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Sedation Dentistry

Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental anxiety, or for patients who are otherwise unable to cooperate or remain still for dental treatment. Sedation is accepted by the American Dental Association as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as an effective way to help patients remain comfortable during their dental visit, helping to provide a positive dental experience.

Prior to your appointment it is important to tell your dentist about any medications your child is taking or any significant medical history. At your consultation appointment your dentist will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre-and post-sedation instructions.

Types of Sedation

Nitrous Oxide/Minimal Sedation

Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as "laughing gas," is often used to provide minimal sedation during dental treatment. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps reduce anxiety. After the completion of treatment, oxygen is administered to eliminate any remaining nitrous oxide, allowing the effects to wear off near instantly. Nitrous oxide very rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience mild nausea.

Moderate Sedation

For patients that have more pronounced levels of anxiety or more extensive amounts of treatment, moderate sedation produces a relaxed state of consciousness, helping to lessen anxiety, pain and discomfort surrounding treatment. Patients who receive moderate sedation are still able to speak and respond to questions during treatment, although they may remember very little or nothing about the procedure. The sedating medication can be administered in a variety of ways, which will be discussed with you at the consultation appointment.

IV Sedation/General Anesthesia

Intravenous (IV) sedation is highly effective for patients who have significant fear or anxiety regarding dental treatment as well as patients who are otherwise unable to cooperate or remain still for dental treatment. IV sedation involves the administration of medication directly into the bloodstream via an IV, putting the patient completely to sleep. Aside from keeping the patient unconscious during the procedure, the sedation also acts as an amnesiac, causing the patient to forget the events immediately before and after the procedure. Since this medication is administered via an IV, the patient remains asleep throughout the procedure, allowing us to complete the entire treatment in one appointment. IV Sedation/General Anesthesia is a very safe procedure, with anesthesia treatment being provided in our office by a board certified anesthesiologist.

Children’s Dentistry of Richmond

  • Children’s Dentistry of Richmond - 4025 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23223 Phone: (804) 321-6800 Fax: 804.321.8800

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