Sedation Dentistry

Amarillo Sedation Dentistry For Children

At Children’s Dentistry of Amarillo, Dr. Billy Metcalf and his team know that many children are anxious and fearful about seeing a dentist and that some simply cannot sit still in the dental chair. That’s why we provide sedation dentistry at our practice for children who are anxious, fearful or fidgety.

About Pediatric Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedatives during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental anxiety and fear, and for patients who cannot sit still. Sedation can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to general anesthesia used to put patients to sleep. Endorsed by the American Dental Association (ADA), sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way to make your child comfortable during his or her dental visit. The types of procedures often requiring sedation include:

  • Fillings
  • Extractions
  • Root canals
  • Periodontal treatments

Before your child is given a sedative or anesthetic, it is important that you tell us about any medications or medical treatments your child is receiving. Prior to administering a sedative or anesthetic, your pediatric dentist will talk with you about the process of sedation and pre- and post-sedation instructions.

The Types of Sedation We Offer

At Children’s Dentistry of Amarillo, we offer several types of sedation dentistry in Amarillo to best fit each child’s individual needs, including:

  • Oral Conscious Sedation: This type of sedation involves taking a sedative in pill or liquid form. Patients who receive oral conscious sedation can still speak and respond to questions during treatment and express any discomfort or pain they may be having, although they may remember little or nothing about the procedure. The side effects include headache, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Nitrous Oxide Sedation: Commonly referred to as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide sedation is often used to help fearful or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. The gas is mixed with oxygen and administered via a small mask that fits over the nose. Because nitrous oxide is a mild sedative, patients can talk to their dentist during the procedure. Once the treatment is finished, we turn off the gas and administer oxygen for a few minutes to help clear away the remaining nitrous oxide. The effects wear off quickly and there are rarely any side effects, although some patient may experience minor nausea or constipation.
  • IV Sedation: Intravenous (IV) sedation involves administering a dose of sedatives directly into the bloodstream via an IV. Once the sedative is administered, the patient quickly calms down, allowing the dentist to perform the needed procedure. This type of sedation is highly effective for patients who are very fearful or anxious about their dental visits. IV sedation also acts as an amnesiac, which results in the patient not remembering the dental procedure afterward, even though he/she was conscious and responsive during the procedure.
  • General Anesthesia: This type of sedation involves administering medication that puts the patient into a deep sleep or an unconscious state. General anesthesia is the same type of sedation used when removing tonsils. It is most commonly used for:
  • Patients who are extremely anxious or fearful
  • Patients requiring extensive dental treatment
  • Patients who are unable to cooperate or follow directions
  • Patients with uncontrollable body movements
  • Patients needing several dental procedures done at the same time

Contact Your Amarillo Kids Dentist

If you have any questions about sedation dentistry or would like to know more about our practice, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Metcalf, please call our office at (806) 351-0008 or request an appointment online.