Pediatric Dental Sedation in ashburn

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

There are always risks associated with receiving sedation, especially with more intense doses. However, when administered by a certified and experienced professional who monitors your child's vital signs, sedation for kids is considered safe. Some forms of sedation are at lower risk than others.

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is the most minimal, least invasive sedative in sedation dentistry so it is associated with the least risk. This is why we opt for laughing gas to relax children who are nervous, restless, or unable to cooperate during dental procedures. IV sedation carries an increased risk because it puts you to sleep, though you are not fully unconscious. 

However, it is comparatively safer than general anesthesia. Ashburn pediatric dentist Dr. Jonathon Konz will go over your medical history with you to determine if you are a good candidate for sedation and if you have any conditions or any lifestyle behaviors that will increase your risk of complications. 

If you would like for your child to be sedated during their next dental appointment at Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in Ashburn, contact us online or give us a call at (703) 687-1581.

Ashburn sedation dentist

Types of Dental Sedation We Offer

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Laughing Gas

Also known as nitrous oxide, this sedative is administered through a nasal mask to be inhaled by the patient. A flow of nitrous oxide gas and some oxygen is inhaled and quickly makes the patient feel relaxed. 

This is not the best form of sedation for everyone. Because the sedative is mild, children with severe dental anxiety may need something stronger to relieve their nerves. After the treatment is done at our Ashburn office, the mask will be flooded with oxygen to eliminate any remnants of the laughing gas in the body. 

It will only take a few minutes for the patient to return to a normal state. Patients should not eat for 2 hours before receiving laughing gas or they run the risk of feeling nauseous and may throw up.

IV Sedation

This form of sedation is also known as deep sedation or twilight sedation because it can put a patient to sleep. However, this depends on the dosage, which can range from mild to deep sedation. The sedative is administered to a vein through an IV. Your child will need to prepare for IV sedation by fasting for 6-8 hours before the procedure.

Mild sedation administered through IV will cause the pediatric patient to feel drowsy but not necessarily fall asleep. This is usually reserved for more complex procedures or for patients who have severe dental anxiety at our Ashburn office.

Have questions about Sedation dentistry for kids? Find answers here.

What is the Sedation Dentistry Experience Like?

The experience depends on the type of sedative being taken as well as the dosage. Even two patients taking the same sedative in the same dosage can have different reactions. Laughing gas tends to make patients feel relaxed, euphoric, and giggly. 

The reason it is nicknamed laughing gas is that many patients burst into a fit of laughter. Other effects include feeling a tingly sensation in the arms and legs, possible hallucinations, and a slower reaction time. The patient may or may not remember the treatment afterward and some pediatric patients are very sleepy or may fall asleep. However, it will be easy to wake up.

In comparison, IV sedation is a higher dosage of sedation than nitrous oxide and will make the patient feel extremely sleepy. It may be difficult to stay awake and even harder to remember the procedure. If the dosage administered through the vein is milder, then the patient may be able to communicate during the procedure. 

Unlike general anesthesia, the child is still conscious and may remain awake during the procedure. All of the sedative effects such as sleepiness and relaxation are amplified in IV sedation compared to laughing gas. Contact us today to learn more about sedation options for our pediatric patients in Ashburn and Brambleton.

What Are The Advantages of Sedation Dentistry?

Dental sedation is a fantastic dental tool that can deeply relax children with dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is quite a common condition that affects people of all ages, but it’s prevalent in children who are unfamiliar with the dental setting. 

Sedation helps us prevent that anxiety from turning into a phobia that causes dental avoidance. This way, your child can get the dental treatment that they need to maintain good oral health and prevent serious issues like gum disease and tooth decay without causing them any distress.

Sedation induces your child into a state of relaxation or euphoria and will likely feel very sleepy. This helps melt away negative feelings like stress and fear. Your child will also not need to relive the procedure because they will not have any memory of what happened once the sedative wears off. 

While dental sedation is often talked about concerning complex or invasive procedures like oral surgery, it can be used during any dental treatment, including cleanings. If this helps your child feel more at ease and encourages them to keep coming, we’re more than happy to administer sedation even during non-invasive routine appointments. 

Other advantages of sedation besides relieving anxiety include relieving sensitive gag reflexes, reducing pain sensation in patients with low pain tolerance, making patients with special needs more comfortable, and increasing cooperation in children who are restless or very young. When patients are fully comfortable and cooperative, the dentist can get more dental work done with fewer appointments.

What Are the Side Effects of Sedation?

This depends on the specific type of sedation they are receiving, whether or not they followed preparation instructions, as well as individual differences in children based on their weight. Nitrous oxide will make your child feel very calm, euphoric, giddy, warm, and tingly. 

To prepare for sedation, they shouldn’t eat for 2 hours before their appointment to avoid feeling nauseous, getting dizzy, or vomiting. Some patients can also experience a headache. However, given that nitrous oxide is our mildest sedative, these side effects are rare and patients generally do not feel sick as long as they haven’t eaten too close to receiving sedation.

IV sedation requires more extensive preparation because it’s a much deeper form of sedation. Patients need to fast for 6 hours before their appointment. The most common side effect is drowsiness. This sedative lingers for up to 24 hours so your child is likely to feel very tired and groggy for the rest of the day. 

At Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Konz will always review your child’s medical history to make sure sedation is safe for them and will closely monitor them throughout the procedure.

How Long Does It Take For Sedation To Wear Off?

Similar to the quick onset of nitrous oxide, it fades away just as quickly. Laughing gas is entirely metabolized by the body and within 2 to 3 minutes of removing the nasal mask, your child will return to normal. 

IV sedation, on the other hand, can linger in the body for up to 24 hours so your child will face restrictions for the next 24 hours. They will feel very tired and should rest when they get home. 

You will need to monitor them for the rest of the day to make sure they are safe and don’t hurt themselves by trying to do too much. They may need help walking around or getting up the stairs. They should not engage in strenuous activity for the next 24 hours

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