Sedation Dentistry | South Valley Pediatric Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry

How We Reduce Your Child's Fear

Reducing Fear and Relieving Pain

 
 
 

Reducing Fears

Dr. Chamberlain understands parents' concerns about the fears their children possess concerning dental care treatment. Many tell him they fear going to the dentist themselves and want things to be different for their own children. He and his staff employ a variety of methods to accomplish this goal.

The office environment a child enters into plays a big part in either contributing to or reducing anxiety. When children are at ease with their surroundings they tend to adopt a more relaxed attitude. The design of Dr. Chamberlain's office is especially for children. They feel right at home with the open atmosphere, cheerful colors and underwater theme.

Communicating with children on their level is one of the most important ways to reduce their fears. Dr. Chamberlain and his staff are excellent communicators with children. They have a great deal of experience at it because it is what they do all day long. They constantly apply a technique known as “Tell — Show — Do”. They tell the child what they are going to do in terms they can easily understand. Then they demonstrate it to them. Then they do it. The technique is very effective. It takes a little extra time. Children are not rushed.

If cavities develop and Dr. Chamberlain has to provide dental treatment, nitrous oxide can be used to relax the child. This mild, odorless gas is breathed through a small nosepiece while the child remains awake and able to communicate throughout the dental treatment. It is a very safe and effective technique.

Conscious sedation is an excellent way to provide dental treatment to very young children, fearful children and children with numerous dental needs. The child takes a combination of liquid medications about an hour before Dr. Chamberlain begins dental treatment. The medications reduce fear and anxiety and may cause drowsiness or sleep but the child will remain conscious throughout the appointment. When used in combination with nitrous oxide, a much more effective result is reached in providing relaxation.

In certain situations general anesthesia offers the best method to deliver dental care in a relaxing atmosphere. It is most often recommended for young children with extensive dental needs that would otherwise require multiple conscious sedation appointments. It is also recommended for very young children, children with medical conditions as well as children with special needs. With the aid of general anesthesia the child is put to sleep by an anesthesiologist in a hospital or outpatient surgery center. Dr. Chamberlain then provides all the necessary dental treatment while the child is asleep. After a short recovery period, the child returns home the same day.

While all of these methods usually reduce fear and anxiety, some children may still exhibit apprehension regardless of the efforts made to put them at ease. At this time, Dr. Chamberlain and his staff show patience for the children. When other options are ineffective, demonstrating patience to a child eventually wins out. Dr. Chamberlain and his staff get satisfaction when frightened children replace their fears with confidence and their frowns with smiles.

 

Nitrous Oxide

 

Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given to relax children for their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask that is placed over the child's nose, allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating children's dental needs. The gas is mild, easily taken, then with normal breathing; it is quickly eliminated from the body. It is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please inform us of any change to your child's health and/or medical condition.
  • Tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide/oxygen.
  • Let us know if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.

Conscious Sedation 

Conscious Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. Your child may be quite drowsy, and may even fall asleep, but they will not become unconscious.

There are varieties of different medications, which can be used for conscious sedation. The doctor will prescribe the medication best suited for your child's overall health and dental treatment recommendations. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning the specific drugs we plan to give to your child.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child's health and/or medical condition. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Please make sure that your child goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
  • Your child should not have solid food for at least 6 hours prior to their sedation appointment and only clear liquids for up to 4 hours before the appointment.
  • The child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.
  • Please watch your child closely while the medication is taking effect. Hold them in your lap or keep close to you. Do not let them "run around."
  • Your child will act drowsy and may become slightly excited at first.

After the sedation appointment:

  • Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Because we use local anesthetic to numb your child's mouth during the procedure, your child may have the tendency to bite or chew their lips, cheeks, and/or tongue and/or rub and scratch their face after treatment.
  • Please observe your child carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.
  • Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.

I.V. Sedation

I.V. Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation. The dentist performs the dental treatment in our office with the child anesthetized under I.V. sedation, which is administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child's health and/or medical condition. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Please make sure that your child goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
  • Your child should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY (water, apple juice, Gatorade) for up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.
  • The child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.

After the sedation appointment:

  • Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.

Outpatient General Anesthesia

Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The inherent risks if this is not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child's health. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Your child should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY (water, apple juice, Gatorade) for up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.
  • The child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the hospital or surgical site waiting room during the complete procedure.

After the appointment:

  • Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Prior to leaving the hospital/outpatient center, you will be given a detailed list of "Post-Op Instructions" and an emergency contact number if needed.

After Sedation Instructions 

The sedation your child was given will take 4 - 6 hours to wear off. Your child will probably go home and sleep for 1 to 4 hours and should not be left unattended, even while sleeping. Check on your child every fifteen minutes or so while sleeping.

