We know that going to the dentist may be scary for children, so we strive to make every child feel at ease! In order to comfort your child, we provide:
Nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”)
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is a safe and effective method used to help apprehensive or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Patients remain alert, awake and can talk to dentists and staff during their treatment. The onset is quick, the effects are fully reversible, and recovery is rapid. When treatment is complete, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for 5 to 10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea.
Oral conscious sedation
Oral conscious sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, such as fillings, crowns, and extractions. Kids with dental phobia, who are very fearful, or very young kids for whom it is difficult to sit still, and special needs patients can benefit greatly from sedation.
Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to keep children comfortable during their dental treatment. We follow sedation guidelines set by the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Sedation can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to general anesthetics used to put patients to sleep. Patients with special needs, dental phobia, low pain tolerance, major dental treatment, or physical handicaps may require general anesthesia when oral conscious sedation isn’t effective enough.
We work with certified pediatric anesthesiologists to care for your child during general anesthesia. We have developed a strong relationship with pediatric anesthesiologists from Children’s Anesthesia Medical Group who come to our office to provide your child with the best care possible. These highly-trained physicians administer anesthesia to infants and children every day at Children’s Hospital Oakland, and at the offices of 20 pediatric dentists around the Bay area. They have completed a subspecialty (fellowship) training in pediatric anesthesia and are board-certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology.
Before using an anesthetic, it is important to tell us about any medications or medical treatments your child is receiving. Our doctors will explain the process of sedation and give you pre- and post-sedation instructions.