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How We Use Sedation Dentistry​

By providing the option of sedation, we are better able to treat children who have severe dental anxiety, may have had a past traumatic dental experience, or those with special needs. We still use all our behavior management techniques to achieve the dental work we need to do; however laughing gas and oral conscious sedation an additional level of relaxation, so the child can feel comfortable and safe. Some of our youngest patients, or those will special needs, may need to go to the operating room to have their teeth treated under general anesthesia.

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Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous Oxide Sedation: this type of sedation is given as an inhalational agent, where the child wears a mask on their nose which delivers the nitrous oxide. The patient inhales the agent and exhales the agent without processing the agent. This means they breathe it out the same way they breathe it in.
Nitrous oxide acts to change the nitrogen levels in the body, and creates a slight “happy” feeling in children. It does not put your child to sleep. Once your child is on 100% oxygen, they will have no residual effects. Nitrous oxide is the safest drug that we have in anesthesia and dentistry. It is even safer than “Novocaine”!
This type of sedation is good to use with children who may have slight anxiety, or have limited work that needs to be done. Nitrous oxide is used on many patients who have good behavior, and have treatment that can be done in less than a half hour.
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Conscious Sedation

Many people describe this as “sleep dentistry”. We do not believe in this technique, or using “deep sedation” with children, we use oral conscious sedation to help facilitate your child’s treatment. There are several types of oral sedation that we use based on your child’s needs and anxiety level.
Whatever sedation we decide to use, your child is not to eat or drink anything after midnight. When coming to your appointment, dress your child in loose-fitting, comfortable clothes, please stay away from clothing that is snug around the neck and chest area. Your child will always be evaluated prior to their sedation to evaluate their airway and their breathing. If your child is sick, or sounds congested, we will reschedule their sedation, your child’s safety is our greatest concern. After their premedication, you will wait with your child in our sedation waiting area, where you may read to your child or watch a movie with them on individual IPADs. Once sedated, we will treat your child with great care and respect.
After sedation, your child is not to go back to school. They will need to have someone at home with them to monitor them. Because our sedation is very mild, it may seem that your child is not sedated anymore. However, we still recommend that your child engage only in quiet play at home, and that they have limited physical activity.

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General Anesthesia

General Anesthesia is sometimes necessary for children that are unable, by either age or maturity level, to cooperate during dental treatment. These cases are done on an outpatient basis at our affiliate Franklin Square Hospital.
General Anesthesia is most helpful for:
  • Infants
  • Children who require major treatment.
  • A very anxious child.
  • Children that have had traumatic dental experiences (sound and smell aversion).
  • Children with a strong gag reflex.
  • Children who are medically compromised or have special needs.
Our doctors and staff will discuss all treatment options with you and make recommendations as to what is the best modality to treat your child while keeping them safe and comfortable.
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