Child receiving sedation dentistry

Sedation Dentistry – Papillion, NE

We Don’t Let Bad Vibes Ruin Visits

It’s not uncommon for children to feel anxious or scared about coming to the dental office. Our team takes the time to answer any of your child’s questions and help them feel comfortable in the treatment chair. For those who are especially fearful, we also offer sedation dentistry in our Papillion, NE dental office to calm them and ensure they have a positive experience.

Why Choose Surf's Up Pediatric Dentistry for Sedation Dentistry?

  • Board-Certified
    Pediatric Dentist
  • We See Patients
    with Special Needs
  • Dental Insurance

Nitrous Oxide Dental Sedation

Child with nitrous oxide dental sedation mask

Nitrous oxide is a fast-acting form of sedation that’s administered in-office as soon as your child is in the treatment chair. We’ll place a small nose mask on them and have them breathe in a combination of nitrous and oxygen, which is a colorless and odorless gas. Nitrous oxide helps by reducing anxiety, often takes the wiggles out of the kids, and helps them endure the needed dental treatment comfortably and without anxiety. Read on to learn more about nitrous oxide dental sedation for kids in Papillion.

Is Nitrous Oxide Dental Sedation Right for My Child?

Child scared of the dentist in Papillion

You’re probably more familiar with nitrous oxide sedation’s nickname laughing gas, which has been used for decades to help make dentistry more comfortable for patients of all ages. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry even recognizes it as a safe and effective technique for children.

So is it right for your child? Quite possibly! Nitrous oxide sedation is ideal for helping kids stay calm, relaxed, happy, still, and comfortable in the dental chair during their treatment. Your child may benefit from nitrous oxide dental sedation if:

  • They’re scared of the dentist or need help feeling less anxious about their appointment
  • Have had a bad experience with dental care before
  • Are particularly wiggly or have trouble sitting still
  • They don’t respond well to numbing medication or are very scared that treatment will hurt
  • They have sensitive teeth or an overactive gag reflex
  • Will be undergoing a long procedure

How Does Nitrous Oxide Dental Sedation for Kids Work?

Boy using nitrous oxide dental sedation for kids in Papillion

Once we’ve reviewed your child’s health and medical history to ensure nitrous oxide sedation is a good choice for them, we’ll get them settled into the dental chair and place a small mask over their nose. Within just moments of breathing in the colorless, odorless gas, they’ll begin to feel light, relaxed, and possibly even giggly.

They’ll remain conscious enough to respond to our directions and questions, but they won’t register any of the sights, sounds, or sensations that would typically make them uncomfortable. Their ability to perceive pain and feel anxiety will be drastically limited, and we’ll be able to adjust their level of sedation at any given moment to ensure their comfort and safety.

Children’s Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide Dental Sedation

Girl smiling after nitrous oxide dental sedation for kids in Papillion

One of the most popular benefits of nitrous oxide dental sedation is how easy and gentle it is. Once your child’s treatment is over, we’ll remove the mask from their nose. It will only take a few minutes of breathing in regular air for your little one to regain their full level of alertness once again! Some children may feel slightly nauseous for a short time afterwards, but the vast majority of kids feel completely back to normal within 10 minutes. This means you both can go back to your days without interruption!

Oral Conscious Dental Sedation

Pharmacist looking at oral dental sedation medications

For children who are undergoing more invasive procedures or have dental phobia, we also offer oral sedation. A very small, and safe dose of medication will be given to them one hour before the appointment. Your child will remain conscious throughout their entire treatment. Our team will also be monitoring their vitals as they’re under sedation to ensure their safety.

What is Oral Conscious Sedation?

Child holding pill

For patients who are nervous, anxious, or have a strong gag reflex, oral conscious sedation is often an ideal solution. There are no needles or masks involved, and your child will be in a relaxed state throughout the duration of the procedure. Typically, Dr. Cushing will prescribe a small dose of medication that needs to be taken before the appointment. The effects are long-lasting and will kick in by the time the treatment begins.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

Child relaxed in dental chair

Once the effects kick in, your child will feel deeply relaxed and calm. Oftentimes, patients don’t even remember their appointments once the medication wears off, which can be beneficial for some people. Our dental team will continue to monitor your child throughout the entire treatment process to ensure that they are safe. Your child will remain conscious during the procedure, so they still respond to basic instructions, but they will remain in a perfectly relaxed state.

