As you can imagine, dental treatment in young patients can sometimes be very challenging. This challenge depends not only on the extensiveness of the treatment plan but also on each patient as children’s behavior is as varied as children themselves. For very young patients, patients with special healthcare needs, or patients who are too anxious to cooperate in the traditional dental setting, Skyline Pediatric Dentistry offers Nitrous Oxide analgesia or treatment under general anesthesia, a.k.a. getting “knocked out.”
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used as a conscious sedative during dental treatment. The gas is administered along with oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their appointment. It is also analgesic, making procedures more comfortable. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for five minutes to flush any remaining gas out of the patient’s body. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous Oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea. Nitrous Oxide sedation works best in patients who are apprehensive. It does not tend to work as well in children under the age of 2 or patients who exhibit uncooperative or defiant behavior.
Treatment Under General Anesthesia
Treatment under general anesthesia is performed in a hospital or surgical center setting. Dr. Woodward has operating privileges at the Boys Town National Research Hospital and Midwest Surgery Center (both located in Omaha.) Treatment under general anesthesia is extremely safe and allows for an entire treatment plan to be finished in a single appointment. The anesthesia is performed by an Anesthesiologist who constantly monitors your child’s vital signs, which allows Dr. Woodward to focus on and accomplish the dental treatment. Although every medical procedure carries risks, the safety involved with this option makes it a highly recommended procedure for young patients who require an extensive amount of work, or patients who, for whatever reason are unable to cooperate in the dental office. Please feel free to ask any questions regarding treatment in the hospital setting.