Call Us: 713-464-1651
Happy Kids Smiling

Sedation


Sedation

Parents sometimes wonder how we can accomplish the dentistry that their child needs due to the patients young age or level of apprehension. This is a fair and understandable concern. As a Pediatric Dental Resident an important part of the additional two years of training was directed specifically toward the goal of making children comfortable during the delivery of their care. Many hours of Pediatric Dental training are spent in the hospital setting where we are taught how to safely deliver sedative medicines and anesthesia to patients that need this adjunctive therapy.

Our goal is to provide your child a positive dental experience. Restorative dental treatment is a foreign experience for many children and sometimes it is deemed appropriate to use mild sedatives to help your child during the delivery of dental care. Although Dr. West has received extensive training in various sedative and anesthetic techniques, he chooses to use these techniques in a very conservative manner. In the last few years it has been noted that many Pediatric Dentist use sedative anesthesia routinely on many patients to hasten the delivery of dental care allowing them to see more patients each day. Dr. West prefers to use the “Tell-Show-Do” technique and to work more slowly, helping your child to see and understand their oral care and overcome their fears and anxiety. Unfortunately sometimes due to a patient’s age or ability to understand it is necessary to use a sedatives or anesthesia during the delivery of dental.

Specific techniques and specific medications are chosen after consideration of the child’s medical history, age, anxiety level, and the extent of treatment. Dr. West will recommend a specific technique once he has met your child and made the assessment based on these factors. He will discuss his recommendations with you, explain pre- and post-sedation instructions and answer any questions you may have.

On the day of treatment which requires sedation Dr. West will provide you specific, written post-sedation instructions. Please follow these instructions carefully. Do not hesitate to call the office at (713) 464-1651 if any questions come to mind.

Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen

Some children 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 and Oxygen are delivered to the patient through a small breathing mask which is placed over the child’s nose. The blending of the gases is adjusted to arrive at a suitable blend that helps to relax the patient, diminishing their fear, anxiety and obtunding pain without putting them to sleep. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen children remain calm and fully conscious. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, non addictive, effective technique to calm children while treating their dental needs. The gas is odorless and tasteless. Nitrous Oxide is eliminated from the child’s body within minutes upon completion of the dental appointment.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please inform us of any change to your child’s health and/or medical condition.
  • Tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide/oxygen.
  • Let us know if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.
  • It is recommended that when the use of nitrous oxide and oxygen is planned the child be seen early in the day before eating a large meal. Breakfast should be “light” usually a piece of toast and clear liquids. Heavy foods tend to result in nausea and vomiting when nitrous oxide and oxygen are used. If a child begins to vomit the procedure will be terminated as soon as possible and another appointment will be scheduled to complete treatment. Dr. West will give further instructions prior to scheduling an appointment requiring any form of sedation.

After your appointment:

  • At the conclusion of treatment which requires sedation Dr. West will provide you specific, written post-sedation instructions. Please follow these instructions carefully. Do not hesitate to call the office at (713) 464-1651 if any questions come to mind.

Conscious Sedation

Conscious Sedation is recommended for more apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs. It is used to calm your child and to reduce the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatments. Your child may become quite drowsy and may even fall asleep, but they will not become unconscious.

There are a variety of different medications that can be used for conscious sedation. Dr. West will prescribe the medication best suited for your child’s overall health and dental treatment plan. We will answer any questions you might have concerning the specific medicine we plan to administer to your child.

  • Please notify us of any change in your child’s health and/or medical condition. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment. We will have to reschedule your child’s treatment if they have a fever, ear infection or cold.
  • A prescription will be given to you for the appropriate sedative medication; you will be instructed to bring the medicine to the office for administration on the day of the appointment.
  • Upon arrival for your child’s appointment your child will be weighed and given the dosage appropriate for their weight on that date.
  • Inform the doctor of any prescriptions that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Please make sure that your child goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
  • Treatment that involves conscious sedation will usually be schedule for early morning because your child cannot have solid food for at least six (6) hours prior to their sedation appointment, and should only consume clear liquids for up to four (4) hours before the appointment. Dr. West will give further instructions prior to scheduling an appointment requiring any form of sedation.
  • The child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.
  • Please watch your child closely while the medication is taking effect. Do not leave them unattended.
  • Your child will act drowsy and may become slightly excited at first.

After the Sedation appointment:

    Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up and a pillow behind their back so that they remain on their side. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration.
  • At first, it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea.
  • Your child's first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If your child 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 your child’s mouth during the procedure, your child may have the tendency to bite or chew their lips, cheeks, and/or tongue and rub or scratch their face after treatment. Please observe your child carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.
Please call our office (713) 464-1651 for any questions or concerns that you might have.

I.V. Sedation

I.V. sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that do not work well under conscious sedation. Dr. West performs the dental treatment in our office with the child anesthetized under I.V. sedation, which is administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist.

Prior to an I.V. sedation appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child’s health and/or medical condition. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment. We will have to reschedule your child’s treatment if they have a fever, ear infection or cold.
  • Inform the doctor of any prescriptions that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Please make sure that your child goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
  • Treatment that involves I.V. sedation will usually be schedule for Friday morning so your child is our complete focus.
  • The child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.

Your child cannot not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY, like water, apple juice, Gatorade for up to six (6) hours prior to their sedation appointment. Dr. West will give further instructions prior to scheduling an appointment requiring any form of sedation.

After the I. V. sedation appointment:

  • • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up and a pillow behind their back so that they remain on their side. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration.
  • • At first, it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea.
  • • Your child's first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • • If your child 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 your child’s mouth during the procedure, your child may have the tendency to bite or chew their lips, cheeks, and/or tongue and rub or scratch their face after treatment. Please observe your child carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.
Please call our office (713) 464-1651 for any questions or concerns that you might have.

Out Patient General Anesthesia

Out Patient Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that cannot be completed using conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he or she where having their adenoids or tonsils removed or having a hernia repaired. Outpatient General Anesthesia performed in a hospital or outpatient setting. If your child should require Outpatient General Anesthesia Dr. West will help you with a referral to Texas Children’s Hospital Pediatric Dental Clinic.