Sedation dentistry offers a method of aiding the patient in managing pain and anxiety during professional dental procedures. Our office offers oral sedation and inhalation sedation (nitrous oxide).
Oral Conscious Sedation
Some apprehensive children, children with special needs or very young children may find conscious sedation will help in reducing anxiety and discomfort. Your child may become drowsy or fall asleep but with this medication, they will not be unconscious.
The goals of sedation are as follows:
- To guard the patient's safety and welfare
- To minimize physical discomfort and pain
- To control anxiety, minimize psychological trauma, and maximize amnesia potential (meaning your child won't likely remember the procedure)
- To control behavior and movement to help allow for safe completion of dental treatment
- To return the patient to a state for discharge from medical supervision
When your child comes for their dental cleaning or consultation, Dr. Ryan will review their medical history and choose the appropriate medication for sedation.
Inhalation Sedation (Nitrous Oxide)
Nitrous Oxide (or laughing gas) is a colorless and odorless gas that when inhaled has a calming effect. This is one of the most popular used forms of sedation in dentistry today. It helps to relieve anxiety, and some pain and the doctor may give nitrous oxide to your child at their appointment to help them relax. Most patients say they feel as if they are "floating" or their hands/feet are "tingling" when breathing in nitrous oxide. It has a rapid onset and is rapidly eliminated from the body. The effects of the gas are minimal and your child's reflexes will remain intact.
The goals of nitrous oxide are as follows:
- To reduce or eliminate pain and/or anxiety
- To reduce unpleasantness of dental treatment
- To enhance communication, behavior, and cooperation
- To increase tolerance for longer appointments
- To reduce gag reflex
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