Pediatric Dental Care & Services​

SPECIALTY CARE & SERVICES
Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild-to-moderate anxiety in children. Administered through a small mask that fits over your child’s nose, it is an effective way to calm anxiety. 

Your youngster will be asked to breathe through his or her nose and not through the mouth. As the gas begins to work, your son or daughter will become calm, although he or she will still be awake and able to talk with the dentist. 

At the end of your child’s appointment, he or she will resume breathing regular oxygen, and all the effects of nitrous oxide will disappear. As your child gets older and becomes more comfortable during dental visits, nitrous oxide may no longer be necessary.

Sedation Dentistry

Imagine your child undergoing a complex dental treatment such as a root canal, extraction, or oral surgery. When treatment is complete, the patient will have no recollection of the time it took, the pain, the noise, or the discomfort. 

We are pleased to offer your son or daughter the option of comfortable, safe, and effective sedation dentistry. Our pediatric dental patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:

  • Fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
  • Difficulty sitting still for long periods of time
  • A hard time getting (and staying) numb from anesthetics

WHAT IS SEDATION DENTISTRY?
Sedation dentistry enables our team to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for children who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits to sedation dentistry, including:

  • No memory of undergoing the procedure
  • No sense of time while under sedation
  • No sense of smell or sound
  • No fear or anxiety during treatment

LEVELS OF SEDATION
Sedation dentistry is closely regulated by law. There are three sedative states at which we can administer treatment: mild sedation, moderate sedation, and deep sedation.

  • Mild Sedation — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for children with mild anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations. It is usually administered orally. Your little one will remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure and be able to breathe normally, but he or she will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover from anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is completed. Nitrous oxide inhalation (laughing gas) is another form of mild-to-moderate sedation that results in relaxation during treatment. 
  • Moderate Sedation — Used for patients with moderate dental anxiety and for patients who need longer or more complex procedures, conscious sedation often refers to the use of light IV sedation. With conscious sedation, your youngster will remain awake throughout the procedure, but will be in a deep state of relaxation. 
  • Deep Sedation — Patients receiving deep sedation go between consciousness and unconsciousness throughout their dental procedure. They often have no recollection of the treatment and are unable to respond to commands even if they are awake at times during the treatment.

HOW ARE SEDATIVES ADMINISTERED?

  • Inhalation — Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild-to moderate anxiety. Recovery is quick, so your child can resume normal activities immediately. 
  • Oral — An extremely common technique for dental sedation is oral sedation. It is easy and does not require the use of needles. Your little one will be given a prescription pill, which, taken about an hour before the appointment, will have the patient fully relaxed by the time you arrive at our office.

Please contact us to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out which sedation dentistry method may be right for your child.

IN-OFFICE GENERAL ANESTHESIA & PEDIATRIC HOSPITAL DENTISTRY
We recognize that some of our young patients may feel anxious or apprehensive about receiving dental care. Dr. Al and The All-Star Team work hard to make sure your child has a comfortable, positive experience. 

That’s why we are pleased to offer in-office general anesthesia THAT IS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE for patients who need absolute comfort before receiving treatment. Feeling anxious about receiving dental care should never prevent obtaining a beautiful, healthy smile.

IN-OFFICE GENERAL ANESTHESIA
General anesthesia will put your child into a deep sleep. He or she will be unable to feel pain or move around. General anesthesia for dental procedures can be provided by an anesthesiologist or dental anesthesiologist. These professionals are specialty trained and certified to deliver medication, monitor your child during the procedure, and handle any complications that may occur. 

To prepare your son or daughter for general anesthesia, follow the guidelines we give you regarding food and fluid intake before and after the procedure. Discuss the procedure with your child using simple terms that he or she can understand. Let your youngster rest quietly at home after the procedure. He or she will probably be ready to resume a normal schedule the next day. Click here to learn more about in-office general anesthesia.

PEDIATRIC HOSPITAL DENTISTRY
If your child cannot receive dental care in a traditional dental office, our practice offers gentle and effective dental care to infants, children, and adolescents in the nurturing environment of our local hospital. 

As one of the only pediatric dentists in the area to offer this unique service, Dr. Al has the distinctive ability to understand the specific needs of children who need dental care but cannot cooperate for safe dental treatment. Through hospital dentistry, you can eliminate the struggles and trauma that may lead to a lifetime fear of dental treatment for your child.

IS GENERAL ANESTHESIA RIGHT FOR MY CHILD?
Pediatric hospital dentistry services are ideal for:

  • Physically, emotionally, or developmentally challenged children who are unable to hold still for dental treatment
  • Children who have a severe gag reflex
  • Children with complex medical conditions that make it unsafe to receive dental care in an office situation
  • Children who have allergies to local anesthetics or experience difficulty achieving numbness

For these situations, the use of general anesthesia may be the best option for your family.

SPECIAL NEEDS DENTISTRY

Providing comprehensive preventive and therapeutic dental care to patients who have special healthcare needs is a critical aspect of the specialty of pediatric dentistry. We value the unique qualities of each young smile we treat, and seek to ensure maximal health for all, regardless of developmental disability or other healthcare issues. 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry defines special healthcare needs as “any physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment or limiting condition that requires medical management, healthcare intervention, and/or use of specialized services or programs.” Whether your child’s condition is congenital, developmental, or the result of disease or trauma, we can provide guidance and raise awareness of his or her special dental care needs. 

Dental care for patients with special needs requires specialized knowledge acquired by additional training, as well as increased awareness and attention, adaptation, and accommodative measures beyond routine treatment. At our office, we have the experience necessary to provide suitable dental care while keeping in mind the unique nature of the children we see. 

It is our goal to create a dental home for your child, where treatment can be delivered safely, and ideal dental health can be achieved.

SOLEA® DENTAL LASER

A CHANGE FOR THE HAPPIER
The miracle we’ve all been waiting for is here: Solea. Now available to you, Solea is a powerful dental laser that replaces the dental drill in the majority of procedures in our practice. It causes virtually no pain, vibration, or noise. In fact, nearly every patient skips anesthesia because they just don’t need it. Solea is our way of keeping you happy. Because more than anything, we love to see you smile. 

WHAT IS SOLEA?
Solea is the first CO2 dental laser system cleared by the FDA for hard and soft tissue procedures. It was developed in Boston, Massachusetts by Convergent Dental, based on research conducted at the University of California School of Dentistry. Solea offers a unique wavelength guided by sophisticated computers to deliver virtually painless dental procedures for both teeth and gums from simple cavity prep to complex surgeries. Not only is the laser virtually painless, it is also vibrationless and noiseless. The experience is so unique that you will find it hard to believe you were just at a dental appointment. 

WHY SOLEA?
The majority of hard- and soft-tissue procedures in our office are done with no anesthesia, and soft-tissue procedures are done with virtually no bleeding. Blood-free and anesthesia-free procedures represent a major leap forward in dentistry, as we are able to execute multi-quadrant dentistry, fillings on the fly, and soft-tissue procedures in a single appointment. What does that mean for you, our patient? You are now able to receive the care you need in a fraction of the time—and pain—you were accustomed to from traditional drills. Solea is also far less invasive than using a traditional handpiece, which makes healing time following a procedure much shorter. When patients have anesthesia they typically leave the office with that numb feeling still prevalent. With Solea, you are able to go right out to lunch or back to work without that numb sensation following your appointment. Solea is truly changing what it means to go to the dentist. 

For more information on Solea, please visit convergentdental.com.

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