Special Dental Services in Birmingham, AL
Understanding Sedation Dentistry
Sedation is commonly used during dental procedures, and works especially well for patients with dental phobias or for patients who find it difficult to sit still.
When Is Sedation Needed?
Sedation can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to general anesthetics used to put patients to sleep. Patients with special needs, a low pain tolerance, who need major dental treatment, or who have strong gag reflexes may require sedation. Procedures like fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, cosmetic procedures, and periodontal treatments often require sedation as well.
Is Sedation Safe for Children?
Absolutely. Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients more comfortable and cooperative during their dental visit. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell Dr. Rohner about any medications or medical treatments your child is receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, Dr. Rohner will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre- and post-sedation instructions.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and easily respond and communicate. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for five to ten minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation.
*Special Note: Many insurance companies do not cover the cost of nitrous oxide sedation.
Hospital sedation with general anesthesia is used during an outpatient procedure at Children’s Hospital One Day Surgery Center. This is the same type of anesthesia that is used to put tubes in children’s ears or to have a child’s tonsils removed. Our team goes to the Operating Room at the One Day Surgery Center at Children’s Hospital every month to restore children’s teeth with the aid of general anesthesia. However, a down side to this technique is cost. This procedure requires a medical anesthesiologist so there will be a bill from the hospital, the anesthesiologist, and the dentist. General anesthesia is a wonderful option for the child with complex dental needs or the child with special medical needs.