Is Your Child a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

Child afraid at dentist

Oral conscious sedation may be a good option for your child if they:

  • Suffer from dental anxiety or fear
  • Have a sensitive gag reflex
  • Are receiving multiple treatments at once
  • Struggle to stay still in the treatment chair

General Anesthesia

Hospital where general anesthesia dentistry is performed

Dr. Bryce invites an anesthesiologist to come into the dental office whenever general anesthesia is needed. This is often recommended for kids who have special needs or those who have severe dental phobia that prevents them from visiting the dentist. Dr. Bryce is also credentialed at hospitals in the area, including Children’s Hospital of Nebraska and Boystown National Research Hospital, where this service can also be provided.

What is General Anesthesia?

a child being put under anesthesia

General anesthesia is a method of sedation typically inhaled or administered via an IV to ensure that children remain unconscious throughout their treatment, meaning they won’t remember any details of the process when they awake and won’t be able to feel any pain, discomfort, anxiety, or other stimulation. While children are under sedation, a team will be closely monitoring their vitals and the delivery of the medication to make sure they remain safe and reduce the chances of any complications.

Who is a Good Candidate for General Anesthesia?

a parent playing with their child

We typically only recommend general anesthesia in cases where we believe it’s absolutely necessary, such as for a child to remain comfortable during their procedure. This is usually in the following cases:

  • A child is receiving multiple dental procedures at once.
  • A child is in need of a lengthy or complex treatment.
  • A child can safely undergo general anesthesia and has no underlying health issues.
  • A child suffers from dental phobia that could cause them to have a traumatizing experience if they weren’t sedated.

The Benefits of General Anesthesia

a smiling anesthesiologist

When you choose our trusted Surf’s Up Pediatric Dentistry team to provide your child with safe, pain-free care, they can reap a variety of benefits, including:

  • Having no memory of their procedure
  • Remaining comfortable throughout their treatment
  • Minimizing any chances that they’ll develop negative or traumatizing memories
  • Having the process overseen by an anesthesiologist in a safe and well-equipped setting, like Children’s Hospital of Nebraska

We understand that placing your child’s care in our hands can be intimidating and scary, but rest assured that we’ll keep you updated and informed along every step of the way. We also assure you that everybody in charge of your child’s care is highly skilled, knowledgeable, and competent when it comes to providing them with a safe and positive experience.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Child smiling while relaxing in treatment chair before checkup

If you’re interested in learning more about sedation dentistry for kids, you’re in the right place! We’ve dedicated this next section to answering some of the most common questions parents have on the topic. Of course, if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for or you have any follow-up questions, you’re always welcome to get in touch with our team directly as well.

Is sedation dentistry safe for kids? 

Over the decades, sedation dentistry has been extensively tested. As a result, calming solutions, like nitrous oxide, have been deemed largely safe for children. Of course, there are some situations where your child may not be a candidate. For example, if your child has a breathing condition, then nitrous oxide isn’t the best choice for them. Don’t worry – our board-certified pediatric dentist will learn all about their medical history and allergies as well as any concerns you have before determining if sedation dentistry is a safe option for your little one.

Will my child remember anything with dental sedation? 

In short, even the sedation options that your child stays awake for may result in them not remembering much about the procedure. This ultimately is a good thing because it helps create a more positive association with dental work, hopefully alleviating dental anxiety moving forward.

Is sedation dentistry covered by insurance? 

Although there are some exceptions, dental insurance providers typically consider sedation dentistry to be a “luxury.” As a result, it’s common for families to have to pay for the cost out-of-pocket. With that being said, we do always encourage parents to read the fine print on their plan. Many providers cover the cost when it’s “medically necessary,” such as when a patient has a disability that makes it impossible to get the dental care they need without it. Furthermore, they may cover the cost if the treatment your child needs is especially complex, like multiple tooth extractions.

Can dental sedation make you sick? 

More powerful sedatives, such as general anesthesia, can result in some nausea. However, nitrous oxide and even oral conscious sedation rarely have that effect. In some cases, we will ask your child not to eat anything for a few hours prior to their appointment to help combat that. Or, if they are prone to nausea, we can discuss taking an anti-nausea drug beforehand as well.

Is sedation dentistry worth it? 

There are several reasons sedation dentistry is so highly recommended. In addition to being safe and fast-acting, it can help patients who have avoided dental care for years get the treatment they need in the peaceful environment they deserve. Additionally, sedation dentistry can help your child get more dental work completed in a single visit, cutting down on the time they miss in the classroom. Of course, there are countless other benefits of these calming solutions that make them well worth it. If you want to learn more, you’re always welcome to give us a call or ask at your child’s next appointment!