Doctors Gerken and Galm know that some children are apprehensive visiting the dentist. We love seeing kids and want them to LIKE seeing the dentist. We are dedicated to making every dental appointment as easy and enjoyable as possible for your child. Sedation, endorsed by the American Dental Association, is a safe and effective way to do this.
We offer three types of sedation:
1. Nitrous Oxide “Laughing Gas”
Often children require nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, for its calming effects for dental work (filling, crown, or extraction appointments). It is given through a small nosepiece, allowing them to relax without putting them to sleep. The gas is mild, easily taken, and it is quickly eliminated from the body. Your child will return to their typical self and may resume regular activities following the appointment.
Some children may require a different sedation option (beyond just laughing gas) for the following:
- Dental anxiety
- Low pain tolerance
- Extensive dental treatment needs (many fillings, crowns, extractions)
- Severe gag reflex
- Young age (and dental treatment needed)
- Some special healthcare needs
2. I.V. Sedation
I.V. Sedation is recommended for apprehensive children, and some children with extensive treatment needs (a lot of cavities), when laughing gas alone would not be sufficient. Benefits of this option include a pain-free delivery of dental care, getting treatment completed in one visit, and having your child maintain a positive outlook on dental care thus minimizing fear at future dental visits (usually they won’t remember the experience). Our dentist performs the dental treatment in our office, while a certified nurse anesthetist administers the sedation and monitors your child throughout the appointment. Your child will be asleep during the treatment. After the appointment, your child may be extra tired/cranky, but will leave alert and responsive. We ask that they not return to school and be monitored by an adult for the remainder of the day. We will be happy to answer any questions that you might have about this I.V. sedation option.
3. General Anesthesia
General Anesthesia is recommended for very young children and children with special needs when a lesser sedation option would not suffice. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep, the same as would be provided for patients having their tonsils removed or ear tubes placed. Benefits include a pain-free delivery of dental care, dental treatment can be completed in one visit verses multiple office visits, and the child maintains a positive outlook on dental care, thus minimizing fear at future dental visits. We are happy to discuss if this option is the right fit for your child. Dr. Galm has her privileges at Harmony Surgery Center in Fort Collins and sees patients there.