Children who are very young, have a high level of anxiety, or have some degree of physical or mental handicap that prevents Dr. Horng from being able to perform quality dental treatment in a safe manner may require some level of sedation. It requires an understanding of child psychology and development mixed with love, patience, and discipline. In our office, we do not sedate every child who needs dental work. Our goal is to treat your child in the safest, least invasive manner possible as the use of any medication always carries with it some risk. We make every attempt to use our best judgment to determine whether your child needs some form of sedation. In some cases, if the treatment required is minimal, we may recommend waiting until the child is more mature to attempt treatment with or without sedation. If sedation is needed, we take every precaution we can to ensure that the form of sedation selected is as safe as possible.
Our decisions on how to treat a child are dictated by what is in the best interest of your child, not what is most convenient for the doctors or the parents/guardians. In some cases, we may ask for your input to help us facilitate an effective sedation visit. Our goal is to provide as pleasant an experience as possible for you and your child.
Nitrous Oxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be used to help a patient tolerate dental treatment by reducing or relieving anxiety, discomfort, or pain. It is delivered by a mask that a child wears on their nose. As the patient inhales the gas, the Nitrous oxide is absorbed rapidly, allowing for both rapid onset and recovery after treatment.
During this type of sedation, the patient will respond normally to verbal commands. Nitrous oxide will not put your child to sleep. Nitrous oxide can create a slightly “happy” feeling in children. Nitrous oxide is an extremely safe drug.
This type of sedation is good to use with children who may have slight anxiety, or have limited dental work that needs to be done. Nitrous oxide is used on many patients who have good behavior, and have treatment that can be done in less than a half hour.
Moderate Sedation (Conscious Sedation)
Just like nitrous oxide, the sedation medication does not put your child to sleep. Although they will be more sedated, they should be able to respond to verbal commands. Dr. Horng will choose an oral sedative medication based on your child’s needs and anxiety level. Moderate sedation is recommended for patient’s that may be apprehensive and may require multiple treatment visits that will take 45 minutes to an hour.
In preparation for the procedure, your child should not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before. When coming to your appointment, dress your child in loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. Your child will always be evaluated prior to their sedation to evaluate their airway and their breathing. If your child is sick or sounds congested, we will reschedule their sedation until the symptoms resolve. We aim to have sedations be as safe as possible. After you child takes their medication, you will wait with your child until the sedative has had time to work. Once sedated, we will bring your child back to the treatment room and begin their dental work. We strive to treat your child with great care and respect.
After your sedation appointment, your child should not to go back to school. They should have someone at home with them to monitor them. We recommend that your child engage only in quiet play at home, and that they have limited physical activity for the rest of the day.