Tell, Show, Do
We use this technique on virtually all young patients. We explain to our patients what we're going to do. We show them what we're going to do. And then we do it.
Very young children and some special needs patients are not able to understand why they need dental treatment. Passive Immobilization is used to protect your child and the staff from harm in the event of extreme bodily movement during procedures (i.e., injection of local anesthesia, dental treatment, dental extractions, dental emergencies, etc.)
Nitrous Oxide/ Laughing Gas
Some children are given nitrous oxide/oxygen, or what you may know as "laughing gas", to relax them for their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the child's nose, allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating children's dental needs. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes while dental treatment is more comfortable.
General Anesthesia, often referred to as “being put to sleep” or “sleep dentistry,” is a medical procedure that renders your child completely asleep in a pain-free environment, allowing for the safe provision of dental diagnostics and treatment. Treatment is completed in a hospital or surgical center setting and conducted as ‘outpatient’ surgery, meaning that the patient is usually able to go home a few hours after the procedure is finished. Dental treatment under general anesthesia is an effective way to provide care to apprehensive children, children too young to be able to sit in the dental chair for treatment, and children or adolescents with special health care needs.
The general anesthesia used when completing dental treatment is the same as that used in procedures like the placement of ear tubes or having tonsils removed. The choice to have dental treatment for your child under general anesthesia involves the consideration of many factors and can only be decided by you and your dentist together after a thorough exam has been completed. General anesthesia is necessary for only a small subset of pediatric patients. While the assumed risks can be greater than that of treatment in-office or with the use of nitrous oxide, the benefits have significant positive effects on the quality of life for these children as well as their families. The use of general anesthesia is only suggested for a child when the benefits far outweigh the risks of this treatment.