A Better Understanding Of Pediatric Anesthesia
If your child has trouble visiting the dentist because of severe anxiety or Special Needs, or if they require a serious surgery or procedure, it can sometimes be necessary for that child to be administered sedation or anesthesia. Dentist anesthesiologists have the necessary experience and qualifications that allow them to treat and assist children safely throughout the process.
Just as with regular anesthesiologists, dentist anesthesiologists are completely trained to work with children and infants. They can also deliver the proper care to children when in the dentist’s chair or operating room.
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Anesthesia & Children
In 2019, the current guidelines for dentists and oral surgeons were updated by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. These guidelines help give dentists and oral surgeons a procedural map to follow when providing general anesthesia or deep sedation to children.
For starters, it is necessary that there are always two people in the room, each of whom are trained with the ability to provide full life support in the case of an emergency. One of the people in the room will be the dentist or oral surgeon, and he or she will be performing the actual procedure.
The other person in the room is known as an independent observer.
Understanding The Different Levels of Sedation
It is important to know that there are different levels of sedation. The dentist will ultimately decide the type of sedation that is necessary for the patient or procedure, though having an understanding of what each level is will help you as a parent to feel more in control.
- Mild Sedation
Mild sedation is when the child remains conscious throughout the procedure. Mild sedation is the lightest level of sedation that we offer, and typically involves a mild sedative such as Nitrous Oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, or a Valium-like medication. Nitrous Oxide is the most popular choice, though there are some children who don’t like the feeling. It isn’t necessary for dentists to go through additional training to administer mild sedation.
- Moderate Sedation
Moderate sedation, otherwise known as sedation dentistry, makes the child a bit sleepier during the procedure, though they are not completely asleep. We highly recommend this for older children, as they are a bit less fearful.
- Deep Sedation
Deep sedation, otherwise known as sleep dentistry, is a method of sedation where the child is completely asleep throughout the procedure. There will be no memory of the procedure. There will always be an independent observer in the room to monitor the child’s heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, etc. during your child’s procedure. This method is completely pain-free and great for longer operations or procedures.
Making Your First Appointment
Whether your child struggles with severe anxiety or special needs, or if they are in need of a serious dental operation including surgery, St. Louis pediatric anesthesia can help. Here at The Dental Anesthesia Center in St. Louis, we have been practicing sleep and sedation dentistry for the past 25 years. We know how important the safety and comfort of your child is during his or her procedure, and it is our aim to provide nothing less than that!
We hope that you can make an appointment with us soon. Make sure to give us a call at (314) 862-7844 to set up your first appointment. We look forward to meeting you!
This office was fantastic!
They are great with nervous kids AND parents.
Kati Pape Ross
Everyone is so compassionate
By far the best place to go for children with special needs... my son is 3.5 and he is nonverbal and autistic...everyone is so compassionate and understanding and helpful. I will never take him anywhere else
Dr. Thoms was very friendly
My son is 3, autistic non-verbal and has oral sensory issues. They were absolutely amazing with him and I would recommend them for anyone with a child with special needs. Dr. Thoms was very friendly and explained everything to us before during and after his procedure. Couldn’t have asked for a better experience!! Thank you!!
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Dr. Daugherty is fantastic!