Dr. Karr and her staff do their best to make your child feel relaxed and special, but sometimes, a child may feel anxious before or during treatment. There are a couple options Dr. Karr may suggest that are available if it appears cooperation or safety is an issue.
NITROUS OXIDE
Your child may need an anxiolytic in addition to a gentle, caring manner to feel comfortable. Nitrous oxide is a safe, effective, reversible sedative agent to calm a child who is fearful and enhance communication. It can also be beneficial to a child with a strong gag reflex that may compromise dental treatment. A flavored-scented mask of the child's choice is fitted over his or her nose which the child breathes for approximately five minutes prior to treatment commencing. When successful and appropriate, your child is awake and talking during the procedure and not as anxious about every little noise or "suction straw" we use. At the end of the appointment, the child has the nitrous eliminated through the lungs by breathing 100% Oxygen for five minutes.
ANESTHESIA
We also provide a beneficial service with General Anesthesia (GA) right here in our private practice. GA may be indicated for children with extensive dental needs who are extremely uncooperative, fearful, or anxious, or for very young children who are unable to understand. GA also can be helpful for children requiring significant surgical procedures or patients with special health care needs. General anesthesia works by controlling the unconsciousness that eliminates awareness, movement and discomfort during treatment. Dr. Karr works with a board-certified dentist anesthesiologist, Dr. Zach Messieha, with specialized training using various medications to safely put a child patient to sleep and avoid any traumatizing event. This also avoids repeat appointments since all the dental treatment is done in one visit, and parents have the comfort of being in a relaxed setting. In addition, Dr. Karr holds hospital privileges at Franciscan Healthcare in Munster, IN. When the preferred in office general anesthesia option may not be suitable, the same benefits with a board certified anesthesiologist are obtained at this medical facility. Dr. Karr will discuss the benefits and risks of GA and why it is recommended for your child and all the special considerations associated with the GA appointment.