For young children, those with anxiety, and/or children with special healthcare needs that are unable to tolerate procedures safely, our office provides several sedation options. We offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas), in-office IV sedation, and general anesthesia at Children’s of Wisconsin surgery center or hospital. Our doctors can help guide your decisions such that your child receives high quality treatment in a safe and well-controlled setting.
Nitrous oxide or laughing gas, is a very safe and effective technique to reduce anxiety and help to reduce discomfort/increase comfort during dental procedures, as well as reduce a significant gag reflex that can interfere with tolerance of dental procedures. Nitrous oxide is a very mild, gas-inhaled sedative. Children are still fully awake and responsive, able to communicate verbally with our doctors and team during the procedure while utilizing nitrous oxide. Our team is very skilled at introducing the “laughing gas”, or “happy air,” as we call it, helping children to feel comfortable with the feel of the nose and the air flowing through it. Our patients have the option to choose a fun flavor/scent to smell during the procedure, which helps them to focus on utilizing the nitrous oxide and increase the fun factor of their experience!
Nitrous oxide is reversible with administration of 100 % oxygen following completion of the dental treatment and nitrous oxide administration. It is well tolerated and safe for most pediatric patients. Our doctors will discuss whether nitrous oxide would be indicated for your child during their dental procedure.
For children that are very fearful/anxious, are unable to tolerate multiple office visits and/or require complex dental treatment, our office works with a dental anesthesiologist to provide in office sedation. Our doctors provide comprehensive treatment in our dental office while your child is sedated and carefully monitored throughout the procedure by the anesthesiologist. In most cases minimal or no local anesthetic/numbing will be needed, and your child will recover in our office for 30-60 minutes before being able to head home. After complex treatment has been completed, we can help your child gain confidence in the dental environment during preventative visits! Our doctors and the anesthesiologist provider will carefully review your child’s health history prior to the day of treatment, to ensure that this route of sedation is appropriate for your child. Safety is the number one concern in every aspect of your child’s care.
If your child cannot receive dental care in a traditional dental office, our practice offers gentle and effective dental care to infants, children, and adolescents in the safe environment of our local children’s hospital and surgery center. Our doctors hold hospital privileges at Children’s of Wisconsin Hospital and surgery center. Our doctors have the distinctive ability to understand the specific needs of children who need dental care but cannot cooperate for safe dental treatment. Through hospital dentistry, we can eliminate the struggles and trauma that can lead to a lifetime fear of dental treatment for your child.
Is hospital dentistry right for my child?
Pediatric hospital dentistry services are ideal for:
- Physically, emotionally, or developmentally challenged children who are unable to tolerate treatment safely in a dental office environment.
- Children that have a severe gag reflex.
- Children with complex medical conditions that make it unsafe to receive dental care in an office situation.
- Young children in need of extensive dental treatment. (Unable to cope with treatment safely due to age/maturity level.)
For these situations, the use of general anesthesia may be the best option for your family.
General anesthesia will put your child into a deep sleep. He or she will be unable to feel any discomfort. General anesthesia for dental procedures will be provided by an anesthesiologist in the hospital/surgery center. These professionals are trained to deliver medication, monitor your child during the procedure, and handle any complications that may occur.