Most kids have short attention spans and trouble sitting still for lengthy procedures. Children, like adults, may also experience dental anxiety. Dr. Donna Barefield and our pediatric dental team offer sedation dentistry to promote a safe, soothing, and successful dental care experience. Whether your child needs help with their routine appointments or requires more extensive care, we can use sedation to make any trip to the dentist a stress-free one for both parents and children alike. To learn more about your options for sedation dentistry in Duncanville, TX, contact us today.
Sedation dentistry is a collection of techniques designed to make it easier for patients to receive their much-needed care. It can be used to effectively reduce dental phobia, help a patient relax, prevent a sensitive gag reflex, and make it more comfortable for children to sit still for an entire appointment. It is particularly useful for helping children with special needs.
The first step to figuring out what kind of sedation would best benefit your child is to give them a brief exam. We’ll also ask you about their dental and health history, taking particular note of any medications they are taking. Once you and their dentist have agreed on a certain type of sedation, you’ll be given a number of pre-procedure instructions to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. This may involve having your child not eat or drink in the hours before their appointment to reduce any possible nausea afterward.
Children who meet our guidelines for safety may be considered for oral sedation. One hour after the sedative is administered (usually as a liquid for small children) and a state of relaxation is achieved, we will attempt to perform the scheduled dental treatment. Your child will likely remain awake and be able to respond to basic commands, but many end up falling asleep as well. They likely will have little to no memory of their visit afterward, and they should feel completely normal by the next morning.
Many people know nitrous oxide as “laughing gas.” In our dental office, we administer nitrous oxide to enhance patient comfort and relieve anxiety. After your child is comfortably seated in the dental chair, they’ll inhale the gas (a nitrous oxide and oxygen mixture) through a small facemask. We will control the amount of nitrous they receive to ensure their safety. They will begin to relax and feel more comfortable so their dentist can perform the necessary dental work while they stay completely comfortable. The child will breath 100% oxygen for a few minutes before the mask is removed. The effects of the nitrous oxide will subside once we remove the mask, meaning they can go straight back to their day.
For children with extensive treatment needs and/or who have difficulty cooperating in the dental office, Dr. Barefield may recommend that your child’s procedure be performed under general anesthesia at Children’s Health Hospital. A skilled anesthesiologist will administer the general anesthesia and monitor your child throughout treatment. General anesthesia is safe and will enable your child to comfortably undergo complex or lengthy dental procedures. Dr. Donna is a skilled practitioner of hospital dentistry and will attend to your child’s needs with the utmost care, concern, and compassion. Dr. Wong also has extensive expertise and experience with hospital dentistry.
If your child is receiving a form of sedation other than nitrous oxide, there are a few things you should bear in mind after their visit. They will likely feel a bit drowsy, and some children may become nauseous, so they should only eat/drink clear liquids until they feel better. Plan to have them rest for the remainder of the day, and be sure to keep a close eye on them.
If your child is feeling anxious or worried about an upcoming appointment, our sedation dentist in Duncanville, Dr. Barefield, can provide the right method of sedation to keep them calm and relaxed throughout their appointment. Understanding this can be a worrisome process for parents, she has compiled some common questions asked by others that are designed to help address your concerns. However, should you not see your question listed below or wish to discuss the sedation process further, please do not hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Barefield.
It is not uncommon for your first question to be “Is it safe?” You’ll be pleased to learn that all our available sedation solutions are reliable and safe to use on children. No matter if it’s nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, or general anesthesia, Dr. Barefield and her team of experts are qualified to provide the right method of treatment for your little one, ensuring they remain completely safe and comfortable throughout their visit.
As a parent, you hate to see your child express fear and anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist. Naturally, you may want to simply reschedule their appointment for a later time in the hopes they will be more comfortable next time. Unfortunately, this can lead to serious oral health problems as more and more appointments are put off over time. As a result, your child can develop everything from tooth decay and cavities to gum disease, bad breath, and even a misaligned bite.
Catching problems early on will only prove more beneficial in the long run and help them avoid costlier, more time-consuming, and complex procedures. This is why it is best for a children’s dentist in Duncanville to discuss sedation options with you and your child, so they can get the care they need.
One of the added benefits of sedation dentistry is that in most cases, your child will be unable to recall their visit. Because many cases of dental anxiety stem from a traumatic experience, you can feel more at ease knowing that your little one will be less likely to walk away from their appointment feeling scared or upset. Instead, their visit will be much more comfortable because the effects of the sedation will not only help to keep them relaxed, but they will feel less anxious in the future when it comes to visiting the dentist.
This is largely dependent upon the type of sedation they receive during their visit. With nitrous oxide, the effects wear off almost immediately, allowing them to resume normal activity after their appointment. With oral conscious sedation and/or general anesthesia, it will be necessary that your child rest the remainder of the day. You will need to stay close by to ensure they do not experience any negative side effects of the sedation as it begins to wear off.
Should you discover any issues developing, do not be afraid to call our office.