Gormley & Gutierrez Pediatric Dentistry

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Pediatric Dental Sedation

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Laughing gas is the common term for Nitrous Oxide. This is a safe and mild method used during dental procedures. Your child will be awake and responsive throughout the appointment, in a more relaxed state.

Because this type of dentistry is short-lived with a gentle effect, it is often used for children. Nitrous oxide puts patients at ease so they can remain relaxed during dental procedures allowing the anxious child a more pleasant dental experience! 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique for treating children’s dental needs. The gas is mild, easily taken, and it is quickly eliminated from the body and it is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and maintains all of their natural reflexes.

Dental Services - Gormley & Gutierrez Pediatric Dentistry- Las Cruses, NM

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.

Outpatient General Anesthesia

Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for children with severe anxiety, very young children, and children with special needs that do not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed or having a hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or outpatient surgical center setting only.

While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, the benefits of this treatment greatly outweigh the risks. Most pediatric 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 driving a car. If this is not chosen, your child risks having multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment, and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child 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 your child’s health. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment. You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking (prescribed, over-the-counter, or herbal medications) and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Your child should not have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the procedure.
  • You should report to the surgery center at least 1 hour prior to the scheduled appointment time.
  • The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the hospital or surgical site waiting room during the complete procedure.

After the appointment:

  • ACTIVITY: The medication may still affect your child for 24 hours. Whether he/she feels drowsy or seems fully awake, they may lack their usual coordination. Your child needs careful watching to prevent falls and accidents.
  • NAUSEA: Your child may experience some nausea or vomiting from the anesthesia. If so, please only give clear liquids until the nausea/vomiting has stopped.
  • DIET: Your child can be given clear liquids for the first 1-2 hours. If your child has no problems with nausea, then he/she may have a “light” meal (soup, ice cream, crackers, etc.). Should vomiting occur, return to the clear liquid diet. A soft bland diet may be tolerated easily for the first 1-2 days. If there is no nausea or vomiting, your child can gradually eat solid foods after the first few hours. Please do not allow your child to hard or sticky candy from now on, as this can damage the teeth that were fixed.
  • PAIN: It is important that your child be kept comfortable during the healing time following dental treatment. We commonly see children refuse to eat or drink when they are having severe mouth pain. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen medications should be given per the instructions on the package. Avoid the use of aspirin.
  • CARE OF MOUTH: It is of vital importance that the teeth be cleaned during the initial healing stages. This brushing must be done by an adult since children will be very reluctant to properly brush their teeth. Use only a soft bristled toothbrush to brush their teeth. It may help to run warm water over the toothbrush to soften the bristles. It is normal to notice a small amount of bleeding after brushing the teeth.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: It is common for a slight amount of bleeding to continue for 2-3 hours following any extractions or extensive treatment. This small amount of blood usually appears excessive because it is mixed with saliva. Should an abnormal amount of bleeding occur, it can be easily controlled by taking a moist wash cloth and having your child bite on it (applying pressure to the bleeding area). Pressure for 10-15 minutes will control minor bleeding. It is common to have a low grade fever for the first 24 hours. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen medications should control the fever.