The Top 5 Questions About Sedation Dentistry

All of us have underlying fears. Whether it is a fear of heights, or a fear of the dark, or another one of the most common fears, which is going to the dentist. For our children we know that is no different, especially if they have not gone to the dentist before. Dr. Hines and all of our staff want you and your children to feel at ease in our office, and if there is need for a procedure such as filling a cavity or dental sealants, or needing some crowns we offer sedation dentistry as an option for less stress and worry.

Look of a child sucking her thumb.

But of course we understand that you have questions about sedation dentistry and that is why we have compiled the top 5 questions typically asked below:

1. Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Absolutely! Under the care of our trained doctors and staff, sedation dentistry is both safe and effective. Our pediatric dentists have advanced medical education in the most innovative relaxation techniques and prioritize every patient’s care above anything else.

2. What Types of Sedation Dentistry is Available?
Hines Little Smiles offers all forms of sedation dentistry. The treatments below are listed in order of increasing strength and potency:
Inhalation Sedation – Nitrous Oxide or “laughing gas,” is a sweet tasting gas that the is received through an inhaler placed over the nose. Simply breathe in, and the medication takes effect.
Oral Sedation – In this method, patients take a small pill by mouth before they come to the office for their appointment, and another small dose once they arrive.
IM Sedation – Intramuscular sedation (IM) is a technique where the relaxant medications are given through an injection to the muscle of the upper arm or thigh.
IV Sedation – With this treatment, sedative medications are given to our patients intravenously. You won’t be completely asleep, but you most likely won’t remember your dental treatment because you’ll be so relaxed.

3. How Long Will It Last?
The length of the effects of the medication will differ depending on the sedation method used:
Inhalation Sedation – Nitrous oxide wears off within a few minutes after the gas has stopped being used. Patients can return to school without any “dizzy” effect.
Oral Sedation – The medication effect will linger for a few hours after the treatment is over. You should schedule an appointment for your child in the afternoon and take half a day off of school.
IM Sedation – This can last – at most – up to 24 hours. Monitor your child after their dental work has completed, Keep an eye on them while the sedative wears off.
IV Sedation – Intravenous sedation will wear off within a day at most. You’ll also need to arrange for someone to keep an eye on your child as they rest at home after their procedure.

4. What Does Being Sedated Feel Like?
Most patients report being happy and relaxed. Some state they feel a warm, slightly euphoric feeling, and many say they don’t remember having their dental treatment because they are so at ease. It’s also very common to fall asleep while under sedation.

5. Will I Be Aware and In Control?
For many patients with dental anxiety, being in control of their environment is crucial. With inhalation, oral, and IM sedation, you will be completely relaxed, yet able to respond to requests and you’ll be in control.
There are different levels of sedation with IV treatment. With moderate sedation, you’ll be relaxed yet aware, but with deep sedation, you’ll be completely “under.” Either way, our staff will keep your child safe and sound.

We hope this gives you the additional information you are looking for, and brings you more at ease. If of course you have any other additional questions please do give us a call. We are happy to answer any other questions you have, and can help you schedule an appointment for your child.

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