While we always try behavior management techniques first, there are instances, such as when kids need major dental treatment or have severe dental phobias, special health care needs or a strong gag reflex, where sedation may be the best way for a child to receive safe, effective care. At Children’s Dental Specialty, we offer safe sedation dentistry for kids in Scottsdale and Phoenix. Our doctor will talk with you at your first visit to help you decide the best plan of action for your child.
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is a mild, conscious sedative. It’s a safe and effective way to alleviate the anxiety of patients. The gas is administered through a mask with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps kids relax during their dental treatment. Your little one will be awake and able to talk throughout the procedure but they’ll feel happy and maybe a little silly. Once we’re done, we turn off the nitrous oxide and they’ll breathe 100% oxygen to flush out any remaining gas. It wears off quickly and there are rarely any side effects.
When kids are really anxious or young and are unable to cooperate for dental treatment, oral sedation can be an option. Oral sedation is safe and allows kids to get the treatment they need in our office. It involves taking medication prior to a procedure that dulls the senses and offers mild to moderate sedation. Kids will be awake and conscious during the visit though it’s not uncommon for them to fall asleep. Our pediatric dentists have specialty training in oral sedation and follow the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) guidelines to make sure your child’s sedation appointment is safe and successful.
Some patients, due to extreme dental anxiety, their age or the extent of their dental treatment needs, may require the use of IV sedation. When we use IV sedation, we bring in highly trained dental anesthesiologists to ensure your child’s safety. Dr. V has extensive experience with IV sedation and she can talk with you about this option on an individual basis.