A+ Dental

Houston Pediatric Specialists

Going to the dentist can be scary for young children.

And sometimes, the sounds and sights can hurt a lot more than the procedures actually do.

In addition, some children need to have a lot of dental work completed on multiple teeth. As such, A+ Dental offers multiple options for sedation and anesthesia that ensure any procedure your child experiences is comfortable. Whether it is oral conscious sedation to ease anxiety, a bit of laughing gas to slightly calm the nerves, or deep and complete sleep in order to finish a lengthy treatment, our commitment to you and your child is to facilitate the most relaxing, stress-free visit possible.

Nitrous (Laughing) Gas

The pediatric dental experts at the A+ Dental often make use of nitrous gas because it is a safe and effective way to help alleviate some of a child’s dental anxiety. The child has the gas placed on his or her nose using a special nose-piece. This nose-piece comes in various flavors, like strawberry, grape or bubblegum. During the delivery of nitrous gas, children will smell a sweet aroma that will give them a sense of relaxation and well being. The nitrous gas itself also decreases their gag reflex, keeping the child from wanting to throw up during treatment, and enhances the numb feeling they have, so overall they feel more comfortable.

Is Nitrous Gas Or Laughing Gas Safe For Children?

Yes. In fact, it is potentially the safest sedative that is currently being used in the dental industry.

It has a rapid onset effect so that children feel its effects almost instantaneously as long as they breathe through their nose. Once the treatment is completed, having the child breathe in oxygen for a couple of minutes will immediately reverse the effects of the nitrous gas. Afterward, the child is free to go back to school or continue daily activities without feeling any residual effects. Finally, nitrous gas is completely adjustable, so that the right dose is given to every child. These features make it an ideal sedative for any patient, especially children who feel anxiety toward dental procedures.

General Anesthesia for Children

To provide the safest and most comfortable way to treat young children with a lot of decay, we hire an anesthesiologist to come to the office regularly.

The anesthesiologist will start by letting the child breathe a special air that helps make them drowsy. Afterward, the anesthesiologist will start an IV and give the right dosage of drugs to completely put the child to sleep.

Once the child is completely sleeping, the anesthesiologist monitors the child’s breathing and vital signs, while the pediatric dentist provides all necessary treatment.

Is My Child a Good Candidate for General Anesthesia?

Young children with many dental needs are the most suitable candidates for general anesthesia. Instead of coming back for multiple appointments, the child can have everything done at once. This will prevent them from being scared of the dentist, both during the present treatment and in the future. Some older children also have an inexplicable fear of the dentist. These children too would benefit from being put to sleep.

Advantages of General Anesthesia

The greatest advantage of putting a child to sleep while getting their dental work done is that they will not be traumatized by their dental work.

Some of the medications that are used actually help the child forget all about what happened during the treatment. Also, once the child is completely asleep, all treatment, including x-rays, fillings, crowns, and cleanings can be done at once in a manner that is not traumatic or scary for the child.

General Anesthesia Disadvantages

Although the risks are very low, particularly because we at A+ Dental employ a dental anesthesiologist to oversee the procedure, some parents are not comfortable having their little ones completely put to sleep.

For private insurance patients, the biggest disadvantage of general anesthesia is the cost. Many private insurances do not cover the treatment and the anesthesiologist visiting the office will charge a set amount, which is due to the expensive medications and materials that are used.

Oral Conscious Sedation

To decrease the anxiety that many children have for getting their treatment done, the use of oral sedation may be a good option.

What is Oral Conscious Sedation?

Oral sedation involves the ingestion of prescription anti-anxiety medication that puts the children in a more relaxed state so that they are more receptive to the dental procedure. The child simply drinks the medication and after about 20-30 minutes starts feeling much calmer. The child will still be able to respond to stimulation, recognize voices, and maintain his or her natural protective reflexes. The combination of the sedative medication and laughing gas helps put the child in a relaxed state, which can make the procedure much more bearable.

Are There Any Advantages Or Disadvantages To Oral Sedation?

The pediatric specialists at A+ Dental recommend oral sedation for kids who have the ability to cooperate but are a little scared and need something to help them relax. The amount of sedation medication given to the child is based on their weight to ensure that the dosage is safe. Also, the pediatric dentist monitors the child’s breathing throughout the procedure to be sure that the airway is kept clear. Although the child may fall asleep after taking the sedative medication, they can be roused easily and can respond to commands. Overall, they are more comfortable and less anxious while getting their dental treatment done. The only real disadvantage is that sometimes even after treatment children may be drowsy and less alert. Parents should monitor their children after treatment and not allow them to partake in too many rigorous activities, like sports, after being sedated. It is also important to make sure their chin is lifted and their head is not sagging down to their chest when they sleep to prevent the closure of the airway.


Ask us a question or schedule an appointment

We can’t wait to talk to you about how we can make your child’s smile healthy and happy. Call us at 832-241-3434 or fill out a form below. A team member will be in touch within 24-48 business hours.