Pediatric Sedation Dentist – Coppell, TX

Helping Nervous Kids Feel Comfortable in the Dental Chair

Even the most experienced movie stars still get stage fright at times. With that in mind, it’s perfectly natural for a child to feel anxious when surrounded by the unfamiliar sights, sounds, and face in their children's dental office. At Linda A. Steele, DDS, we understand that, so we offer sedation dentistry to help nervous children relax enough to get the care their smiles need. If your son or daughter has a hard time in the dental chair, call us today and ask how our pediatric sedation dentist in Coppell, TX can help!

Why Choose Linda A. Steele, DDS for Pediatric Sedation Dentistry?

  • Children with Special Needs Welcome
  • Pediatric Dentist with 25+ Years of Experience
  • Partnered with Local Specialists Who Provide General Anesthesia

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Child receiving nitrous oxide sedation dentistry treatment

Nitrous oxide is commonly referred to as something else: laughing gas. Since it’s the mildest type of dental sedation, it’s suitable for patients of all ages, including young children! So, if your child has a physical disability or struggles with considerable dental anxiety, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us to see if they are a candidate. In the meantime, feel free to read on to learn more on the topic.

Who is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

Parent holding child's hand during dental treatment

Nitrous oxide is often recommended for children who struggle with dental-related anxiety, who are scared of needles, or who get nervous with the sights and sounds of the dental office. It’s also a great option for those with physical, developmental, and behavioral disabilities that make it nearly impossible to get essential preventive and restorative care. Of course, there are some patients who aren’t candidates, like those who have a condition that makes it difficult to breathe through their nose. If that’s the case, then we will need to explore a different sedation option.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Child breathing in nitrous oxide during dental treatment

It’s as simple as breathing! After your child settles into the treatment chair, we will place a tiny mask over their nose and instruct them to breathe in through their nose. After a few minutes, the effects will begin to set in. Not only will they feel much more relaxed, but their pain receptors are also dulled, making the whole experience much smoother. They’ll remain awake enough during their procedure to respond to our requests, and we can adjust the nitrous oxide as needed throughout.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

Closeup of child smiling while sitting in dental office

When we’re finished, we simply remove the mask and let your child breathe normal air. It should only take a few minutes for the effects to wear off and for them to feel normal enough to head back to school. If there are any aftercare instructions specific to the preventive or restorative care they received, we will let you know. Otherwise, you’ll be all set and you can give us a call if any questions come up!

IV Dental Sedation

I V dental sedation drip

If your child has more significant dental fear or needs to complete multiple treatments at once, then intravenous (IV) sedation may be ideal. We can administer this powerful sedative directly into your child’s bloodstream, helping them feel incredibly relaxed almost immediately. While your child won’t fall asleep, they’ll be so deeply relaxed that their memory of their appointment will likely be fuzzy. The effects of the sedative might last for several hours afterward, so we recommend that your child stay home from school for the rest of the day.

What Is IV Sedation?

An IV drip

IV sedation is administered directly into the bloodstream, as the name suggests. This will allow your child to feel the effects of the medication almost immediately after being administered. They will remain awake throughout the duration of their procedure, but they likely won’t remember much afterward because they will be in such a deep state of relaxation. Throughout their treatment, we will closely monitor your child’s vital signs to ensure that they are perfectly safe. The effects of this sedative will linger for a little while, so it is best that they stay home from school and any extracurricular activities that are normally planned.

Who Is a Good Candidate for IV Sedation?

Child afraid in the dental chair

IV sedation is often recommended and used for longer, more complex procedures so patients can remain comfortable. If your child is undergoing multiple treatments at the same time, this sedation method may be ideal. It can also help those who have fears associated with the dentist or the dental office. Before your child’s treatment, we will discuss their health history, medications, and other factors to rule out any possible complications that could arise.

The Benefits of IV Sedation

Illustration of a tooth asleep in the dental chair

Here are just some of the many benefits of IV sedation:

  • The effects set in very quickly after being administered
  • We constantly control the flow of medications
  • Prevents stress-related memories associated with the dentist
  • Make it easier for fearful patients to receive essential dental treatments

General Anesthesia

Child receiving dental treatment under general anesthesia

We typically only recommend general anesthesia for patients with extreme dental anxiety or certain behavioral/physical disabilities that make undergoing dental treatments nearly impossible otherwise. Dr. Linda can bring a trusted anesthesiologist into our dental office who will carefully handle this advanced form of sedation. The specialist will closely monitor your child’s vital signs as they transition into unconsciousness while Dr. Linda works her magic on your little one’s smile. Then, our team will make sure your child wakes up safely with a healthier mouth and no memory of the procedure.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Seeing a trusted and reliable pediatric dentist is the most important component to ensuring your child remains safe while receiving sedation dentistry. Dr. Steele provides nitrous oxide, IV sedation, and general anesthesia so that even the youngest patients can experience a calmer, more positive dental visit. With advanced training and years of hands-on experience, Dr. Steele and her team understand how to safely administer nitrous oxide and IV sedation, while she works closely with a local anesthesiologist who will come in to provide general anesthesia if necessary.

What should my child bring to their appointment?

Keeping your child calm and stress-free on the day of their appointment is your ultimate goal as their parent. In the days leading up to their visit, make sure to speak positively about the dentist and why it’s important to take proper care of one’s teeth and gums. Remind them that the dentist is their friend and someone who will ensure their safety and comfort. Before leaving the house, allow them to bring their favorite blanket or stuffed animal, as this can help them to feel more at ease.

Are there any side effects associated with sedation dentistry?

When it comes to nitrous oxide, there are virtually no side effects, as it is known to be extremely mild. Once the gas is turned off and the mask is removed, your child will begin to feel like their normal self and be able to resume normal activity.

With IV sedation and general anesthesia, though, the side effects are more likely. These may include grogginess, sleepiness, nausea, headache, etc. It’s best to remain close when bringing your child home after their procedure when receiving either of these forms of sedation. You’ll want to make sure they do not experience any challenges or difficulties as the sedation wears off.

Will my child feel any pain with dental sedation?

If your child is receiving general anesthesia, they will feel no pain throughout their procedure, as they’re likely to be unconscious. With nitrous oxide and IV sedation, the body’s ability to feel pain is actually suppressed, so it’s more likely that your child will experience pressure more than pain.

Depending on the type of procedure your child needs, Dr. Steele may numb their mouth with local anesthesia to further reduce any possible pain.