More than likely, you’ve heard this saying: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Many times this is used in a medical context to refer to avoiding illness rather than needing to be treated for it. It certainly applies to oral health as well. We think you would agree that it is better to prevent cavities and gum disease rather than needing to be treated for them.
But there is another context in which this is appropriate. It is better in the long term to prevent dental anxiety rather than allowing it to take hold.
For many adults, dental anxiety has its roots in something that happened when they were children. Maybe their dentist wasn’t very compassionate, or maybe they needed a treatment that turned out to be more painful than they expected. Either way, this can discourage someone from making regular dental care a lifetime habit.
At Dentistry For Children, we want your kids to feel good about going to the dentist today and for years after they have left us and moved on to a general dentist. It’s also why we offer sedation dentistry at all three of our Utah pediatric dentist offices.
Sedation Dentistry Is Part Of Our Focus On Comfort
Our goal is for all our patients and their parents to feel comfortable throughout their time in our office. We have created a place where kids can relax before, during, and after their appointments.
We have playhouses and video games in our waiting area to keep our patients’ minds occupied with something they enjoy. And in each patient room, we have televisions set up so they can watch their favorite programs while they are having their teeth cleaned. For many of our patients, this is the perfect distraction.
We also know from experience that some patients need a little more help relaxing in a dentist’s chair. For those patients, we offer sedation dentistry.
Three Kinds Of Sedation Dentistry
When you come to any Dentistry For Children office, you will have three levels of dental sedation available for your child. Which kind of sedation your daughter or son receives can vary from kid to kid or depending on the type of procedure they will be receiving on a given day.
Here’s a brief overview of our sedation options:
■ Nitrous Oxide
You may not know this, but nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) has been used in dental care for more than 150 years. Today, we can carefully control the amount of nitrous oxide for each patient.
As your son or daughter breathes it in, it will help him or her remain relaxed and pain-free throughout a cleaning or other treatment. This takes effect quickly. For many patients, it wears off as quickly when the treatment is over and the gas is turned off.
This is the lightest form of sedation that we offer, but it works incredibly well for most of our patients.
■ Oral Conscious Sedation
If your son or daughter has a higher level of dental anxiety, this may be a better option than nitrous oxide. By taking a single dose of medication before his or her appointment, your child will be in a relaxed, worry-free state before any treatment begins.
Your child will be able to respond to the dentist or hygienist, but you can rest assured that he or she won’t feel any pain during the cleaning or other procedure.
You should be aware that the effects of this sedation can last for a few hours, so you should plan to let your child rest after his or her appointment. If you have older children, they will not be able to drive themselves home after receiving oral sedation.
■ IV Sedation
In general, this form of sedation is reserved for more complicated procedures. IV sedation can only be administered by individuals who have completed specified training and have a permit to do so.
IV sedation works quickly, but it also lasts for hours like oral sedation. Again, you should plan to let your child rest after receiving IV sedation, and you must not allow older children to drive themselves home after IV sedation.
Is Sedation Dentistry Right For Your Children?
If you have questions about dental sedation, our team at Dentistry For Children will be happy to answer them. You can submit your questions using our online form or you can call the office closest to you.