Pediatric Sedation Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC
Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry utilizes sedation for certain dental procedures, especially in apprehensive children. Read about the different types of sedation dentistry we practice, as well as information to prepare for your appointment.
Conscious sedation is a management technique that uses medications to assist the child to cope with fear and anxiety and cooperate with dental treatment. Conscious sedation is a good option for children who have a level of anxiety that prevents good coping skills or are very young and do not understand how to cope in a cooperative fashion for the delivery of dental care.
Conscious sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. Your child may be quite drowsy, and may even fall asleep, but they will not become unconscious.
There are a variety of different medications, which can be used for conscious sedation. The doctor will prescribe the medication best suited for your child’s overall health and dental treatment recommendations. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning the specific drugs we plan to give to your child.
Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The inherent risks if this is not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.
Information for Your Sedation Dentistry Appointment
Prior to your appointment:
- Please notify us of any change in your child’s health and/or medical condition. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
- You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
- Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
- Please make sure that your child goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
- Your child should not have solid food for at least 6 hours prior to their sedation appointment and only clear liquids for up to 4 hours before the appointment.
- The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.
- Please watch your child closely while the medication is taking effect. Your child will act drowsy and may become slightly excited at first.
- Hold them in your lap or keep close to you. Do not let them "run around."
After the appointment:
- Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely.
- Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
- If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up.
- Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration.
- At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
- If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
- Because we use local anesthetic to numb your child’s mouth during the procedure, your child may have the tendency to bite or chew their lips, cheeks, and/or tongue and/or rub and scratch their face after treatment.
- Please observe your child carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.
- Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.
If you are interested in relieving your child's dental anxiety with Sedation Dentistry,
call Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry at (919) 967-2773, or request an appointment to learn more!