Sedation dentistry is a term used to describe incorporating a sedative treatment into routine dental care. It allows children to relax during their treatments and relieves high levels of stress.
Not all kids need sedation dentistry. Many are perfectly fine receiving preventive or restorative care using only a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area.
For others, a trip to the dentist is fraught with stress and anxiety, and it isn’t a pleasurable process. This can stem from a previous negative experience at the dentist or after a traumatic injury causes dental damage.
In some cases, there is no clear cause for dental anxiety, but if your child resists coming in to see Dr. Petruzzi or experiences extreme stress during visits, sedation dentistry is a great option.
Among the most common types of sedation dentistry is the use of nitrous oxide. This colorless gas has a sweet smell and is delivered through a child-sized, comfortable mask that fits over the nose.
Your little one simply breathes normally as the gas goes to work reducing anxiety. Your little one remains awake throughout the procedure, and once the treatment is complete, a five-minute period of pure oxygen is delivered to flush out all traces of nitrous oxide from your child’s respiratory system.
Kids with more serious dental anxiety can benefit from oral conscious sedation. This approach uses oral medication to relax your child and help them remain comfortable throughout their treatment. They’ll remain awake during the appointment, although they might feel sleepier than normal.
General anesthesia is reserved for cases of severe dental anxiety. This approach is similar to being “put to sleep” for a surgical procedure and is performed by an anesthesiologist trained in working with children.
General anesthesia is a good option when a child needs advanced reconstructive treatments after a traumatic injury or severe dental decay. It can also be a good fit for kids with special needs who have a hard time enduring dental care visits.
Dr. Petruzzi has extensive experience in pediatric sedation dentistry. During your visit, he discusses your child’s specific needs to determine which option provides the best solution.
You’ll learn the pros and cons of each option, and you’re encouraged to ask questions or express concerns. Dr. Petruzzi believes that parents deserve a full overview of sedation options to help them make informed decisions about their child’s care.
No matter which option you choose, sedation dentistry allows your child to get the dental care they need to support a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles. It’s important to note that some kids only need sedation during their first couple of visits at Desert Kids Dentistry until they learn to trust the team and look forward to their routine dental exams.
If you’re ready to learn more about sedation dentistry, call the office to set up a visit. You can also book an appointment online in just moments, so don’t delay.