Some children are given nitrous oxide/oxygen or what you may know as “laughing gas” which is administered through a small breathing mask that is placed over the child’s nose and has a calming effect if breathed appropriately. The gas is mild, easily taken with normal breathing, and is quickly eliminated from the body when turned off. Patients are still conscious during their visit, can talk to their dentist during treatment, and are much more relaxed and comfortable throughout their appointment.
Oral conscious sedation is recommended for very young children, apprehensive children, and children who have extensive treatment needs. After checking your child’s vital signs, oral medication is administered at the office an hour before their scheduled treatment time to calm your child and reduce the anxiety and discomfort associated with dental treatment. Your child may be quite drowsy and may even fall asleep while breathing laughing gas but will not become unconscious. Your child’s oxygen saturation, heart rate, and blood pressure will be monitored throughout their treatment.
During IV Sedation, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist sedates your child while the dentist performs the dental treatment in our office. It is recommended for very young or apprehensive patients and allows multiple procedures to be comfortably completed during the course of a single appointment.
Prior to your OCS or IV Sedation Appointment
After your OCS or IV Sedation Appointment:
- Please notify us of any changes in your child’s medical history and let us know if your child has had a fever, ear infection, upper respiratory infection or congestion.
- Do not give your child any medications before or after the sedation appointment without checking with our office.
- The child must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at the sedation
- Do not give your child anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the appointment.
- Dress your child in loose-fitting, short-sleeved clothing so that they can be comfortably monitored throughout their appointment.
- Your child will remain in a sedated state for up to 5 hours (some children remain sedated longer) after the visit and will not be able to participate in any activities, including returning to school.
- Encourage them to rest quietly until the medications wear off, remembering to periodically provide them with plenty of clear fluids.
- Because we use local anesthetic to numb your child’s mouth during the procedure, your child may have the tendency to bite or chew their lips, cheeks, and/or tongue. Please observe your child carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.