Before Your Visit

Before Pediatric Sedation

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide 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 the appointment:

  • Nothing to eat 2-3 hours before the appointment.
  • Please inform us of any change to 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.

Conscious Sedation

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 treatments. Your child may be quite drowsy, and may even fall asleep, they will not be unconscious, hence the term “conscious sedation”.

There are a variety of different medications, which can be used for conscious sedation. The doctor 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 might have concerning the specific drugs we plan to give to your child.

Prior to the sedation 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 (any respiratory infection). Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to reschedule 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.
  • Please make sure that your child goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
  • Your child should not have solid food for at least 8 hours prior to their sedation appointment and only water for up to 5 hours before the 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. Hold them in your lap or keep them close to you. Do not leave them unattended.
  • Your child will act drowsy and may become slightly excited very soon after medication is administered.

Outpatient General Anesthesia (O.R.)

Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks.

Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The inherent risks if this is not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment.

The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.

Prior to the O.R. appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child’s health. 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 milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY (water, apple juice, Gatorade) for up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.
  • The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the hospital or surgical site waiting room during the complete procedure.

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