At Westpark Pediatric Dentistry, we go above and beyond to ensure children have positive dental experiences. We do this because we love to see them smile, but also because we want them to continue getting the care they need into adulthood. Sedation dentistry in Richmond can help us achieve this goal.
Your child will be given a “space mask” (which carries oxygen mixed with the medication). The dentist will ask them to breathe through their nose, and they will sense a faint, sweet smell. Within 5 minutes they will feel the calming effects and will continue to wear the mask until the procedure is complete. Nitrous oxide is very safe, and is the lightest form of sedation available. Its combination with oxygen, which is also beneficial for the body’s healing processes, will reduce anxiety and keep your child relaxed within minutes.
Your child will be awake during the entire procedure. They will be able to respond as usual but may feel a little “happier” than normal. Once the procedure is complete, they will be given pure oxygen for about 5 minutes to clear out any remaining gas.
Oral sedatives are used as a moderate form of sedation between nitrous oxide and IV sedation and are prescribed by your caregiver. If you feel this may be a good option for your child, we will undergo a thorough consultation to help determine which medication is best for your child.
After selecting the best oral sedative for your child and their upcoming treatment, we’ll advise that it’s given about an hour before their appointment to ensure they are fully relaxed when they arrive. Your child will remain conscious during the entire procedure but may respond more slowly. Oral sedatives allow your child to be fully relaxed from start to finish, making the entire experience a breeze!
If your child’s treatment plan is extensive, they have special conditions that may complicate treatment, or if they are deeply anxious or afraid, we may recommend intravenous (IV) sedation.
Intravenous sedation is the deepest form of sedation available. It will allow your child to be less aware of the treatment while it’s being performed and not remember much of it afterwards. The biggest advantage of IV sedation is that we can give your child consistent medicine during a longer procedure to keep him or her relaxed the entire time. While your child may fall asleep, they will be fully monitored throughout their procedure by an anesthesiologist and their care team.
Your child’s medical history, conditions, & medications are always thoroughly considered before recommending this method. If IV sedation is chosen, we can perform treatment right in our practice. The IV is administered through a needle inserted into the vein, usually behind the hand. Dr. Mali is on staff with hospital privileges at several local hospitals, and is exceptional at making the process quick and comfortable for children.
In a hospital operating room, Dr. Mali may choose to utilize anesthesia for your child’s procedure. This is to ensure a relaxing and safe experience for your child.
General Anesthesia is administered at a hospital by an anesthesiologist and their care team. General anesthesia can be useful for long procedures or if multiple procedures need to be done at once. The benefit of general anesthesia is that it allows the whole body to rest and keep reflexes relaxed while providing a painless procedure with no memory of the experience afterwards.