can make dental care difficult. Others may be fearful or anxious about visiting the dentist. However, with sedation options, we can ensure your child stays comfortable and relaxed during their visit, so every trip to the dentist is a positive experience.
Why Should I Choose Pediatric Sedation?
Sedation is really useful for kids. Just like adults, children are often nervous about dental procedures like fillings, or even oral exams and teeth cleanings. Sedation keeps your child calm and comfortable. It also makes it easier for your dentist to treat them, particularly if your little one is active and tends to move around a lot. Keeping them still and comfortable lets their pediatric dentist focus on the procedure and provide better overall care.
Did you know…
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas” was first used in dental sedation way back in 1844. Today, it’s still the most common sedation method for kids.
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If your child has medical complexities or is too young to be sedated in-office, Dr. Hammer has privileges at Rady Children’s Hospital. This means that your child can safely have general anesthesia performed by a Rady’s pediatric anesthesiologist in a safely monitored environment. We will carefully take care of your child’s treatment with hospital resources in that one appointment so that you and your child can get back to smiling.
Oral Conscious Sedation Options
Oral conscious sedation is taken in liquid or pill form, and can be administered 30-60 minutes before your child’s treatment. It’s a great option for kiddos with more severe dental anxiety, or those undergoing more complex procedures.
IV Sedation Available
IV sedation is delivered directly to the bloodstream, putting your child into a state of deep relaxation. Ideal for those with severe anxiety or other special needs, little patients who receive IV sedation may fall asleep during treatment, but they can be easily woken to respond to commands.
General Anesthesia for Severe Anxiety
General anesthesia is usually reserved for only the most invasive dental surgeries, as it requires the use of a ventilator to help patients breathe. The primary benefit of general anesthesia is that it will render your child completely unconscious, they will not feel anything or remember anything about their treatment.
Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist
Rest assured that your child is receiving top-notch, specialized care with our Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist. To be recognized by The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, doctors must undergo extensive training in the pediatric field in addition to their standard dental degrees.
Deep Sedation for Your Child’s Comfort
We want your child to feel comfortable during big procedures, that’s why we work with an expert dental anesthetist to provide deep sedation for our patients that need to be asleep for treatment. This is closely monitored by the anesthetist, pediatric dentist, and dental assistant so we can manage and monitor care.
Laughing Gas for Little Smiles
The most mild form of sedation, nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas or minimally inhaled sedation, is a safe way to ensure your child stays relaxed during their treatment.
Payment Options For Every Budget
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Complimentary Meet & Greets
Overcoming the fear of going to the dentist can be a challenge. That’s why we encourage parents to bring their little ones for a tour of the office and to meet the team. Their dentist will “count their teeth” and show them how cool going to the dentist can be, so they can get excited about their oral health!
Before & After
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The Benefits of Pediatric Sedation
Manage Fear & Dental Anxiety
Seeing the dentist can be scary for kids of all ages, particularly for procedures like fillings. With sedation, your little one can sit back, relax, and feel more comfortable throughout their entire appointment with their pediatric dentist.
Eliminate Pain & Discomfort
Along with local numbing, sedation is extremely effective at controlling any potential pain and discomfort that your little one may experience during their treatment. This makes their treatment easier and gives you peace of mind.
Mitigate Gag Reflex, Fear Of Needles
Some types of sedation can help impair the gag reflex, which is really useful if your child needs work to be done on their rear teeth and has a sensitive gag reflex. It can also help with fear of numbing needles, which is common in both kids and adults.
The Pediatric Sedation Treatment Process
Initial Consultation & Approval
Before your child can be sedated, their pediatric dentist will discuss their health history, medications, supplements, and other details with you to make sure they can be sedated safely. If your child is approved, their pediatric dentist will discuss their options for sedation, and which one may be right for their situation.
Preparation & Sedation
If you need to do anything special to prepare for their appointment, your child’s pediatric dentist will let you know. Then, you’ll come to our office as scheduled, and your child will be sedated for their appointment. They’ll be able to relax and get their treatment in a comfortable, child-friendly environment.
Depending on the type of sedation, your child may recover from sedation within just a few minutes, or may require some special aftercare and monitoring after their appointment. Your pediatric dentist will give you all the details you need to care for your little one after their treatment.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is sedation dentistry safe for toddlers?
When done correctly, sedation dentistry for children, even toddlers, is completely safe. Several precautions are taken to ensure a seamless experience. First, we’ll take a detailed health history to make sure we recommend the right sedation option. We’ll then discuss options with the parent or guardian so that you understand the effects and are prepared to care for your child after their procedure. All methods of sedation dentistry are provided by professionals at our office so you can rest assured that your child’s well-being is of the utmost importance.
What does sedation dentistry feel like for my child?
This depends on the method of sedation. With laughing gas, your child will feel light-headed, giggly, and relaxed, but will be fully conscious and aware of their surroundings. They will also feel less discomfort during treatment.
Oral conscious sedation and IV sedation will usually make patients feel groggy or sleepy. Your child will likely fall asleep, and probably won’t remember much about the procedure. However, they will not be unconscious, and can still be woken and respond to commands.
General anesthesia is the deepest level of sedation. Your child will be completely unconscious and will not feel anything or remember anything from the procedure.
Is sedation dentistry right for my child?
As long as your child is healthy and is not taking any medications that may interfere with the sedation, your child should be a good candidate for sedation dentistry. Contact us to learn more about sedation options for your child. We can discuss any concerns you may have during a consultation.
Why is sedation used in dentistry?
Sedation is most often used to treat dental anxiety and keep children at ease during their treatment. Fear of the dentist is very common, and sedation can keep your child calm during their appointments.
Additionally, sedation helps with pain and discomfort during more invasive procedures, such as tooth extractions. It also helps young patients feel more comfortable if they need to sit still for longer treatment times.