Child Sedation

All (beautiful) Smiles start early and last a lifetime.

At All Smiles Harrisonburg, we recognize that general anesthesia seems to be a topic that many people do not have a vast amount of knowledge about. Our goal is to explain the types of anesthesia and explain what precautions All Smiles Harrisonburg takes to lower any of the risks associated with each type of anesthesia. We are offering this article as a guide for information on the types of anesthesia that are available and the types of anesthesia that All Smiles Harrisonburg offers. Of course, it is important to review all of this information with our pediatric dental team and clarify any questions you may have about your child and his or her specific anesthesia needs, so that you can make the best decision for your child.

Conscious Sedation

Pediatric Dentist in Harrisonburg

The second type of sedation is oral conscious sedation. This is a type of sedation that we do not offer in our office because this type of sedation is often not successful and requires an additional sedation appointment after a failed attempt. With this sedation, your child is given a “juice” to drink and it makes them sleepy and loopy. Sleepy and loopy does not always equal happy and compliant and that is why this sedation can be unsuccessful. There are risks associated with this type of sedation because there is no IV access in case of emergency. IV access allows a doctor to respond in the case of an emergency by administering the proper medications that need to enter the bloodstream immediately.

General Anesthesia

Harrisonburg Pediatric Dentistry

The third type of sedation is general anesthesia. General anesthesia is recommended when it is determined that your child will not be able to tolerate their treatment appointment due to age, behavior or the extensiveness of treatment that is required. When a child has general anesthesia, they are relaxed with a gas long enough to insert an IV so that they do not experience any anxiety from IV placement. After the IV is inserted, a dental anesthesiologist administers medication directly into the blood stream so that less medication is needed to get the desired sedation effect. With all sedation there are risks, however IV sedation allows the doctor to be able to respond immediately in the event of an emergency because of having IV access to administer emergency medication.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), is the advocate for oral health in infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health care needs. The AAPD recognizes that there are many reasons that a patient would benefit from deep sedation (general anesthesia) including: a need for extensive treatment, acute situational anxiety, uncooperative age-appropriate behavior, immature cognitive functioning, disabilities, or medical conditions. The AAPD recognizes general anesthesia administered in the office setting to be a safe and more cost effective option for patients versus being admitted to the hospital.

We at All Smiles Harrisonburg have set ourselves apart when it comes to safety. Our pediatric dental team believes in providing the highest quality of care in the safest environment possible. This is why we  go above and beyond the recommendations for in-office sedation and provide their patients a unique opportunity where a dental anesthesiologist and a team of dental anesthesia assistants with PALS certification are monitoring and caring for your child while he or she is under general anesthesia.

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