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Can a Children’s Dentist Put You to Sleep?

A Dentist cleaning the Child's Teeth

Lots of people are nervous about going to the dentist, but it’s important if you want healthy teeth your whole life long. If the idea of dental work makes your child nervous, the pediatric dentists at Tooth Fairy Dental can put them to sleep so they don’t feel a thing.

We want your child’s experience with us to go safely and smoothly. The dentist can put your child to sleep during various procedures to help avoid added stress and discomfort. Contact your local Reno sleep dentistry experts for your child’s first appointment. Contact us online or call 775-800-4117.

What is Sleep Dentistry?

Sleep dentistry, also known as sedation dentistry, is a very simple process. The dentist administers medication to your child to induce various levels of relaxation or sleepiness. Which medication your child needs will be unique to them, so be sure to discuss this with your dentist before the procedure.

Having your dentist put your child to sleep may not always mean actual “sleep.” Depending on the sedative, your child may be awake but relaxed, usually able to talk and interact normally. Moderate sedation means your child may slur their speech and possibly even fall asleep.

Heavy sedation means your child is asleep during the procedure, but can be awakened, usually with a gentle shake. Lastly, general anesthesia is when your child is completely unconscious. General anesthesia is not usually necessary for most procedures.

In our Reno sleep dentistry, we most commonly use the lightest level of sedation.

Is the Medication Used Safe for My Child?

The medication we use to put your child to sleep is completely safe. For the lightest level of sedation, we utilize nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas. Your child will be awake but completely relaxed, and the gas wears off quickly after the procedure.

There are a few potential mild side effects when using nitrous oxide. These include:

  • Sweating or shivering
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or fatigue

However, these side effects are temporary and rather rare, especially when the nitrous oxide is administered by a dentist with specific pediatric training. Your dentists at Tooth Fairy Pediatric Dental have this exact training and years of experience, so you can trust us to put your child to sleep safely.

Should your child require heavier sedation, we also have oral medication, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. Each of these options is also completely safe, and an effective way to help even the most anxious or squirmy child have a pleasant and relaxed experience at the dentist.

For more questions about the medications we use in our Reno sleep dentistry practices, please contact us at one of our convenient locations to discuss your options with our friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Is Sleep Dentistry Right for My Child?

If attempts to reassure your child about their visit don’t work, they may benefit from the dentist putting them to sleep. This may be especially beneficial if they have too much anxiety or distress about going to the dentist.

Some young children also may not be able to sit still during regular treatment, or may be fussy and uncooperative. Using sleep dentistry can help relax these children, making the visit easier for them.

Our staff also has extensive experience working with special needs children, so if your child needs extra care and support, we’re delighted to help them navigate their dental journey with patience and understanding.

Other times your child might benefit from sleep dentistry in Reno include:

  • If they have highly sensitive teeth
  • If they have a strong gag reflex
  • If they need a lot of dental work done all at once

Whether or not you have your dentist put your child to sleep is a personal, unique medical decision. Be sure to discuss all the options thoroughly with your dentist.

What to Expect at Your Visit

When you bring your child to a Tooth Fairy Pediatric Dentistry office, you’re welcomed immediately by our smiling, friendly staff. We speak fluent Spanish and have several locations, so you can find and communicate with us easily.

Healthy Smile

The dentist will go over your child’s medical history and learn the level of sedation required for both their medical and physical needs. They’ll engage your child with empathy and help you reassure them there’s nothing to fear.

If you’ve settled on nitrous oxide as the sedative for your dentist to use to put your child to sleep, they’ll place a mask over your child’s nose and mouth and administer the medication at the appropriate dosage. It takes effect fairly quickly, so your child will be relaxed almost right away.

The dentist will then proceed to complete the cleaning or other procedure quickly and efficiently, while continually monitoring your child to ensure they remain comfortable and safe. This monitoring is essential for a harmless and effective procedure.

Once their treatment is complete, the nitrous oxide will wear off, and that’s it! Your child is ready to return to their daily routine. Depending on the procedure needed, there may be specific aftercare requirements, so be sure you know about these before you leave.

Let Tooth Fairy Pediatric Dental Care for Your Child

With years of experience practicing sleep dentistry in Reno, we’re your go-to pediatric dental provider. We accept most forms of insurance, including Medicaid. Whether your child needs our dentists to put them to sleep for a procedure or not, we’re happy to provide the highest quality dentistry for you and your family.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation for your child.