At Athens Dentistry for Children, we strive to be as conservative as possible when restoring decayed teeth. By using the latest tooth bonding techniques, we are able to restore many teeth with natural looking white fillings – many times without local anesthetic (lidocaine). However, some situations may necessitate the use of silver-colored fillings or crowns.


Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Many times an anxious child will benefit from the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Nitrous oxide is a colorless, odorless mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen that is safe and non addictive. Nitrous oxide is inhaled through the nose by a small breathing mask and is able to help relieve mild anxiety without putting the child to sleep. Possessing a rapid onset and elimination from the body, the child is able to proceed normally after their appointment without any residual drowsiness or side effects. Although some children may not be able to tolerate nitrous oxide, it is an effective treatment adjunct for many patients.


Prior to Your Child's Appointment:

1. Please advise the doctor and staff of any changes in your child's medical history.


2. Inform us of any respiratory conditions that may make breathing through the nose difficult for our child.


3. Since nitrous oxide might induce nausea or vomiting in a small number of cases, it is advised that your child not eat approximately 2 hours before their appointment.


Conscious Sedation

Oral sedative techniques are available and may help reduce anxiety for your child. These medications can be used to make your child more relaxed and less aware of the procedures being performed. Some conditions may prevent your child from being a good candidate for conscious sedation including large tonsils and/or adenoids, snoring or sleep apnea, history of premature birth, asthma or other special medical needs.


Prior to Your Child's Appointment:


1. Please inform our office if your child develops a fever or cold before their appointment. Their appointment may need to be postponed.


2. Your child may not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before their appointment.


3. Please bring another responsible adult with you to your child's appointment. Your child will be drowsy on the ride home and will need to be monitored closely.


General Anesthesia

Outpatient general anesthesia may be recommended for very apprehensive children, children with extensive dental needs or children with special medical needs. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep- the same as if your child was having their tonsils removed, hernia repaired or ear tubes placed. This procedure is done in the outpatient surgical center at Athens Regional Medical Center, While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if general anesthesia is recommended for your child it has been determined that the benefits far outweigh the risks.


Prior to Your Child's Appointment:


1. Please call our office with any change in your child's health. If your child has a fever or cold, the appointment may need to be postponed.


2. Your child should not have solid food or milk after midnight the night before their appointment and should have only clear liquids (water, diluted apple juice) up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.


3. The child's parent or legal guardian must remain at the outpatient reception area for the duration of the procedure.


4. Please have another responsible adult accompany you and your child to the appointment. Your child will be drowsy on the way home and will need to be monitored closely.


Following Your Child's Appointment:


1. Your child will need to be monitored closely as they will drowsy and need to be protected from potential harm. Your child may not regain full control of their reflexes for a full 24 hours after general anesthesia.


2. If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up so as not to restrict their breathing. Every hour, awaken your child and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. Start with small sips of a clear liquid to help prevent nausea. Their first meal should be small and easily digestible.


3. Please refer to the your post operative instructions which will be given to you at the outpatient surgical center. These instructions contain directions on post-op care and provide an emergency contact number, if needed.