Anxiety-Free Treatment for Children
At Sycamore Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, we work hard each and every day to make your loved one’s ongoing care as warm, friendly, positive, and as comfortable as it can possibly be.
If this approach isn’t enough to help them relax, there are options to ease your child’s anxiety and to make their appointment as stress-free as possible.
Why Use Sedation Dentistry?
Some reasons that children may benefit from more advanced behavior management techniques include:
- If they are too young to sit still for longer appointments
- If they are anxious/fearful and can use some help coping with a procedure
- If they are overly prone to fidgeting and other nervous movements that could adversely affect treatment outcomes
- If they are in need of advanced treatment that requires a significant amount of time
- If your child has a complex medical condition with the inability to tolerate dental treatment in a traditional setting
Nitrous Oxide or “Laughing Gas”
Nitrous oxide, better known as “laughing gas,” is readily available in our office and provides an anxious-free visit for your child’s dental appointments. Nitrous oxide helps to ease your child’s fears and relax during their visit while receiving dental treatment in a comfortable and safe manner. It is a sweet-smelling, colorless gas that causes most people to feel happy, relaxed, and even giggly — that’s why it’s often called “laughing gas.”
As the safest and mildest form of sedation available, a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide flows through a comfortably fitting mask that rests gently over your child’s nose. At the end of your child’s treatment, the effects caused by nitrous oxide disappear almost immediately and your child should feel completely normal, ready to head back home or to school right afterward.
How Does It Work?
The benefit of laughing gas is that it can help ease your child’s anxiety while also decreasing any discomfort throughout the procedure. It also raises the pain threshold and may even make the time appear to pass quickly.
Additionally, it reduces the gag reflex, which can interfere with effective dental treatment.
Nitrous oxide can relax kids quickly and can produce happy euphoric behavior. It is also fast-acting, painless to deliver, and wears off within a matter of minutes.
If your child is worried by the sights, sounds or sensations of dental treatment, he or she may respond more positively to the use of nitrous oxide. It is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety in children during their dental visits.
As your child gets older and becomes more comfortable at the dentist, nitrous oxide may not be necessary.
Did you know that nitrous oxide is the safest sedative in dentistry? It is well-tolerated, has a rapid onset, is reversible, can be adjusted in various concentrations, and is non-allergenic. Your child will remain awake during the entire procedure and will be able to interact and communicate without any difficulty.
Before removing the mask completely, 100% oxygen is delivered for several minutes to ensure the nitrous oxide is eliminated from their system. On rare occasions, nitrous oxide may cause nausea. For this reason, most pediatric dentists suggest minimal food intake prior to the appointment.
At Sycamore Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, we will always help your child be the best patient they can be. We always encourage kids to be brave and will take the time to work with them in order to develop a behavior guidance strategy.
Our goal is to provide care for our patients in the office without sedation or general anesthesia.
However, there are times when, for the safety and well-being of the child, general anesthesia is needed to provide necessary dental care and restore your child’s smile back to health.
It is used in select cases to ensure that your child receives comprehensive dental care in a safe, controlled, and stress-free manner.
How Does It Work?
General Anesthesia, or being “put to sleep,” is a controlled state of unconsciousness. It is performed by a trained anesthesiologist who monitors your child while they are “asleep,” as Dr. Sarah completes the dental work.
This is a great opportunity for some children with extensive needs to get the dental treatment they need without the anxiety of multiple appointments in the dental chair.
If general anesthesia is deemed appropriate for your child, Dr. Sarah and her team will go over very detailed instructions for the procedure leading up to the day of the appointment as well as what to expect when you go home after the surgery. The anesthesia team will also provide similar instructions.
Is General Anesthesia Right for My Child?
General anesthesia is sometimes the best option for children who are extremely anxious and for some children with complex medical conditions. Examples of why some children may benefit from general anesthesia include:
- Extreme dental anxiety or inability to cooperate due to a young age
- Multiple appointments are required due to the amount of work if the child is unable to tolerate dental treatment after attempting all other options
- Avoiding the possible emotional trauma in order to complete the necessary dental treatment
- Some patients with special needs who are unable to tolerate dental treatment in a traditional setting
Learn More About Sedation Dentistry
Dr. Sarah and our team are dedicated to providing the best possible care for your child.
We understand that the needs of each child are unique and take the time to go over all options available.
Let us make dental appointments for your child a little less scary and a lot more comfortable and fun!
If you have any questions about the best options available for your child, including nitrous oxide and general anesthesia, you’re welcome to contact us if you’d like to learn more, or if you’re ready to schedule an appointment here in Sycamore, IL. Give us a call at 815-895-7660.