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Sedation Dentistry

Dental Sedation Services at Lonestar Kid’s Dentistry offers multiple forms of treatments to make our patients feel comfortable and safe. As pediatric dental specialists, we realize that every child is different and we want your child to feel as comfortable as possible coming to the see us. One of our favorite things to hear is when a parent tells us how excited their child was to come to the office. Part of making your child feel comfortable is alleviating any anxiety that they might feel about dental treatment. Our office sedation services provide a number of different treatment methods to best meet the needs of your child.

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Different Levels of Pediatric Sedation Services

1 Minimal Sedation: Your child is awake but relaxed by breathing “laughing gas” (nitrous oxide)
2 Moderate Sedation (Conscious Sedation/Oral Sedation): Your child may feel sleepy, slur their words and not remember anything for a short period of time (amnesia).
3 Deep IV Sedation: A physician anesthesiologist, same as the medical doctor in an operating room hospital, will sedate your child to the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
4 General Anesthesia (Hospital Operating Room): A physician pediatric anesthesiologist will provide complete unconsciousness.

Minimal Pediatric Dental Sedation

Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) can help alleviate mild dental anxiety. Some children have mild anxiety when they hear that they will be receiving dental treatment. We use child-friendly language and visual demonstrations of procedures to help the child feel like they are in control and to help avoid any fear of the unknown. Additionally, all of our operatories are equipped with flat screen televisions and movies to help the child feel at ease. Even with these measures, some children will still feel some mild anxiety. It is in these cases where nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, can help make the appointments more pleasant. Nitrous oxide is an odorless gas that is breathed through the nose during dental treatment. While breathing nitrous oxide the patient is still fully conscious but may feel a deeper sense of calm and relaxation. Nitrous oxide can also help in patients with severe gag reflexes and the gas itself has mild anti-pain properties. After the treatment is completed the patient breathes 100% oxygen, which allows them to feel back to normal. Since the effects of nitrous oxide are very short, children can even return to school after their dental treatment.

Moderate Sedation (Conscious Sedation)

Oral Conscious Sedation can be utilized for children with moderate dental fear. For some patients who are very young, have moderate anxiety, or have had a history of difficult treatment appointments in the past, nitrous oxide alone may not be enough to alleviate their dental anxiety. These patients may benefit from oral conscious sedation. These patients come to their treatment appointments a little early and are given a small dose of anti-anxiety medication (anxiolytics). When the anti-anxiety medication takes affect the patient is still conscious but may feel sleepy. The majority of the effect of the medication is over after an hour, but patients may feel tired throughout the day. Because of this, these patients should not return to school after treatment but should return home until the medication has been fully metabolized by the body.

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Deep IV Sedation with a Pediatric Medical Anesthesiologist

Severe dental anxiety, extensive treatment or patients with special health needs can be treated with in-office IV pediatric dental sedation or in a hospital setting. Our office also utilizes specific pediatric medical anesthesiologists for our patients who require deeper sedation. If your child is very young, has special health care needs, or has severe dental anxiety with extensive treatment needs, they may benefit from either in-office IV sedation or treatment in a hospital setting. We work exclusively with medical anesthesiologists who come to our office to provide IV sedation. This allows the patient to feel comfortable being treated in an environment that they are already familiar with. During IV sedation the patient is asleep and being monitor by the pediatric medical anesthesiologist and an entire sedation team in order to ensure maximal safety and efficacy. When the patient awakens, all of the treatment has been completed, and they are able to return home. The patient may feel drowsy for the rest of the day and so they will not be able to return to school until the following day.

Because each child is different, there is no “cookie cutter” method for providing the best dental care. At Lonestar Kid’s Dentistry, we realize that with each child comes unique opportunities and challenges in how we can best care for your child’s oral health. Having multiple methods of treatment allows our office to formulate a treatment plan specific to your child’s individual needs.

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