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At Smiles + Grins, we are trained in a variety of pediatric sedation therapies. As pediatric dental specialists, our goal is to accommodate the needs of our young patients based on both parental and specialist guidance. Every one of our children is different and the type of pediatric sedation must be administered with that in mind.
Nitrous Oxide aka "Laughing Gas" (Mild sedation)
This type of sedation is given as an inhalational agent, where the child wears a mask on their nose, which delivers the nitrous oxide. The patient inhales the agent and exhales the agent without processing the agent. This means they breathe it out the same way they breathe it in. This type of sedation is good to use with children who may have slight anxiety, or have limited work that needs to be done.
Nitrous oxide acts to change the nitrogen levels in the body and creates a slight “happy” feeling in children. It does not put your child to sleep. Once your child is on 100% oxygen, they will have no residual effects. Nitrous oxide is the safest drug that we have in anesthesia and dentistry.
This type of sedation is good to use with children who may have slight anxiety, or have limited work that needs to be done.
IV sedation (Deep sedation)
IV Sedation is a great option for extremely nervous children or kids with a significant amount of dental work needing to be done. An anesthesiologist brings the equipment and monitors with them and provides anesthetic medicine through an intravenous. Depending on the child’s needs, a nasal breathing tube may be supplemented for intubation or the child will breath on their own.
After sedation, your child is not to go back to school. They will need to have someone at home with them to monitor them. Because our sedation is very mild, it may seem that your child is not sedated anymore. However, we still recommend that your child engages only in quiet play at home and that they have limited physical activity.
O.R. Sedation Dentistry
General anesthesia is sometimes necessary for children that are unable, by either age or maturity level, to cooperate during dental treatment. General Anesthesia is always the safest when done in an O.R. at a hospital or surgery center. Dr. Grinbaum has surgical rights at two locations that specialize in pediatric anesthesia. He is also the director of Dentistry at EMU Health.
General Anesthesia is most helpful for:
- Children who require major treatment.
- An extremely anxious child, or
- Children who are medically compromised or have special needs.