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Sedation

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Nitrous Oxide

Some patients are given nitrous oxide/oxygen, or what you may know as laughing gas, to relax them for their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the patient’s nose, allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. The gas is mild, easily taken, then with normal breathing, it is quickly eliminated from the body. It is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, the patient remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please inform us of any change to the patient’s health and/or medical condition.
  • Tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for the patient. It may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide/oxygen.
  • Let us know if the patient is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.

Conscious Sedation

Conscious Sedation is recommended for apprehensive patients. It is used to calm your the patient and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. The patient may be quite drowsy, and may even fall asleep, but they will not become unconscious.

There are a variety of different medications, which can be used for conscious sedation. The doctor will prescribe the medication best suited for the patient’s overall health and dental treatment recommendations. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have concerning the specific drugs we plan to give to the patient.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in the patient’s health and/or medical condition. Do not bring the patient for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should the patient become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that the patient is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please have the patient dress in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Please make sure that the patient goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
  • The patient should not have solid food for at least 6 hours prior to their sedation appointment and only clear liquids for up to 4 hours before the appointment.
  • The patient’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.
  • Please watch the patient closely while the medication is taking effect. And restrict any excessive activity.
  • The patient will act drowsy and may become slightly excited at first.

After the sedation appointment:

  • The patient will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely.
  • If the patient wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake the patient every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give the patient sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If the patient vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Because we use local anesthetic to numb the patient’s mouth during the procedure, the patient may have the tendency to bite or chew their lips, cheeks, and/or tongue and/or rub and scratch their face after treatment. Please observe the patient carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.
  • Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.

I.V. Sedation

I.V. Sedation is recommended for apprehensive patients that would not work well under conscious sedation. The dentist performs the dental treatment in our office with the patient anesthetized under I.V. sedation, which is administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in the patient’s health and/or medical condition. Do not bring the patient for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should the patient become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that the patient is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please have the patient dress in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Please make sure that the patient goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
  • The patient should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY (water, apple juice, Gatorade) for up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.
  • The patient’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.

After the sedation appointment:

  • The patient will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep the patient away from areas of potential harm.
  • If the patient wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake the patient every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to givethe patient sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If the patient vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.

Outpatient General Anesthesia

Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive patients that would not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders the patient completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient setting only. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for the patient, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. Most medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The inherent risks if this is not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to the patient in order to complete their dental treatment. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in the patient’s health. Do not bring the patient for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should the patient become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that the patient is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please have the patient dress in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • The patient should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY (water, apple juice, Gatorade) for up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.
  • The patient’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the hospital or surgical site waiting room during the complete procedure.

After the appointment:

  • The patient will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep the patient away from areas of potential harm.
  • If the patient wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake the patient every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give the patient sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If the patient vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Prior to leaving the hospital/outpatient center, you will be given a detailed list of “Post-Op Instructions” and an emergency contact number if needed.

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