Creating an atmosphere of comfort and compassion is very important to us so we can instill positive feelings about going to the dentist without anxiety, pain, or fear. Depending on the age of the child, their behavior, and the extent of any treatment diagnosed, we offer a few different options to make your child's appointment more comfortable.  We provide nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation in our office. When a deeper level of sedation is needed, we offer treatment under general anesthesia in the operating room.




Nitrous Oxide


Nitrous Oxide, also known as "laughing gas" is used to help relax children with mild to moderate anxiety about dental work.  Nitrous Oxide is delivered through a small mask placed under the child's nose.  The effects of Nitrous Oxide help children  to relax so they can receive their dental treatment calmly and safely. Nitrous Oxide is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as a safe and effective technique to use for treating children's dental needs. The gas is non-addictive and is eliminated from the body within a few minutes after it is stopped. while inhaling Nitrous Oxide, your child will remain awake and able to interact with the dental team. Nitrous Oxide also provides an analgesic or pain relieving effect. For this reason, using Nitrous Oxide often allows the dentist to complete small restorations without numbing the mouth with local anesthetic.  When local anesthetic is needed, using Nitrous Oxide first will make the injection more comfortable.  Our doctors utilize Nitrous Oxide and topical anesthetic gel to make injections as pain free as possible.  Many children do not even realize they have had a "shot".


Oral Conscious Sedation


For children who are very young, apprehensive, or have extensive treatment needs, conscious sedation may be necessary.  We will give your child an oral medication that will help calm them and minimize the anxiety or discomfort associated with dental treatment.  Conscious sedation is intended to make your child drowsy.  Some children will even fall asleep, but they remain conscious, continue to breathe normally, and are able to respond during and after treatment. While some children may still be upset by dental work done while sedated, the medications used will generally prevent the child from remembering the visit.


General Anesthesia


General Anesthesia may be recommended for very young children, children with extensive dental needs, children who are extremely apprehensive or unable to cooperate, and children with special needs.  For these patients, treatment under general anesthesia allows the dentist to complete quality dental care in the safest and least traumatic manner for the child. Another benefit is that extensive treatment plans that would normally require several appointments can be completed in a single visit.  General anesthesia is provided by an anesthesiologist or anesthetist and can be scheduled at Yampa Valley Medical Center (YVMC). Your child will be completely asleep and unaware of the dental treatment that is taking place.

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