While we do our best to create positive associations with the dentist from a young age, many children still have difficulty remaining calm during a visit to the dentist. Whether your child has had negative past experiences with the dentist or has special needs that require some extra attention, we can help. At Hines Little Smiles, we believe every child deserves a healthy smile, and we offer sedation dentistry to help children get the care they need.
We can administer different kinds of sedation depending on your child’s specific needs. All methods of sedation we use are recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as safe and effective. Depending on your child’s unique circumstances, we may recommend:
Nitrous Oxide - Commonly called “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a gas the child breaths through the nose to help him or her relax during treatment. While inhaling the gas, the child will remain fully conscious, and the effects of the gas will subside once the mask is removed.
In-Office IV Sedation - This method of sedation dentistry helps keep your child comfortable and calm when undergoing a dental procedure by having them experience “twilight sleep," which allows them to drift in and out of sleep during the procedure. IV Sedation is administered through a thin needle which goes into a vein in the arm or hand. The main purpose of IV sedation is to make certain your child experiences as little pain as possible with using a minimal amount of medication. Drowsiness after the procedure is not a factor, as at any time an antidote can be administered to reverse the effects of the IV drip. Hines Little Smiles follows a strict protocol when dealing with IV sedation, and will provide an information packet and obtain your child’s full medical history prior to the procedure.
General Anesthesia in a Hospital - Dr. Hines, Dr. Anderson, and Dr. Patel have hospital privileges for very fearful or uncooperative children needing general anesthesia. The parent and the dentist will accompany the child to a hospital where a trained anesthesiologist will administer anesthesia through an IV and mask. The anesthesiologist can adjust the amount of medication your child receives according to his or her comfort level. We work with anesthesiologists in a hospital setting to ensure your child’s safety at all times. After this kind of sedation, your child will likely feel drowsy for 3 – 4 hours following the procedure.
Prior to your child’s treatment, we will give you detailed information about the type of sedation your child will receive, so you will know what to expect. We will also give you instructions to follow before and after your child receives sedation. We encourage you to talk with your child about his or her experience and level of fear, and our staff is always available to offer guidance.