Patient Information

Know Before You go

Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County provides sedation services to underserved families and children with special needs. Sedation provides safety, comfort for children during dental treatment, and can help increase cooperation, reduce anxiety, and prevent injury by helping children remain still around the dental instruments used.

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Special Service Descriptions, Benefits, and Risks

Local Anesthesia

What it is:

Medication is used to numb the area of the mouth receiving dental treatment. Patient remains conscious and responsive to commands.

Benefits:

Pain is lessened or eliminated during dental treatment. 

Risks include:

Infection, swelling, allergic reactions, headache, tenderness at the needle site, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, biting of the cheek, lip, or tongue. It is normal for the numbness to take time to wear off after treatment, usually 2 or 3 hours.

Nitrous oxide/oxygen (mild sedation)

What it is:

A mild form of conscious sedation that is used to calm an anxious patient. It is a colorless, odorless gas that has no explosive or flammable properties, and acts as a pain buffer as well. Oxygen and nitrous oxide are given simultaneously through a small mask placed over the nose. At the end of treatment, pure oxygen is given to flush the nitrous oxide out of the patient’s system and minimize the effects. The patient is observed from the time the nitrous is administered until the patient has recovered fully from the effects. 

Benefits:

The patient remains awake and can respond to directions and questions. Nitrous oxide helps overcome apprehension, anxiety, and fear. 

Risks include:

Inability to perceive spatial orientation, temporary numbness, tingling, nausea, and vomiting. If a patient will not accept the mask, nitrous oxide cannot be used. 

Oral/moderate sedation

What it is:

Sedation that is orally delivered in the form of syrup. It is a controlled, minimally depressed level of consciousness that allows the patient to breathe independently and continuously respond to physical stimulation and verbal commands. During treatment, nitrous oxide is also used, and your child will be placed in a soft restraint (Papoose Board).

Benefits:

Pain is lessened or eliminated during dental treatment. Stress, anxiety, and memory of the treatment are greatly reduced.

Risks include:

Dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Adverse reactions to medication, including allergic and life-threatening reactions are possible, but rare. Complications may require hospitalization or even result in brain damage or death. With any patient, reflexes are delayed. 

Deep Sedation

What it is:

A controlled, drug-induced depression of consciousness from which the patient is not easily aroused, which may be accompanied by a partial or complete loss of protective reflexes, including the inability to maintain an open airway independently, but can still respond purposefully to physical stimulation and verbal commands.  

Benefits:

Pain is lessened or eliminated during the dental treatment. Stress, anxiety, and memory of the treatment are greatly reduced. 

Risks include:

Infection, swelling, discoloration, bruising, and tenderness at the needle site. Dizziness, nausea, and vomiting may occur. Adverse reactions to medication including allergic and life-threatening reactions are possible, but rare. Complications may require hospitalization or even result in brain damage or death. 

General Anesthesia

What it is:

A controlled, drug-induced loss of consciousness during which patients do not respond to painful stimuli.  Ventilatory function is impaired which require assistance in maintaining a patient airway. 

Benefits:

Pain is eliminated and the patient has no recall of the surgical procedure. 

Risks include:

Infection, swelling, discoloration, bruising, and tenderness at the needle site. Dizziness, nausea, and vomiting may occur. Adverse reactions to medication including allergic and life-threatening reactions are possible, but rare. Complications may require hospitalization or even result in brain damage or death. 

Children with Special Needs

Children who have a physical, developmental, mental, behavioral, cognitive, or a limiting condition that requires medical management and specialized services receive the care they need at Healthy Smiles. Our staff is properly trained to care for children with special needs and is committed to providing the best dental care for all children.  

Patient Reviews

Josefina MartinezMom Read More
“I love Healthy Smiles because it is kid friendly.”
Kayla CarilloPatient, Age 5 Read More
“I can play dentist in the Tooth Fairy Learning Center!”
Lupe VelascoDad Read More
“My child can eat, laugh, and smile again!”
Eric RamirezPatient, age 8 Read More
“I like to buy toys with my Tooth Fairy Bucks!”
Marla SantosPatient, Age 9 Read More
“I love the little chairs…and they have TVs!”
Nahomi SandovalPatient, Age 12 Read More
“I like Healthy Smiles because they help other kids too!”
Johnny MillerPatient, Age 9 Read More
“My goal is to always ring the Cavity Free Bell!”
Xavier HernandezPatient, Age 5 Read More
“The dentist is always nice and gives me car stickers.”
Ms. ThompsonTeacher, Dysinger Elementary Read More
“Students were always excited to tell me about their visits to the dentist at Healthy Smiles!”
Thelma JonesVolunteer Read More
“I can’t believe that there are 15 sugar packets in a bottle of Nesquik!”
Ms. CunananTeacher, A.E. Arnold Elementary Read More
“I love all of the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ that come from the students. The educator answered all of their questions and was well prepared!”
Ms. TranTeacher, John Murdy Preschool Read More
“They don’t feel as scared to go to the dentist anymore.”
Ms. GonzalezTeacher, Marjorie Veeh Elementary Read More
“The sugar contents in the drink were an eye-opener for students!”
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