When your child needs extensive dental work or they are too young to have more advanced dental work, parents are often concerned about how their child will be safely stabilized for the procedure.

For 90% or the procedures at Smile Wonders procedures can be done with just the use of waterlase without using any local anesthetic injection or need for sedation. We often use distractions, such as counting games or silly songs or even use the TV installed in our ceiling with headphones to make the dental appointment fly by. However, in some cases, children maybe too young to understand directions or overly fearful and the needs are too extensive that either IV sedation or general anesthesia maybe required to complete the needed work safely and thoroughly. Let’s look at the differences between the two options.

IV Sedation

IV (Intravenous) sedation is provided right in our pediatric dental office, and administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. This option is best for healthy children that just need some help with cooperation. We can use nitrous oxide or IM pre-medication to get the child calm and comfortably asleep. Then an IV will be placed and monitored for continuous anesthesia administration during the dental procedure. The children maintain their own reflexes and breathing, and the anesthesiologist has the ability to custom-titrate the medications to safely produce the best effects. Children can return to normal school or play activity the very next day.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is usually required for children who have certain respiratory or neurological special needs that necessitate care in a hospital setting. It is provided using a combination of intravenous drugs and inhaled gases, and puts a patient into a completely-unconscious state. A breathing tube is inserted to control the airway with use of respiratory machines. Dr. Rishita Jaju maintains medical privileges at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC and is able to provide care for her most fragile patients at that facility.

Those children who have an advanced medical history with things such as diabetes, cleft lip and palate, sleep apnea, or cerebral palsy, for example, would most likely require General Anesthesia for dental needs such as extensive, complicated or multiple procedures that need to be provided in collaboration with other surgeons such as those in orthopedics, general surgery, plastic surgery, ENT, etc.

For Both Sedation Types

Prior to their child’s sedation procedure parents will be given fasting guidelines at home. We will also discuss any restrictions they might have following their dental work, and schedule follow-up visits. We know that any time someone is sedated it can be scary, but we encourage parents not to frighten children about an upcoming procedure. We’ll try to make it as fun and easy as possible for them.

Contact Smile Wonders

Reston pediatric dentist Dr. Rishita Jaju of Smile Wonders specializes in pediatric oral health. Contact us at 571-350-3663.