Children who are very young or who have a high level of anxiety that interferes with the cooperation necessary for the oral and maxillofacial surgeon to perform treatment may require some level of sedation. Sedation is also helpful for special needs children. There are many safe and effective drugs available today that can help relax the child and promote a good environment for optimal and safe dental treatment.
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is a way to achieve some degree of relaxation for children during the extraction of a tooth. This is best used on children whose parents relate to us that the patient is mature, co-operative, compliant, and understands the importance of the procedure being performed. We do our best to explain this in an understandable way to our pediatric population.
Conscious sedation is an option for children undergoing a surgical procedure who are too young to understand the importance of surgery or are apprehensive. This highly effective method can be administered in intravenous form or in an inhalation method.
Deep sedation is sometimes necessary for children that are unable, by either age or maturity level, to understand importance of procedure required for their health. Also some children are unable to cooperate during oral surgery procedures. General anesthesia can be achieved via inhalation agents with no needles or IV required. Our practice utilizes this type of sedation to perform minor surgical procedures in a comfortable and gentle way. We offer general anesthesia for children at a fraction of the cost of an outside surgical facility. This will be discussed with the parents/guardians of the patient before treatment to ensure the optimum beneficial outcome.
Sedation Dentistry is most helpful for:
- Children who require surgical treatment
- The very anxious child
- Children that have had traumatic dental experiences (sound and smell aversion)
- Children with a strong gag reflex
- Children who are medically compromised or who are mentally handicapped
Our office makes every effort to administer local anesthetics (Lidocaine) in a slow, gentle and comfortable manner, thus eliminating any pain that may accompany dental treatment. The duration of numbness after treatment varies from patient to patient and what drug was used. Generally the numbness wears off after 2 to 3 hours. Parents must be careful to watch their child for chewing or biting of inner cheeks or tongue which can become injured.
Post-operatively most children have the benefit of “bouncing back” very well. You may be surprised to see how well your child does and even be challenged to slow their activity down the day of surgery once they get home. Most children require only post-operative over the counter medicines. These are similar to the ones you give them for fevers, etc.
Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance.
For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.
Occasionally we are asked by your pediatric dentist, or orthodontist, to assist in the extraction of teeth. There are a variety of reasons for this including but not limited to:
- Ankylosis (bone abnormally fused to tooth)
- Supernumerary teeth (an extra tooth)
- Crowding for reasons of orthodontic treatment
- Trauma (intruded, extruded, loss of tooth, fractured teeth
- Eruption cyst (cyst on top of erupting tooth)