Pediatric Dental Behavior Management

Dr. Garrett is a certified pediatric dentist with many years of experience treating pediatric patients. He is committed to providing dental care to your child in the most compassionate and comfortable way possible. Many children are nervous about going to the dentist for the first time and may have unique dental problems that intensify their worries. These fears can be easily relieved by using routine strategies, but more advanced techniques are sometimes needed to help the child to relax and trust the dentist. Part of pediatric dental training includes early childhood development and childhood psychology. Dr. Garrett is well versed in effective behavioral management techniques. Please feel free to discuss any concerns or behavioral problems with our doctor. We encourage open communication between the doctor, the patient, and the parent.

Nitrous Oxide

Some children may feel anxious before or during treatment. Your child may need more support than a gentle, caring manner to feel comfortable.  These children are given nitrous oxide/oxygen, or what you may know as laughing gas, to relax them for their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask that is placed over the child’s nose, allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating children’s dental needs. The gas is mild, easily taken, and then with normal breathing, it is quickly eliminated from the body. It is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes.  Additionally, it works well for children whose gag reflex interferes with dental treatment.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please inform us of any change to your child’s health and/or medical condition.
  • Tell us about any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. It may limit the effectiveness of the nitrous oxide/oxygen.
  • Let us know if your child is taking any medication on the day of the appointment.

Oral Conscious Sedation

With oral conscious sedation your child will be given liquid medication thirty minutes prior to their procedure. This medication will relax and calm your child, and sometimes can make them sleepy, however, it is not intended to completely put them to sleep. They will still be able to respond to certain stimuli and will have the ability to breathe normally and independently all whilst remaining conscious. In most all cases, your child will have no recollection of the procedures performed, but it is not unheard of for them to remember bits and pieces, thus we are proactive in speaking very positively throughout the procedure so that if your child does have any memory it will be a happy and positive one.

Procedures requiring the use of oral conscious sedation will generally be scheduled in a 1.5 to 2 hour block of time. During such appointments your child’s safety is of the utmost importance to us, so we take very seriously the care you take in following all necessary guidelines and instructions regarding food and drink the day of the appointment as well as the day prior to.

After the sedation appointment:

  • Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.

General anesthesia

IV sedation is used to ensure that your child receives comprehensive dental care in a safe, controlled, stress-free manner. At an IV sedation appointment, an anesthesiologist is at the office to administer medications and ensure that while your child is asleep, he or she is safe and comfortable. While asleep, all of your child’s cavities will be treated.

I.V. Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation. The dentist performs the dental treatment in our office with the child anesthetized under I.V. sedation, which is administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist.

Prior to your appointment:

  • Please notify us of any change in your child’s health and/or medical condition. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Please make sure that your child goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
  • Your child should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY (water, apple juice, Gatorade) for up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.
  • The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.

After the sedation appointment:

  • Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
  • Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have.