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Friday, April 22, 2022

The Calming Truth About Sedation

The Calming Truth About Sedation

For some, the idea is frightening: You are going to sedate my child? While this inherent fear comes from deep parental instincts, it often results from miscommunication, misunderstanding and confusion. Dr. Jared and our clinical team employ a variety of techniques to make your child’s dental care less painful. The decision about which technique to use should take into account the type of procedure being performed and what works best for your child.

Whenever possible, we opt for a nonpharmacological approach, choosing noninvasive techniques rooted in psychology. One method is “Tell, Show, Do.” Simply put, it is a step-by-step explanation of the procedure and instruments used so that the child understands what is going on and does not fearfully anticipate the unknown.

If that approach will not succeed in your child’s particular situation, we may employ a conscious sedation method, such as nitrous oxide—more commonly known as laughing gas. Administered through a flavored nosepiece, nitrous oxide allows the child to remain conscious and responsive throughout the procedure while all but eliminating the nervousness and pain associated with dental procedures. Nitrous oxide use is considered safe by dental and medical professionals alike. We may also employ a relaxant, administered through a pill, injection or intravenously. Regardless of the type of sedation, we will remain vigilant throughout the procedure to ensure that no ill effects occur.

Occasionally, we may recommend general anesthesia. In this instance, an anesthesiologist administers a sedating drug, rendering the child totally unconscious. This method is often used in cases where an extended procedure is to be performed, the child is simply incapable of relaxing or the procedure is one the child would not be able to tolerate otherwise. This method does come with the possibility of certain risks and associated side effects. General anesthesia can, in some cases, cause vomiting, confusion or memory loss, as well as more serious complications such as difficulty breathing.

Ultimately, we use sedation for your child’s benefit. Our goal is to make sure that the work necessary to maintain your child’s dental health is completed correctly and safely. Current sedation methods are meant to calm your child, and lessen or eliminate pain. Don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Jared questions about sedation or any other health concerns. If you understand the process, you can keep calm—that may be the best way to help calm your child’s nerves, too.

Give us a call at 509-891-7070 to schedule today!

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