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Thread: Would you sedate a child to have fillings done?

  1. #1

    Default Would you sedate a child to have fillings done?

    Two months ago we relocated to another state. The new dentist wants to completly put under anesthesia our soon to be four year old to do her fillings. (Her twin brother had a perfect check up.) We had not heard of this before and we're questioning how safe and common it is. Would you opt for a trip to hosptial for anesthesia or laughing gas?
    Last edited by Cricket; 04-05-2013 at 04:34 PM.
    Wife to Greg. Mom to ~ dd 22, ds 21, ds 10, gilr/boy twins 5, dd 2, and six losses



  2. #2

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    Neither!! Local anesthesia is fine. My DD had it done at 3 yrs old. Not a fun experience, but with a good dentist it is quick and safest that way.

  3. #3
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    I am stalking for a friend! She was just over with her 3yo and she is SO torn up about this. Her son wont even let the dentist look in his mouth with the mirror so local does not seem to be an option. They gave her 3 choices: restrain him (and use local), laughing gas, or full anesthesia in a hospital. She is so upset and doesn't know what to do. I feel really sorry for her and would not want to be in her position. This is their 2nd opinion and both dentists recommended the same thing basically....

    Personally I really have no idea what I would do.
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  4. #4
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    We considered it for my DD but opted to give local a try, nitrous if needed. And if that was not going to work we would move to sedation. Many 4yos can handle local just fine and I wouldn't jump to sedation without trying it first.

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    I think it depends on the personality of your child and what would be less traumatic. You obviously don't want your child to fear the dentist and she just might be one of those people that have teeth that are especially likely to have cavities. Would the laughing gas make her not remember anything? I've never had laughing gas so I'm not sure if she would. Laughing gas does leave the body very quickly.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
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    My 4 year old needed his front 2 teeth fixed when he was 3. He had 2 cavities. They gave him a drink to make him loopy and then restrained him. He did just fine, we would go the same route next time. Of course that was something our insurance company would not cover (they would full anesthisa though, lame). My 4 year old hates the dentist though, he gets so excited to go and then freaks out when they start working on him.



  7. #7

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    If it was just 1-2 fillings, no. Heck, probably not even with 3-4 if they were all small and the dentist was confident he could fill them quickly. Then I would opt to first try laughing gas and local.

    If it was more than 5 fillings and it would take considerable time and work to repair the teeth, then I would probably go with anesthesia. Maybe. Even in that case I might try laughing gas and local first then go with anesthesia if my DD was too stressed to let them finish the work without it.

  8. #8

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    Thank you for all of the replies. Dd did great with her exam and xrays. We see no reason she should not try to have the fillings done with just a local and laughing gas, if needed. The dentist is really against this though. Honestly, it seems like the anesthesia is more for the convenience of the dentist. I'm not sure we will be staying with this practice. I don't like feeling pressured to do something drastic that I am not comfortable with. Certainly not without a justifiable reason. He was pretty insistent we go with the anesthesia saying that we could try the other route but we would wind up doing the anesthesia anyway.
    Last edited by Cricket; 04-05-2013 at 05:20 PM.
    Wife to Greg. Mom to ~ dd 22, ds 21, ds 10, gilr/boy twins 5, dd 2, and six losses



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    My DD is a high anxiety kid and was freaking at the idea of the fillings. I was in favor of general but her dentist wasn't. She referred us to another pedi dentist and they also pushed me to agree to try nitrous and local first. I'm glad they did because we've been able to work through a lot of her anxiety about the dentist...8 fillings later.

    The reason they are likely pushing is so they can do all fillings at once. When using nitrous or local two is the most ours would do and only if they're in the same quarter of her mouth.

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    I'd get a referral to a pedi dentist...if he doesn't feel comfortable doing the fillings I'd hightail it to someone with more experience in doing fillings in pediatric patients.

    My 4yr old handled it just fine with local . She had her two back lower molars done. Personally I like composite rather than amalgam...not only do they not contain mercury they also set faster which means less time in the chair . My dentist just did composites for my 10yr old dd at no extra charge for that reason...quicker and easier for the child.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DucksLikeRain View Post
    My DD is a high anxiety kid and was freaking at the idea of the fillings. I was in favor of general but her dentist wasn't. She referred us to another pedi dentist and they also pushed me to agree to try nitrous and local first. I'm glad they did because we've been able to work through a lot of her anxiety about the dentist...8 fillings later.

