Pediatric Sedation Dentistry in San Marcos, CA
Your child’s response to his or her first dental experiences can make a lasting impression. A positive experience will help your child develop confidence when visiting a dentist and can even help ensure they develop good oral hygiene habits for life. Some children may have a difficult time at the dentist because of fear, young age, and lack of development to cope with dental treatments. Additionally, they may be too anxious or young to control their movements, which could cause difficulty and even injury during a procedure. Other children require extensive dental work or several visits where they are simply unable to tolerate the time they need to be have their mouth open or sit still. By pushing children at a certain age beyond their capabilities they may develop such a fear that they will have trouble cooperating during future visits or even refuse treatment as adults. These children can benefit from and be more comfortable and safe with sedation.
At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we regularly employ several different pediatric sedation services depending on the situation and the child.
- Nitrous oxide. Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a very safe method that allows a slightly nervous child to feel more relaxed while remaining awake enough to be able to talk to the dentist. Nitrous oxide is administered over the child’s nose. The effects wear off almost immediately when the gas is turned off.
- Oral Conscious sedation. If a child’s anxiety level cannot be soothed with nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation may help get them through a short appointment. However, oral conscious sedation can sometimes have unpredictable results and different effects on different personalities. We also evaluate each child and their airway to determine if they qualify to complete oral conscious sedation safely. Therefore, we only use oral conscious sedation in limited instances to gain cooperation to complete a short treatment.
- General anesthesia. If your child’s dental treatment may take several appointments, if the treatment is difficult to tolerate, or if your child cannot be calm enough or is unable to understand directions to tolerate the treatment then general anesthesia may be recommended. General anesthesia administered by an anesthesiologist will allow the child to remain completely asleep during the procedure and not feel any pain or remember the treatment. We have many parents and patients that are so thankful for the opportunity to safely complete their treatment in this way.