Sedation and Hospital Dentistry
As board certified pediatric dentists, Dentistry For Kids is trained and qualified to offer sedation services in office or in a hospital setting. Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell your dentist about any medications or medical treatments you are receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, your dentist will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre-and post-sedation instructions.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as "laughing gas," is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. After treatment, the nitrous oxide is turned off and oxygen is administered for 5-10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Through the use of sedatives, oral conscious sedation produces a relaxed state of consciousness to lessen pain and discomfort. Patients who receive oral conscious sedation are still able to speak and respond to questions during treatment, and express any pain or discomfort they may be having, although they may remember very little or nothing about the procedure. Other side effects may include headache, nausea and vomiting, though these side effects are rare.
Dentistry For Kids provides oral sedation with Midazolam, a benzodiazepine. Midazolam is very safe when used at low doses. Your child's dose will be calculated from his/her weight (0.5gm/kg) on the morning of the procedure. Parents are welcome to be present in treatment rooms during sedation visits. As with any sedative procedure, patients must not have anything to eat or drink prior to dental sedation appointments due to the increased risk of regurgitation and aspiration.
General anesthesia puts a patient completely to sleep during a dental procedure. The anesthesia can be administered in a variety of ways, including injection, gas inhalation or through an IV, depending on the circumstances. Aside from keeping the patient unconscious, the sedation also acts as an amnesiac, causing the patient to forget the events immediately before and after the procedure. General anesthesia is very safe under trained supervision.
All general anesthesia cases are treated in the hospital, monitored by highly trained nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists. Parents are not allowed in the operatory during treatment, as these cases are performed in sterile operating suites. Dentistry For Kids provides surgical services at St Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe NM, the St Vincent Physicians Medical Center in Santa Fe, and at Holy Cross Hospital in Taos, NM.