How We Keep Children Comfortable During Restorative Procedures

Keeping Patients Comfortable at Jungle Roots Dentistry

Recently, we discussed the restorative procedures that we do here at Jungle Roots Dentistry. We understand that some children are sensitive to coming to the dentist and having a procedure where there may be even minor discomfort may bring them anxiety. We want to make sure that your child is comfortable during ANY procedure or office visit.

We specialize in pediatric dentistry and our office environment captures the feel of the jungle so that children feel at ease as they walk in the door! Dr. Culp and our staff are trained in safe and effective techniques designed to alleviate fear and discomfort during procedures, no matter their length. We assure you that your child is in the skillful hands of highly qualified and experienced professionals. If sedation is needed, we administer it, keeping your kiddo calm and comfortable.

Please keep in mind at Jungle Roots Dentistry, we do not restrain your child or take action while they are in distress. We do not work that way. Comfort and cooperation from your children are vital for good outcomes from the procedure. Our definition of a successful outcome is that the child allows everything to occur with zero to minimal protest.

For some children, the best way to achieve success is some form of sedation. Sometimes, sedation may allow us to complete the steps all in one visit. In these cases, we will discuss this with you before the procedure and explain everything. We are fortunate to have Dr. Jason Brady, a nationally and internationally deep sedation specialist, as part of our team. He will oversee any anesthesia used to keep your child comfortable.

Let’s discuss the different types of sedation or anesthesia your child may need.

 

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

 

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is the mildest form of sedation and is an effective and simple tool to help your child stay calm during a procedure. Sedation happens by breathing the gas in through a scented nasal hood covering only the child’s nose. In five minutes or less, the gas will allow them to relax. A local anesthetic will also be used. After the treatment, the child is given 100% oxygen for approximately eight to ten minutes and should feel no ill effects. For this method of sedation, the child must provide permission to work with them.

 

Conscious Sedation

 

This is the best and most effective mode of sedation in the conscious realm. Nitrous oxide combined with an oral sedative provides profound relaxation and comfort when utilized in this method. It does not put your child to sleep but allows them to use their coping skills to remain calm and comfortable for longer, and allows us to complete treatment quickly. Again, because this is a conscious way of sedating the child, they must give their consent to be sedated. This technique is 90-95% successful in keeping children comfortable during dental procedures.

We want children to be safe during and after the procedure. This means they should not eat anything before the visit to avoid the possibility of vomiting during the procedure. A local anesthetic may be used in their oral cavity, so after the procedure, wait to give them food until this wears off so they do not accidentally chew or bite on their tongue, cheeks, or lips.

 

Unconscious Sedation

 

There are times when children have not developed the coping skills to deal with a restorative dental procedure without becoming emotionally distressed. Conscious sedation may not have worked, or the parents or dentist may not feel it will work long enough for the procedure to be completed. If the child has multiple areas of decay and needs more extensive work done, has a history of dental trauma, or needs extractions, the only option for the treatment to proceed may be unconscious sedation.

In unconscious sedation, the anesthesiologist will first give nitrous oxide to the child to help calm them. Then, they will administer medications through an IV line to keep the child safely asleep throughout the procedure. The child is still breathing independently; they are just in a “twilight” sleep state. After the restorative procedure is completed, the anesthesiologist gives them medications through the IV to bring them out of the sedation. The child may continue to be groggy for the rest of the day, so they should not be left unattended.

 

Before Any Sedation

 

Our dental staff will instruct you regarding the steps needed before your child has any sedative procedure. To help your child be comfortable and help everything go smoothly, please keep these things in mind:

  • Stop your child from eating and drinking when told to do so.
  • Dress your child in comfortable, loose-fitting clothes.
  • Bring a favorite toy or stuffed animal.
  • If new to potty training, your child may benefit from wearing a pull-up or diaper for the time they are sedated.
  • If your child has any cold or fever symptoms, please let us know as soon as possible. We may need to reschedule the appointment.

 

During Sedation

 

We will carefully monitor your child during any sedation. We will monitor heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and oxygen levels in the blood. Dr. Culp, Dr. Brady, and all our staff are trained extensively in safety methods. We want only the best for your child, and we ensure that we are skilled to care for any occurrence.

 

After Sedation

 

We will continue to monitor your child after the procedure until it is safe for you to take your child home. We’ll give you instructions that include how to care for your kiddo and when it is okay for them to eat and drink. We will discuss possible side effects and when and how to reach us for any questions or concerns.

 

We Value Your Trust

 

We want you and your children to feel safe and know that you can have confidence in our staff and understanding why sedation is beneficial or when it is necessary while having a dental procedure is important, so we will always take as much time as needed to answer any questions you and your child may have. We assure you that safety and comfort are vital to the overall experience here at Jungle Roots Dentistry. We appreciate your trust and are privileged to treat your family each time you have an appointment!

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