Growing Smiles

Kelli Henderson dds (785) 856-5600
1425 Wakarusa Drive, Suite D
Lawrence, KS 66049

Sedation Dentistry

Dr. Kelli Henderson offers various forms of sedation dentistry for patients. At your child’s initial visit, Dr. Henderson will discuss these options with you to determine if sedation dentistry is the right choice for your child. Safety is always our primary concern; therefore, parents are not allowed in the treatment area when an oral conscious sedation or an IV sedation is necessary.

  1. Inhalation Sedation
  2. Oral Conscious Sedation
  3. Intravenous (IV) Sedation
  4. Hospital Based Sedation at Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Inhalation Sedation

One common treatment mode for children that Dr. Henderson uses is Inhalation Sedation or Nitrous Oxide (commonly referred to as "laughing gas"). Many children are calm, comfortable, and confident at Growing Smiles. Because Dr. Henderson specializes in treating children, she can make children feel calm and comfortable during treatment. Sometimes, however, a child feels anxious during treatment. Your child may need more support than a gentle, caring manner to feel comfortable. Nitrous Oxide is a safe, effective technique to calm a child's fear of the dental visit.

Nitrous Oxide is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide. When inhaled, it is absorbed by the body and has a calming effect. Normal breathing eliminates the nitrous oxide/oxygen mix from the body.

Nitrous Oxide is delivered through a sterilized nose piece placed over the nose. After your child is made comfortable in the chair, he/she will smell a sweet, pleasant aroma and experience a sense of well-being and relaxation after approximately 5 minutes. If your child is worried by the sights, sounds, or sensations of dental treatment, he or she may respond more positively with the use of Nitrous Oxide. During the administration of Nitrous Oxide, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes. After the treatment is completed, pure oxygen will be administered to ensure that all Nitrous Oxide is cleared from your child’s system. After a few minutes, we will sit your child up and ensure that he/she can walk and is not experiencing any dizziness. You may notice that your child is a little groggy afterward (similar to waking up from a night’s sleep). Your child will be fine to return to normal activities within 30 to 60 minutes after the appointment.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Nitrous Oxide is "very safe" and "perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry." It is non-addictive. It is mild, easily taken, then quickly eliminated by the body.

Nitrous Oxide is not effective for some children, especially those who have severe anxiety, nasal congestion, extensive treatment needs, or discomfort wearing a nasal mask. Dr. Henderson can offer other sedation methods that are right for your child.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral Conscious Sedation (sometimes called a “Moderate Sedation”) is a management technique that uses medications to assist the child to cope with fear and anxiety and cooperate with dental treatment. Medications and dosages will be selected that are unlikely to cause loss of consciousness in your child. Most medication used for an Oral Conscious Sedation cause an amnesiac (loss of memory) effect such that some children do not recall undergoing treatment.

Children who have a level of anxiety that prevents good coping skills or are very young and do not understand how to cope in a cooperative fashion for the delivery of dental care would likely be a good candidate for an Oral Conscious Sedation. Oral Conscious Sedation is often helpful for some children who have special needs. It allows a child to cope better with dental treatment. This can help prevent injury to the child from his/her movement during treatment and promote a better environment for providing dental care.

Many different medications can be used for conscious sedation. Dr. Henderson will discuss different options for your child at the time of his appointment. Sedation is a safe option. Dr. Henderson is licensed by the State of Kansas as a specialist in pediatric dentistry. She also follows the sedation guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

In order to alleviate potential anxiety in your child, we recommend minimal discussion of the dental appointment with your child prior to the appointment. Should your child become ill, contact us at 785.856.5600 below to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment. It is also very important to follow the directions regarding fasting from fluids and foods prior to the sedation appointment. In general, your child should not eat or drink anything (including water) 6 to 8 hours before the start of his/her appointment.

After the medications are distributed orally or nasally, it will take approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour for the medication to take effect. Growing Smiles has a special room where the parent and the child will be allowed to rest comfortably and watch a movie or television. This room is separated from the rest of the office. During this rest time and at all times during the appointment, your child will be monitored with a pulse oximeter and a team member will monitor your child. The pulse oximeter is used so that your child's vital signs can be monitored at all times.

During the appointment, the parent is not allowed in the treatment area. This is to ensure that Dr. Henderson's attention and each team member's attention is focused solely on your child and your child's health. Updates will be given through the messaging system at Growing Smiles. During the procedures, a papoose board may be employed to ensure the patient's safety. The papoose board allows the child to be wrapped comfortably in a "cocoon" so that they can rest comfortably during the procedure. Because the efficacy of the medication will wear off in approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours after it is administered, this will allow Dr. Henderson to work efficiently to finish the treatment.

Through this type of sedation your child will experience very deep relaxation while still being conscious. Dr. Henderson will provide your child with an oral medication that is easy to swallow, safe and effective. Most children are usually given a liquid or nasal medication like Versed (Medazolan) or Hydroxazine. When the medication takes effect, your child will be able to speak and respond to external requests.

After the appointment, Dr. Henderson will ensure that your child is alert and ready to go. At that time, the child will be discharged to the parent and written and oral post-operative instructions will be given by Dr. Henderson. Children who have been sedated are usually requested to remain at home for the rest of the day with adult supervision. It is not uncommon for the child to become disoriented or emotional even hours after the appointment. Please be sure to contact us at 785.856.5600 if you have any specific concerns.

IV Sedation

IV Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under oral conscious sedation. Dr. Henderson performs the dental treatment in our office with the child anesthetized under IV sedation, which is administered and monitored by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

Growing Smiles uses the outside services of Advanced Specialty Anesthesia (ASA) to provide IV sedation. ASA will bill you and your medical insurance carrier (if applicable) for any services provided by ASA. This will be separate from your dental portion of the treatment, which will be provided by Growing Smiles.

Your child's sedation will be performed by an anesthesia professional trained specifically to provide sedation. They are focused solely on your child, and will not perform any other component of the dental procedure.

You should arrive early to the appointment. No food or drink should be consumed by your child for 12 hours prior to the appointment time. Please notify us of any change in your child's health and/or medical condition prior to the treatment. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment. You must tell Dr. Henderson of any drugs that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or changes in medical history.

To relax your child, they will initially receive a small amount of sedative agent by injection. Once relaxed, an IV will then be placed to provide continuous sedation throughout the procedure.

Your child will be given continuous sedation through the IV. They will be comfortable and relaxed during the entire procedure. Your child's heart and blood pressure will be continuously monitored by electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure monitors. Oxygen is administered and levels are closely observed by the anesthesia professional and Dr. Henderson. Your child will breathe normally during the procedure.

The child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the entire procedure. Because of the important nature of the treatment, we strongly recommend that a second adult be available to drive the child home so that the parent is able to sit with the child.

After the sedation appointment, your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm. If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible. If you have any specific concerns, please contact us at 785.856.5600.

Hospital Based Sedation Dentistry

Dr. Henderson offers full mouth dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, KS. If a hospital based sedation is necessary, Dr. Henderson and a team member will assist you with coordinating care at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. For more information, contact a team member at 785.856.5600.