Dental phobia is a common problem among patients of all ages, and it can unfortunately develop very early in life. One bad experience, and your child may be reduced to tears at the mere mention of a checkup. At OPD Smiles, we work hard each and every day to make your loved one’s ongoing care as warm, friendly, and comfortable as it can possibly be. If this approach isn’t enough to help them relax, Dr. Russell can offer safe sedation dentistry techniques as an effective backup. You are always welcome to contact us if you’d like to learn more, or if you’re ready to schedule an appointment here in Lucas, TX.
You may know nitrous oxide by another, funnier name…laughing gas! This sedative is a good option for children who have mild feelings of anxiety and discomfort in the dental chair. The process is simple – your son or daughter will wear a mask that fits over their nose and administers a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. After a few minutes of breathing it in, they should feel calmer and more content.
One of the biggest benefits of nitrous oxide is that the sedative effects wear off just as quickly as they begin – no significant downtime is required!
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation comes in the form of a pill or liquid medicine. After your child has taken it, they should enter a deep state of relaxation while still remaining awake and able to hear Dr. Russell. We recommend that following treatment, parents plan to take their children home and watch over them for the rest of the day until the effects wear off.
IV sedation is similar to oral conscious sedation, but the medication will be administered intravenously instead of orally. While this sedative technique doesn’t directly put your child to sleep, they may become so comfortable that they doze off during the treatment process. It’s also likely that they won’t remember much of anything from the experience. Please plan to give your son or daughter the rest of the day to recover from their appointment after leaving our office.
General anesthesia (“sleep dentistry”) is typically only recommended for children with severe dental fear/anxiety or very young patients in need of advanced treatment. This type of sedation will be performed in a hospital setting, and assistants, nurses, and pediatric anesthesiologists will be present to ensure your child’s safely throughout the process. Dr. Russell is board certified and has hospital privileges at both Park Central Surgical Center and Children’s Medical Center Dallas.