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Pediatric Dentistry
Sedation Dentistry for Children

Sedation Dentistry for Children in Walnut Creek

Visiting the dentist can be a tough, sometimes worrisome experience for young children. Dr. Melissa Lopez, a specialist in pediatric dentistry, has made it her mission to offer a friendly and harmonious atmosphere to all of her pediatric clients in the Walnut Creek area. Whether the child has an extensive treatment planned or experiences more than just the average apprehension to the dentist chair, Shadelands Pediatric Dentistry offers a variety of sedation options that are safe and effective for your child.

Types of Sedation

Oral sedation is a method where the patient will take a sedative in pill or liquid form. The side effects that come with oral sedation are usually the least severe, giving your child an opportunity to relax at the dentist without dizziness or upset stomach. It is recommended that parents help prepare children to be comfortable while sedated by dressing them in looser clothing and reducing their food and liquid intake a few hours prior to the appointment.

Nitrous oxide, often referred to as laughing gas, is the most common of inhalational sedation techniques, and is designed to lessen the fears and anxieties of our young dental patients. The nitrous gas is combined with oxygen to allow for comfortable breathing, so the sedation effect can take place efficiently. The gas flows from a tank through a tube to a mask attached to the patient’s mouth and/or nose. Before the procedure is finished, oxygen alone flows into the mask for a few minutes to clear the nitrous from the system.

There are several methods used that are less routine that can allow patients a sedate and calm visit to the chair. Intravenous sedation uses an IV bag to administer the sedative for quicker results. Some patients may get nauseous from nitrous or may be afraid of needles. When that is the case, intranasal sedation, where the medication is delivered through a spray, can be an effective alternative.

Sedation vs. Anesthesia

When put under general anesthesia, patients are put into a deep, sleep-like unconsciousness. This process is usually reserved for the lengthy and more complicated dental procedures, and not recommended if sedation is a viable option. Sedation allows the anxiety of children in the dentist chair to dissipate without rendering them unconscious, while anesthesia requires more lead time. Also, children with existing conditions that interfere with their ability to follow instructions may benefit from anesthesia so the procedure can be performed safely.

Contact Shadelands Pediatric Dentistry Today

Dr. Melissa Lopez welcomes all pediatric dental patients in the Walnut Creek, Lafayette and Pleasant Hill communities. If your child is apprehensive about having dental service performed, we at Shadelands Pediatric Dentistry can help you both relax with our calm and friendly approach. Give us a call to set up an appointment today!