Patient Management

Dental Sedation and Anesthesia

Pediatric dentists wish to provide dental care to their young and disabled patients in a manner that will promote quality care and a positive attitude toward dental treatment. Careful selection of techniques to manage negative behaviour are made in consultation with the parent or caregiver, based on parental expectations, treatment needs, patient history and behaviour.

Although many patients successfully complete their dental care with careful explanation of the procedure and local freezing, those with mild anxiety may benefit from the additional use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Inhaling the nitrous oxide through a nasal mask creates a mild euphoria that has rapid onset and only lasts as long as the appointment. It is considered very safe, although it may occasionally cause nausea.

Patients with moderate anxiety may consider conscious sedation. Patient will drink an oral medication (Atarax) before the appointment to make them feel somewhat relaxed. They are placed in a passive restraint to allow careful monitoring of vital signs and given nitrous oxide and local freezing.

Some children may benefit from the use of general anaesthesia, especially those with complex dental, behavioral and medical needs. The most common reason for general anaesthesia in children aged one to five in Canada is for dental treatment.

Our office provides general anaesthesia in a hospital setting under the care of a medical anaesthesiologist while Dr Yanover completes dental treatment. Although the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) does pay for general anaesthesia, dental treatment is still the responsibility of the patient and family. General anaesthesia can also be provided in a private setting.