Why should I consider paediatric sedation dentistry?

Does your child have a strong gag reflex? Cry when they have to go to the dentist? Tense-up when they sit in the exam chair or fight the dentist?
It is not uncommon for a child to be afraid of visiting the dentist. While we do our best to calm your little one’s nerves and make him or her comfortable, sometimes we are unable to complete certain treatments due to a child’s overwhelming fear or anxiety. When this happens, depending on the level of your child’s apprehension the paediatric experts at Specialist Kids Dentist offer a wide variety of sedation options to help them relax. Paediatric sedation dentistry is safe and effective and allows for more high-quality dentistry to be completed in less time because your child is relaxed.

Nitrous/Happy Gas/Laughing Gas in Dental treatment

In our state of the art treatment rooms, Specialist Kids Dentist offer nitrous or commonly known as happy gas/laughing gas to help children feel more at ease during their treatment.

How does nitrous gas work? Is it safe?

The paediatric dental experts at Specialist Kids Dentist often make use of nitrous gas because it is  one of the gentlest, safest and most effective sedation techniques available today. It’s ideal for children who are just a little bit anxious about coming to see us. You may be surprised to learn that it’s especially effective with toddlers and young children.

Nitrous gas is a combination of nitrogen and oxygen and is administered to the patient with a fitted facial mask that goes over the child’s nose. This mask delivers the gas into the patient’s system to effectively sedate them. During the delivery of nitrous gas, children will smell a sweet aroma that will give them a sense of relaxation and well being, similar to feeling giddy. Your child will still be awake and able to talk to the dentist.

The nitrous gas can help distract the children from the sounds and potentially uncomfortable feelings they may experience during treatment. The nitrous gas itself also decreases their gag reflex, keeping the child from wanting to throw up during treatment, and enhances the numb feeling they have, so overall they feel more comfortable.

Nitrous gas has a rapid onset affect so that children feel its effects almost instantaneously as long as they breathe through their nose. Nitrous gas is completely adjustable, so that the right dose is given to every child.

It may also appear to the child that time has moved more quickly. After the treatment, letting the child breathe in oxygen will reverse the effects of the nitrous gas. Your child will feel completely normal in less than a minute. They’ll be able to go on about their day without any lasting drowsiness. As your child gets older and becomes more comfortable during dental visits, nitrous oxide may not be necessary.

Adverse effects from use of nitrous oxide are rare. The most common adverse effects are nausea or vomiting, occurring in just 0.5% of patients.

Oral sedation

Oral sedation involves the child simply drinking the prescription anti-anxiety medication that puts the children in a more relaxed state so that they are more receptive to the dental procedure. Oral sedation is easy and does not require the use of needles. The combination of the sedative medication and nitrous gas helps put the child in a relaxed state, which can make a procedure less stressful.

How does oral sedation work?

The child is asked to come to the office on an empty stomach and is given the oral sedation syrup either half an hour or an hour before the appointment (depending on the type of medication required). The amount of sedation medication given to the child is based on their weight to ensure that the dosage is safe. While the effects differ on each child, the drugs have a calming effect and often make the child drowsy. The child will still be able to respond to stimulation, recognize voices, and maintain his or her natural protective reflexes. With the sedation however, the child will not be as scared of the dentist or the procedure as they were before taking it. This is one great way to get the child to relax and have a much more comfortable dental visit.

The only real disadvantage is that sometimes even after treatment children may be drowsy and less alert. Parents should monitor their children after treatment and not allow them to partake in too many rigorous activities, like sports, after being sedated.

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IV Sedation

IV sedation is ideal for children who need more extensive treatment, exhibit lack of cooperation due to young age, or have special healthcare needs. A board-certified anaesthesiologist and registered nurse provides closely monitored IV sedation. Your child will be asleep for treatment and will not remember the procedure. This can be carried out in the comfort our office.

To  learn more about  Local Anaesthesia, Oral Sedation, Laughing Gas/Nitrous Oxide sedation, Intravenous Sedation or General Anaesthesia, and find out which sedation method may be right for your child, Contact us at Specialist Kids Dentist or visit one of our locations in Liverpool or Summer Hill.