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Sedation Information

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About Sedation

Pediatric dentists are trained in a wide range of methods to help children feel comfortable during dental treatment. These methods range from the “Tell-Show-Do” technique, to general anesthesia. Tell-Show-Do is a technique during which a pediatric dentist might name a dental instrument, demonstrate the instrument by using it to count your child’s fingers, and then use the instrument in treatment.

We also use the modeling technique which pairs a timid child in dental treatment with a cooperative child of similar age. Coaching, distraction, and good old TLC are other techniques to give your child confidence in dentistry. But by far the most preferred technique is praise. Every child does something right during a dental visit, and pediatric dentists use praise to encourage good behavior.

Occasionally a child’s behavior requires assertive management to protect him or her from possible injury. Voice control (speaking calmly yet firmly) usually takes care of it, although there are other instances that require some more direct hand-holding. As each child is individual and different, we discuss these techniques with parents as they pertain to their child.

The majority of the time when non-pharmacological methods are not successful, all that is needed is some laughing gas (Nitrous Oxide). This involves simply resting the nosepiece lightly on the child’s face. The child is not “put to sleep,” however they do usually feel somewhat “tingly,” or “ticklish.”

Beyond the use of nitrous oxide/laughing gas, there are several other methods of sedation that can be used. As with non-pharmacological techniques, there are several different options that we have at our disposal depending on the age, temperament, medical history and amount of necessary treatment. Once again, as each child is different and requires individualized care, we discuss these options with parents prior to any decision being made. Our doctors and the parents work together to decide which is the appropriate method for each child.

Pediatric Dental Care also works closely with a dentist anesthesiologist, specifically trained in working with children, and patients with special needs to offer safe and comprehensive dental care. This allows a child to undergo deep sedation or general anesthesia in order to safely complete their necessary treatment.

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