sedation for kids
In Modesto

How Can Sedation Help My Child?

If your child experiences dental anxiety or has special needs, we can administer dental sedation to make them feel relaxed and reduce fear and stress. Sedation has many advantages when it comes to dental treatment. 

Dental fear is common and can prevent children from getting the dental care they need because they want to avoid the dentist. Sedation melts away their worries so they don’t need to be fearful during the procedure. 

We may recommend sedation for children who are undergoing more invasive, long, or complex procedures like oral surgery. These procedures are more likely to be uncomfortable for your child and we don’t want to traumatize them with the loud sounds and pressure of dental tools. 

Sedation can improve cooperation in children who are restless or have sensory issues. It even reduces pain sensation, suppresses sensitive gag reflexes, and causes patients to have little or no memory of the appointment so they are less likely to feel fear in the future. 

Contact us at First Smiles Children's Dentistry to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ha.

Modesto sedation dentist for kids

Did you know…

Your child will need to fast for variable periods before receiving sedation.

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Types of Sedation

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, this gas flows through a nasal mask that is placed over your child’s nose. Alongside oxygen, your child inhales the gas and within just a few minutes, will start to feel euphoria, calmness, and relaxation. 

They may even feel warm and tingly. Children must be able to breathe through their nose to receive this sedative but it is very mild and low risk. Your child will likely struggle to remember things once the sedative wears off.

IV Sedation

This is considered deep sedation because it’s as intense of a sedative that we can administer in the dental chair without putting you under (unconscious). This sedative can vary from moderate to deep sedation depending on the dosage which is administered through an IV that is hooked up to your veins. 

It can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes to feel the effects. This sedative will place you in a semi-conscious state. This means that most patients go to sleep during the procedure because they are so relaxed. 

However, they are not unconscious and can respond to questions from the Modesto Kids dentist. No breathing tube is required because breathing remains automatic. This is great for more invasive procedures because your child will have little awareness of their surroundings and won’t remember anything afterward.

General Anesthesia

This is the most commonly talked about sedative but it is not used as often as the other sedatives, because it is the most intense form of sedation. Your child will be completely unconscious for the duration of their appointment with your pediatric dentist in Modesto, CA.

The sedative can be administered in a variety of ways, such as inhalation, injection, or a combination of these things. This is done in a hospital setting in a controlled environment, where a breathing tube will be placed in your child’s windpipe to maintain proper breathing.

The entire time, your child’s heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels are being monitored. This is a good option for surgical procedures and patients with severe anxiety or physical and mental disabilities.

Have Questions About Dental Sedation? Find Answers Here.

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How Long Does Sedation Last?

Nitrous oxide wears off almost immediately. Within just a couple of minutes of removing the nasal mask and breathing pure oxygen again, the sedative will wear off. 

Since the body completely metabolizes the laughing gas, it doesn’t linger in your system and your child is free to return to normal activities right away. However, IV sedation and general anesthesia are different stories. This is deep sedation with much higher concentrations of medication that linger in your child’s system for up to 24 hours.

For this reason, your kids dentist in Modest will need to monitor your child for the rest of the day, may need to help them make their way up flights of stairs, and make sure they take it easy. They need to avoid strenuous activity for the next 24 hours.

What Does the Tooth Extraction Process Look like?

Dr. Corey Acree will take an x-ray to determine the severity of the tooth damage, and if it's beyond repair, it will be extracted. We will then give your child an antibiotic to combat any infection around the tooth. However, if your child is too nervous, we will prescribe anti-anxiety drugs before the procedure begins. We will then pull out the tooth and let your child bite on a piece of gauze to stop bleeding.

What’s Next After the Tooth Extraction?

After a successful tooth extraction procedure, we will prescribe a painkiller to help reduce jaw pain. In some cases, we may recommend over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs to prevent swelling. And after that, ensure your child does not eat any hard foods for the initial 24 hours. Let your child rinse their mouth with salt water to enable the stitches to heal quickly, mostly within two weeks.

Modesto kids sedation dentist

Did you know…

Not everyone is a good candidate for sedation which is why we need to review your child’s medical history.

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Have questions about sedation options for your child? Find answers here.

Why is sedation used in dentistry?

Sedation is most often used to treat dental anxiety and keep children at ease during their treatment. Fear of the dentist is very common, and sedation can keep your child calm during their appointments. 

Additionally, sedation helps with pain and discomfort during more invasive procedures, such as tooth extractions. It also helps young patients feel more comfortable if they need to sit still for longer treatment times.

Is sedation dentistry right for my child?

As long as your child is healthy and is not taking any medications that may interfere with the sedation, your child should be a good candidate for sedation dentistry. Contact us to learn more about sedation options for your child. We can discuss any concerns you may have during a consultation.

What does sedation dentistry feel like for my child?

This depends on the method of sedation. With laughing gas, your child will feel light-headed, giggly, and relaxed, but will be fully conscious and aware of their surroundings. They will also feel less discomfort during treatment.

Oral conscious sedation and IV sedation will usually make patients feel groggy or sleepy. Your child will likely fall asleep, and probably won’t remember much about the procedure. However, they will not be unconscious, and can still be woken and respond to commands.

General anesthesia is the deepest level of sedation. Your child will be completely unconscious and will not feel anything or remember anything from the procedure.

Is sedation dentistry safe for toddlers?

When done correctly, sedation dentistry for children, even toddlers, is completely safe. Several precautions are taken to ensure a seamless experience. First, we’ll take a detailed health history to make sure we recommend the right sedation option. We’ll then discuss options with the parent or guardian so that you understand the effects and are prepared to care for your child after their procedure. All methods of sedation dentistry are provided by professional and skilled team members, so you rest assured that your child's well-being is of the utmost importance.

Did you know…

All the 20 baby teeth will fall out before your child becomes an adult.

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