Occasionally the sedation will cause a child to become very hyperactive or irritable. This lasts 30 to 60 minutes and will go away.

Your child should be able to eat 1 to 2 hours after leaving the office, depending on the treatment done and the anesthesia used.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office.

After Extractions/Post Operative Instructions

After Extractions

  1. Do not rinse the mouth for several hours.
  2. Do not drink any beverage containing carbonation for the remainder of the day.
  3. Do not drink out of a straw for the remainder of the day.
  4. Keep fingers and tongue away from the socket.
  5. Use Tylenol or children's Motrin for any discomfort as directed for the age of the patient.
  6. Some bleeding following tooth extraction is to be expected. If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, have the patient bite down firmly on a piece of gauze over the extraction site for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary.

Post Operative Instructions

Please follow the instruction indicated below:

Your child has had a local anesthetic for the required dental treatment. Children do not always understand the effects of a local anesthetic, and may chew or suck the numb lip, tongue, or cheek. Although this is not a serious thing it is an uncomfortable feeling for your child. Please watch your child closely following the appointment for the duration of the anesthetic, usually one to two hours.

  1. Dentistry has been done in the lower jaw. The tongue, lip, as well as the teeth and surrounding tissue will be numb and asleep for approximately 2 hours.
  2. Dentistry has been done in the upper jaw. The lip, teeth and surrounding tissue will be numb and asleep for approximately 2 hours.
  3. Keep your child on a liquid diet until the anesthetic has worn off.
  4. Stainless Steel Crowns: If a stainless steel crown was placed today DO NOT allow your child to eat hard, sticky, chewy candies from now on. If the crown should come off, please call the office to schedule re-cementation.

Sealant Instructions

Your child has just had a sealant applied to one or more of his/her teeth. In order to help insure the life of the sealants, we ask that you have your child follow the instructions below:

  1. Do not chew ice cubes. Finely chopped ice is fine, but the cubes can cause the sealant to chip or come off the tooth/teeth.
  2. Do not eat hard, sticky or chewy candy such as Jolly Ranchers, Caramel, Star Burst, Fruit Roll Ups, etc. Sugarless gum can be chewed.
  3. Good Oral Hygiene is also important for your teeth. The sealant will protect the chewing surface of the tooth from decay, but you must have good brushing and flossing habits to protect the sides and in between the teeth.

Oral Discomfort after a Cleaning

If there is any discomfort following your child's cleaning, we recommend the following for 2-3 days after the cleaning is performed:

  1. A warm salt water rinse 2 - 3 times per day (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water)
  2. For discomfort use Children's Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age of the child.

Please do not hesitate to contact the office if the discomfort persists for more than 7 days or if there are any questions.

Post Operative, General Anesthesia

Your child has just undergone dental surgery with a general anesthetic. Since every child responds differently to such procedures, we've put together information that will address some common concerns.

Nausea and Vomiting

Any nausea and/or vomiting that may occur will last a short time. If your child does vomit, wait about 30 minutes before giving them liquids such as water or carbonated soft drinks. If nausea does not occur, progress slowly to a regular diet. Try soup, crackers, and then solid foods.

Bleeding and Pain

Children will respond to pain or discomfort differently, therefore their mouth may or may not feel sore after surgery. You may give you child Children's Tylenol or Motrin* to help make them more comfortable, if necessary. There may be also a small about of bleeding around the gums. The gums are pushed on and cleaned around during surgery therefore a little bleeding is normal after dental surgery and should stop within a few days. If teeth were extracted there may be some discomfort and bleeding. If your child's mouth starts bleeding excessively please call South Valley Pediatric Dentistry.

Fever

After any surgical procedure a low-grade fever (99-100 F) is normal. You may give your child Children's Tylenol or Motrin*. If the fever continues over 101.5 for 24 hours please call South Valley Pediatric Dentistry.

Activity

Your child may feel sleepy for the next 24 hours. This is due to the medicine your child received. Please do not leave the child alone. Children should rest at home, but may be up and about. Please have your child refrain from exercise that requires quick reflexes for 24 hours. Regular activity is encouraged the day after surgery. Keep children propped up with a pillow while sleeping. Check your child every 20-30 minutes to make sure they respond.

Sore throat

Your child may have a sore throat due to the drying effects of the anesthetic gasses for up to 48 hours.

Post Operative

Your child will need to come back to see the dentist two weeks after the surgery. Please schedule a post operative visit at the time of surgery. If you have any further questions or concerns please call South Valley Pediatric Dentistry at 801-489-1301.

*Note: with all medications, follow manufacturer's instructions for administering drugs found on the package. Aspirin is contraindicated for children