Dental Phobia/Sedation Options

Some children may have a particularly difficult time tolerating dental treatment, even cleanings, and exams. This may be an issue for any number of reasons, such as dental anxiety, disabilities or mental health issues. Fortunately, conscious sedation can help these patients get the care they need.

If you would like to take advantage of sedation dentistry for your child’s care, you have several options. We will educate you on all of your choices and make recommendations for the most suitable method to meet your child’s unique needs.

We prioritize your child’s safety when administering sedation in our practice. If you have any questions or concerns about this aspect of your child’s care, don’t hesitate to ask.

Using Sedation To Calm Anxious Patients

Some children may be fearful of the dentist from previous experiences or merely from hearing a scary story that they’ve heard about someone else at the dentist. Sedation dentistry delivers anti-anxiety medications to help such patients relax while under our care.

Sedation Dentistry | Pediatric Dentist | Belterra Kids Teeth | Dripping Springs, TX

We understand that parents may have concerns about sedatives being administered to their children. Rest assured that your child’s safety is our priority.

Our providers all have completed extensive training in anesthesia practices and dosing for pediatric patients, and your child will be closely monitored while under sedation to keep them as safe as possible.

We would also be happy to discuss relaxation strategies that don’t involve sedation if you would like to explore alternatives for your child’s dental anxiety.

Sedation Options

Our practice offers several sedation options to best meet your child’s needs. The following delivery methods are available:

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as “laughing gas”, your child inhales a gas through their nose to help them feel relaxed about dental treatment. Nitrous oxide is a safe technique that will help your child feel calm without putting them to sleep.

Conscious Oral Sedation

Our dentists want your child to feel comfortable and safe in our dental office. Conscious sedation allows your anxious or fearful child to feel relaxed during treatment. Your child is administered a weight-based dose of an anti-anxiety medication in the office and is closely monitored during the dental procedure. With conscious sedation, the airway is not compromised and patients can respond to commands from the dentist throughout the appointment.

General Anesthesia (in an outpatient surgical setting)

At the hospital or surgery center, medication is administered through a mask and IV by an anesthesiologist. Our team of healthcare providers safely facilitate dental care while your child is sleeping. Dental Care under general anesthesia is reserved for highly anxious children, very young children with complicated care, or children with special needs.

We are proud to offer a myriad of options for your child, each chosen specifically by individual needs. The utmost care is taken to ensure your child’s safety during each procedure.

Benefits Of Sedation Dentistry

Patients gain many benefits from sedation dentistry, including:

  • State of deep relaxation while receiving dental treatment
  • Tolerance of longer treatment sessions, which is beneficial for complex or time-consuming treatment plans
  • The amnestic effect that eliminates the possibility of negative memories that reinforce an existing dental fear

Of course, there may be risks associated with sedation, as well. We will educate you thoroughly on these risks and take steps to minimize them. Weigh both the benefits and the risks when deciding sedation for your child’s dental treatment.

Common Questions about Sedation Dentistry

What is dental anxiety and phobia?

Dental anxiety and phobia is a significant fear of receiving dental treatment. In some cases, the phobia is so severe that patients can’t even tolerate routine care, such as checkups and exams. This can present a serious obstacle to obtaining dental care, and conscious sedation can offer a safe way to overcome dental anxiety. Sedation helps patients relax and improves their experience of receiving dental care.

What is conscious sedation for dental work?

Conscious sedation involves administering anti-anxiety medications to patients. The sedative effects of these drugs help patients to relax deeply while they are undergoing dental treatments. The sedatives can be delivered in gaseous form or orally or intravenously, depending on the child’s needs and the treatment being provided. Children who receive sedation are closely monitored throughout the appointment for signs of distress.

What is laughing gas?

Laughing gas is another name for nitrous oxide. This is a gaseous agent that has a mild sedative effect to help children relax at the dentist’s office. Inhaled through a mask, nitrous oxide takes effect almost instantaneously, and its effects are reversed quickly, as well.

How do I know if my child needs sedation?

If your child is especially fearful, has difficulty sitting still for long periods or has other special needs related to physical or developmental disabilities, sedation can be a helpful tool in providing dental treatment. We will be happy to discuss all of the sedation options with you so that you can make a well-informed treatment decision on your child’s behalf.