Gentle Dental Care for Children
Kids are different. Unlike adult patients, they aren’t always able
to fully express and manage their feelings of fear or anxiety. The
best pediatric dentists know that children need a gentle dentist.
That’s why we’ve designed our practice around their needs.
For instance, before administering any local anesthetic
(Novocain), Dr. Moore may help a child relax with a pediatric
dose of “laughing gas.” She then applies a topical numbing gel to
further block the “pinch” of an injection. This allows the anesthetic
to be applied slowly and gently. For most patients, it’s all over
before they even know it!
In addition to local anesthetic, children who are very young or
who have a high level of anxiety may benefit from sedative medications.
Likewise, medication may be recommended for children
with developmental or health issues that prevent them from
remaining still during treatment.
As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Moore has extensive practical experience
working with anxious children and can recommend any
number of safe and effective medications that can help relax your
child for optimal dental treatment.
Nitrous oxide Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is given along
with oxygen through a small breathing mask placed over the
child’s nose. This mild gas allows them to relax without putting
them to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes
this as a very safe, effective technique. The gas is fast
acting and, with normal breathing, is quickly eliminated from the
Conscious sedation There are a variety of medications in
liquid and pill form that can be used to help your child relax.
These will make your child be quite drowsy. Your child may even
fall asleep but will not become unconscious. Conscious sedation
is typically recommended for apprehensive children, very young
children and children with special needs.
General anesthesia Children with more complex needs as
well as children undergoing extensive treatment certainly benefit
from a gentle dentist. Here, Dr. Moore may suggest traditional,
general anesthesia. This is typically performed in an outpatient
hospital setting under the care of a certified anesthesiologist.
Sedation dentistry is most helpful for:
• Children who require major treatment
• A very anxious child
• Children who have had traumatic dental experiences
• Children with a strong gag reflex
• Children who have special needs, including sensory integration
During your child’s examination, Dr. Moore will discuss the
appropriate options so that your child is most comfortable during