For some kids, a trip to the dentist is no walk in the park. They are fearful even walking in the doors, the mere sight of a dentist has them in tears. Dr. Kemper’s Pediatric Dentistry in Louisville, KY is no stranger to kids who have anxiety about the dentist. When a child is kicking and screaming through the appointment, it is not safe for the child or the dentist. To create a calm and safe atmosphere, Dr. Kemper is one of the only pediatric dentists who offers in-office Sedation Dentistry when necessary.
What Is Dental Sedation?
Sedation Dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. There are different types and levels of sedation. Some children may just need a small amount of laughing gas to relax their muscles and keep them calm while others may need complete sedation. This depends on the complexity of dental work and the temperament of the child.
Oral dental sedation is the most common type of sedation in the United States. It is very safe to use for children and has no negative side effects. Best of all, the medications create such a comfortable experience that most patients do not remember the visit; it is as if they slept through the treatment.
Dr. Kemper uses oral conscious sedation medicine as well as nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide (also called “laughing gas”) is breathed in through the nose, resulting in feelings of euphoria and relaxation for kids requiring mild sedation.
Even with dental sedation, your child will maintain a level of consciousness and be able to respond to directions.
Who Can Have Dental Sedation?
Sedation is appropriate for anyone who experiences fear or anxiety that prevents them from going to the dentist. Dental care is an important part of healthcare, and dental sedation can help get the care your child needs without the fear and anxiety. Sedation Dentistry may also be appropriate for your child if they:
- Have a low pain threshold – while sedation doesn’t remove all pain completely, it definitely numbs the pain sensations in the body.
- Can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair and are wiggling around – This is unsafe for both the dentist and the child, so sedation helps them to relax and hold still.
- Have very sensitive teeth – even mild dental work causes pain, sedation can help calm those nerves.
- Have a bad gag reflex or need a large amount of dental work completed – Sedation Dentistry helps them relax so the dentist can get the work done.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation Dentistry is not about drugging your child or giving them any type of narcotic or harmful chemical in their body. It’s about keeping them safe and comfortable while getting the care they need.
- Overcome Fear & Anxiety: Fear at the dentist is a very real feeling and oftentimes, no amount of coaxing or convincing will help a child calm down. For children who have anxiety and fear about their appointment, it is hard for them to control their panic and rapid movements. Dental sedation helps them relax and remain calm so the visit seems more pleasant.
- Ease of Treatment: Sometimes dental treatments are difficult for those with a strong gag reflex or have overly sensitive teeth or gums. With Sedation Dentistry, we can perform the necessary procedures easier, giving you relief from the pain and discomfort of traditional dentistry.
- Comfort and Rest: Many patients actually look forward to their dental visits because it allows them to have a relaxing break from everyday life. They walk away feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Fewer Appointments: It is easier for the dentist to get their work done with the patient is calm and relaxed. No longer do you have to come in over and over again to deal with an issue one tiny step at a time. With Sedation Dentistry, dentists are able to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time and less appointments.
- Great for Special Needs: We see many children who have Sensory Processing Disorders or Autism Spectrum Disorders, among other disorders, that impair the nervous system and affect behavior at the dentist. Before Sedation Dentistry, it was difficult, sometimes impossible, to convince these children to even go to the dentist. Today, we can take care of patients with special needs and give them the calm and peaceful experience they need.
Why Choose Dr. Kemper To Help Your Child’s Smile
Unmatched Service: After being in the industry over 36 years, Dr. Kemper knows a thing or two about treating kids’ smiles. He brings his friendly approach and calming demeanor to every patient, using laughing gas as necessary to ensure each child has a positive experience at the dentist.
Emergency Dental Care: As your family dentist, we understand accidents usually happen at the most inconvenient times. Whether it’s 3pm or 3am, Dr. Kemper is available to help you and your child through any dental trauma. He personally screens each call and determines the severity and best course of action.
All-in-One Dentist: There is no need to go to a dentist, oral surgeon and orthodontist when you can get it all in one place. Dr. Kemper offers restorative treatments, oral surgery, and orthodontics in addition to routine dental care.
Dental Sedation FAQs
Will my child feel anything during the treatment?
Most of the time, no. There is very little discomfort and no pain with Sedation Dentistry. The child is completely calm, and may feel pressure, or fingers in their mouth, but no pain or discomfort.
Is Sedation Dentistry the same as being unconscious?
No, there are four levels of sedation. Sedation Dentistry is not the same as general anesthesia, where the patient is completely unconscious. During the entire treatment, the patient is awake and responsive. They can still talk and communicate and are aware of what is going on, they are just very relaxed and pain free.
Is Sedation Dentistry safe?
Yes, absolutely. Sedation Dentistry is safe for kids of all ages.
How long will it take for the nitrous oxide to wear off?
The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed. Exactly how long depends on the dose received, how long the treatment is, and how quick your child’s body can recover. They may seem a little sleepy or tired afterwards, but the effects are not long-lasting.
What does it feel like to be on laughing gas?
The goal of Sedation Dentistry is to be calm and relaxed. Nitrous Oxide, ie “Laughing Gas,” is administered through a breathing mask where the child is simply asked to take a few deep breaths. As they do so, they will feel the effects in just a few minutes. They may feel light-headed, a little tingly, and sometimes their arms and legs feel heavy and hard to move. This is simply the results of deep relaxation giving them a calm and comfortable experience.
Laughing Gas to the Rescue!
Fear, anxiety, and pain should never stand in the way of your child getting the care they deserve. We believe every child should have a bright, healthy smile and we make sure that happens.
Some children need Sedation Dentistry for every appointment while others may only need a little help for bigger dental procedures. We evaluate the needs of your child and discuss the options available to each parent so we can decide together how to give your child the treatment they need in the most comfortable way possible.
Laughing gas is safe, reliable, and effective in giving children a positive dental experience and a beautiful smile they can be proud of. At William Kemper DMD in Louisville, KY, our goal is happy kids and an easy peasy dental appointment every single time. Give us a call today.