    The reason they are likely pushing is so they can do all fillings at once. When using nitrous or local two is the most ours would do and only if they're in the same quarter of her mouth.
    Did the nitrous work well? My friend was saying that the dentist basically said, "we'd have to get him really, really stoned" - actually used that term! She was implying that it would take a lot to get him loopy enough for them to be able to do what they needed to do. I don't know how many he needs filled.

    Can you overdose on nitrous? Is the child still visibly anxious?
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  12. #12

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    Sadly, he is a pediatric dentist! This isn't the only issue we have had. Our eight year old son was nervous about a shot so we thought a pedi dentist may be just what he needed. The dentist told him with the gas he would not be getting any shots, which he was thrilled to hear. On the way out the hygienist pulled me aside and said he would getting shots. Same son needs a tongue thrust appliance. We have insurance, but told the dentist we would pay out of pocket if our insurance would not cover it. Not sure how long it takes for a prior authorization, so the next time we are in the office I ask about it. They had done nothing.
    Wife to Greg. Mom to ~ dd 22, ds 21, ds 10, gilr/boy twins 5, dd 2, and six losses



  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cricket View Post
    Sadly, he is a pediatric dentist! This isn't the only issue we have had. Our eight year old son was nervous about a shot so we thought a pedi dentist may be just what he needed. The dentist told him with the gas he would not be getting any shots, which he was thrilled to hear. On the way out the hygienist pulled me aside and said he would getting shots. Same son needs a tongue thrust appliance. We have insurance, but told the dentist we would pay out of pocket if our insurance would not cover it. Not sure how long it takes for a prior authorization, so the next time we are in the office I ask about it. They had done nothing.

    He lied to your son!!! Not acceptable IMO. Ever! Personally, I wouldn't take my kids back there.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by MomOfAnOnly View Post
    He lied to your son!!! Not acceptable IMO. Ever! Personally, I wouldn't take my kids back there.
    He did. Even after we told ds he could trust the dentist while the dentist was still in the room. We called the dentist on it, and told our son about the shot. We don't lie to our children and expect others not to as well.

    Thanks again for the replies! We will be going to a new dentist. I called four different offices but all were closed. I will continue calling on Monday.
    Last edited by Cricket; 04-05-2013 at 08:13 PM.
    Wife to Greg. Mom to ~ dd 22, ds 21, ds 10, gilr/boy twins 5, dd 2, and six losses



  15. #15
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    I would definitely go elsewhere. My friend's dd has a filling on every single tooth and two silver caps - she has never had an anesthesia (the little girl is 5 1/2).

  16. #16

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    Boo on that dentist for lying! wtf? Hope you can find another.

  17. #17
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    I think the thing about shots may be something they're taught to do. DD2 was having 2 fillings done and didn't want nitrous. The hygenist was putting her hands in her mouth doing different things getting ready and then apologized to DD that she hadn't gotten her nails clipped and explained they were a bit long and sharp so she may feel her nails pinch. That pinch was actually the shot. I was PISSED and let them know. They told me that for 99% of kids that is what needs to be done, that if they know about the shot there is a freak out whereas if they think it's something benign like fingernails they're fine. I let them know in no uncertain terms that they are to NEVER do that with my kids again-and they haven't. They apologized to me and I told them to apologize to her which they were quite reluctant to do until I explained that I was going to have a chat with her about it anyhow so they could either look like liars after the fact or own up to it. She took it just fine-she's like me and as long as she knows to anticipate stuff like that she's a rockstar-but did tell them that it isn't very nice to lie to anyone and especially kids

    As for if they nitrous worked-Keira had it once but she also had an injection of novocaine in one area as they were doing 2 teeth and felt it would be too intense. She has never wanted it again. She's an anxious kid and she said that it made her feel worried because she couldn't really control her mind and she could tell she couldn't control it. John and I won't use it either. I had it with my first filling which was when I was 16. I remember going to the dentist and getting the mask thing on my face and feeling a little panicky because of breathing through it-I have a deviated septum and breathing through my nose in small spaces like that sort of makes me feel like I can't get a deep enough breath-and then the next thing I knew I was sitting in my 4th period class with no memory of the 25 miles I had to have driven to get there...totally makes me paranoid about having it ever again! Supposedly it does leave your system quickly, but I'm guessing just like any other drug, some people are more sensitive to it.

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