TRAILHEAD PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY
At Trailhead Pediatric Dentistry we prefer to complete dental procedures in the least invasive manner possible. Most children are able to complete treatment with nitrous oxide and local anesthetic, but some require higher levels of sedation. Generally, these patients are either very young, have a special need, or have extreme dental anxiety. In addition, some children simply require a lot of dental work and multiple visits may turn a cooperative child into a fearful or anxious one. For these children sedation dentistry provides a relatively safe and effective way to treat dental decay.
Trailhead Pediatric Dentistry offers several different methods of sedation in order to individualize treatment for each and every child. We utilize appropriately trained staff and healthcare professionals as well as current monitoring techniques designed to keep your child safe. The following methods of sedation are available to each patient dependent on their specific needs:
Oral or Mild/Moderate Sedation
If your child is unable to have dental work completed using Nitrous Oxide and other treatment options are not available or advisable Oral or Mild/Moderate Sedation is available. Using this method your child will be given medication or “Silly Juice” orally to help relax and calm them. During this process your child will be monitored using pulse oximetry and blood pressure devices to assure that pertinent vital signs are at safe levels. They will be awake and responsive but very relaxed. Your child may experience blurry vision, loss of muscle coordination, say and do funny things and most likely forget what happened during the appointment. In most instances oral sedation works well and treatment can be completed in one to two visits.
Intravenous (IV) or Deep Sedation
When lower levels of Sedation are unsuccessful or it is decided that a higher of level of sedation would be more of a benefit to your child IV or Deep Sedation can be a useful tool. Whether your child experiences unsuccessful treatment appointments, is very young, battles high anxiety, or requires large amounts of treatment IV Sedation can be a good option. As with Oral Sedation your child will be given “Silly Juice” to help them relax. Once relaxed a trained anesthesia professional will place an IV and administer medications that help your child sleep while their dental work is completed. A nursing professional is also present to monitor your child before and after the IV sedation.
In rare instances, a child may not be able to be treated using one of the lighter forms of sedation. This can be for a variety of good reasons all of which will be discussed in greater detail with your dentist. For these patients we provide the option of general anesthesia at Northern Rockies Surgery Center. This is an outpatient facility very similar to a hospital but designed specifically for same day surgery. Your child will be under the direct supervision of a professional anesthesiologist throughout the entire procedure, not too unlike IV Sedation. If you have additional questions, please contact our office to speak directly with our sedation experts.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Our first sedation option is Nitrous Oxide or Mild sedation. In this process, we administer Nitrous Oxide, or “laughing gas.” Your child will be awake and able to respond, but in a state of mild to moderate relaxation. We believe that all children should have a pleasant experience at the dentist which is why we offer Nitrous Oxide to sooth the nerves and smooth the process.