General Anesthesia or IV sedation is a procedure that allows treatment to be completed on children who are unable to accept dental treatment while conscious.
Dr. Vasquez works with a highly accredited dental anesthesiologist – Dr. Daniel Lee for children who require general anesthesia (sleep dentistry) in order to complete their treatment. General anesthesia is also a very safe procedure for healthy children.
The day of your child’s appointment your child will arrive in our office on an empty stomach. The anesthesiologist will review your child’s health and treatment needs. The anesthesiologist will then give your child an injection of ketamine in the arm. This is all your child will remember about this appointment, and some children do not even remember the shot because of the amnesic properties of the medication. This will relax your child in about 3-5 minutes. If it was not possible to obtain x-rays previously, x-rays will be taken and an assistant will advise you of the results and review any changes in the treatment plan. After dental treatment is complete the anesthesia will be reversed and your child will begin to wake up. Some children are very sleepy when they wake up, some cry and are agitated and some get the shivers. Remember, your child has a lot of medication in their system and are very confused while waking up. Dr. Vasquez and your anesthesiologist will give you post operative care instructions and will allow you to go home when your child is alert enough.
Dr. Vasquez offers nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for the slightly anxious child. Nitrous oxide helps a child who is cooperative but worried about various aspects of their appointment. It helps alleviate anxiety about having instruments placed in the mouth. Nitrous oxide isn’t for everyone, however. It requires a certain amount of cooperation from the child, as they are required to breathe only through a plastic apparatus placed over their nose. If the child is too young or too anxious to sit in a chair and breathe through a nose-piece, nitrous oxide is not an option.
Nitrous oxide is an extremely safe sedation option. When your child is breathing nitrous oxide they are receiving more oxygen than they are getting in room air!
More info about Nitrous Oxide
Oral sedation is offered to the anxious, the fearful or the very young patient. It is a management technique that uses medications to assist the child to cope with fear and anxiety.
“Sedation is safe when administered by a trained pediatric dentist who follows the sedation guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry” (AAPD). Dr. Vasquez will discuss sedation options and will discuss specific post-sedation instructions with you, including appropriate diet, physical activity, and requested supervision.
More info about Oral Conscious Sedation