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Sedation Dentistry


 

Nitrous Oxide

Some children are given nitrous oxide/oxygen, or what you may know as laughing gas, to relax them for their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the child’s nose, allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating children’s dental needs. The gas is mild, easily taken, then with normal breathing, it is quickly eliminated from the body. It is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please inform us of any change to your child’s health and/or medical condition.
  • Tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide/oxygen.
  • Let us know if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.

Conscious Sedation

Conscious Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. Your child may be quite drowsy, and may even fall asleep, but they will not become unconscious.

There are a variety of different medications, which can be used for conscious sedation. The doctor will meet with you immediately before sedation.  A thorough physical and medical history will be taken.  Once the pre-op physical is complete, the doctor will mix your child's medicine.  The doctor will prescribe the medication best suited for your child’s overall health and dental treatment recommendations. After your child drinks the medicine, there is a 60-80 minute waiting period for the medicine to take full effect.  You can stay with your child during this time.  After an hour, the doctor will access the sedation level of your child.  At the appropriate time we will bring your child to the treatment room where they will breathe laughing gas and treatment will begin.  Our goal is for your child to be relaxed, comforable, and have little to no memory of their appointment.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child’s health and/or medical condition. 
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Your child should not have any food or drink after midnight, before the appointment. 
  • The child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.
  • Please watch your child closely while the medication is taking effect. Hold them in your lap or keep close to you. Do not let them "run around."
  • Your child will act drowsy and may become slightly excited at first.

After the sedation appointment:

  • Your child will be drowsy and may want to sleep for the rest of the day.  Your child should sleep, watch T.V. and relax.  Please do not plan any activities after the appointment.  There should be no sports, riding bikes, climbing, walking on stairs or anything that requires balance or mental, physical dexterity.  
  • It is helpful to have clear liquids (soda, apple juice, tea, Kool-Aid) and soft foods (Pudding, Jell-O, applesauce, ice cream) on hand.
  • Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.

General Anesthesia

Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed right in our office by Dr. Carney and Dr. Ballentine. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily.  The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child’s health. If your child is sick, they cannot be sedated.  Please call the office if your child has a fever, ear infection or cold. The doctor will evaluate your child and determine whether the sugery will be postponed.  
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Your child should not have anything to eat or drink after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure unless otherwise directed by the office.
  • The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the officein the waiting room during the complete procedure.
  • Bring someone with you to watch child in car seat on the way home.

After the appointment:

  • Your child will be drowsy and may want to sleep for the rest of the day.  Your child should sleep, watch T.V. and relax.  Please do not plan any activities after the appointment.  There should be no sports, riding bikes, climbing, walking on stairs or anything that requires balance or mental, physical dexterity
  • Prior to leaving the office, you will be given a detailed list of "Post-Op Instructions" and an emergency contact number if needed.

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895-B Rio E Ct
Charlottesville, VA 22901
(434) 817-5437