Sedation

What’s best for your child?

There are many types of sedation that can be used to help make your child comfortable during a dental procedure. Our trained team, partners with you to determine the best, most cost-effective and appropriate one for treating your child, should sedation be required.

 

1. Nitrous Oxide

This is a very mild sedation that most of adults wish was readily available during their own dental work. When breathed in, nitrous enters the blood stream to give the patient the feeling of being “lighter.” It also alters the pain threshold to help keep the child comfortable. A 5-minute oxygen flush (removing nitrous, breathing normally) is all that is required to flush it out of their system.

Note: The child has to be calm and breathing through their nose for nitrous oxide to take effect.

Preparation

Before your child’s visit, please avoid eating a heavy meal and foods with dairy. If the patient needs to eat, we recommend a piece of bread and/or some juice.

2. Conscious Oral Sedation

As the name implies, this is a light sedation to help a nervous child get through a procedure. This is best for children who really want to be cooperative, but feel anxious, making it difficult to sit still. It is not a magic pill, is not the best solution for most children and is not a viable alternative to general anesthesia, but the doctors can help you determine whether this is a good option for your child.

We use two very safe medications for this sedation that, in combination, help relax the child and decrease anxiety. They are Midaolam (a Benz diazepam) and Vista rail (an antihistamine).

Preparation

A) Nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours prior to the visit. Eating will cause vomiting which can be dangerous during sedation. B) Take a trip to the restroom prior to the procedure and please bring a change of clothes (just in case). C) If your child is sick a few days before the visit, please call and reschedule. We will check to make sure your child has small tonsils and an open airway before the procedure. D) Remember that every child reacts differently to the medication. If your child does not respond, we will work with you to come up with a new game plan. This type of sedation is not as predictable as general anesthesia.

3. General Anesthesia

We are thrilled to partner with Columbia Anesthesia Group (CAG) to offer in-office anesthesia for your child. This licensed medical team provides a safe, convenient option in the comfort of our office. With this type of sedation, your child goes to sleep after breathing through a balloon of “happy air.” After several breaths, they fall asleep, and all of this happens before a single poke.

4. Hospital Sedation

We are affiliated with several hospitals in the greater Portland area (Legacy Salmon Creek, Legacy Emmanuel, and Kaiser hospital systems) which allows us to treat very young and/or medically compromised children.