Pediatric & Sedation Dentistry Specialist

Gorgeous Smile

Ahmed Al-Salim, DDS

General and Cosmetic Dentistry located in Arlington, VA

Begin routine dental care and checkups as soon as your child starts to develop permanent teeth. At Gorgeous Smile in Arlington, Virginia, children receive top-notch pediatric dentistry and oral health care tailored to their unique needs. Pediatric dentistry involves detecting oral health problems early, teaching your child proper oral hygiene habits, and, in some cases, providing sedation to limit anxiety. To schedule your child’s pediatric dental appointment, call or use the online booking tool today.

Pediatric & Sedation Dentistry Q & A

What is pediatric dentistry?

Pediatric dentistry ensures your child’s oral health care needs are attended to — from infancy through their teen years. A child’s teeth, gums, and mouth require specialized care and attention through the various stages of childhood.

Children get their first teeth around six months of age. By age six or seven, their teeth start falling out and are soon replaced by your adult, or permanent, teeth. Without proper dental care at this stage, children face increased risk of oral decay and disease that can spiral into years of oral health complications.

What does pediatric dentistry involve?

When you choose pediatric dental care at Gorgeous Smile, Dr. Al-Salim provides you and your children detailed information about:

  • Proper brushing and flossing techniques
  • Food and beverages that promote staining and decay
  • Reducing fear and anxiety about dental visits
  • Cavity prevention
  • Weaning children off pacifiers or thumb-sucking
  • Detecting the early signs of oral health problems

Pediatric dentistry involves using child-friendly techniques, such as games, to make dental visits engaging and something to look forward to.

Is sedation used in pediatric dentistry?

Dental sedation makes dental visits less stressful for both children and adults and vastly reduces the risk of injury. In some cases, very young children can’t sit still long enough to ensure safety during high-precision procedures.

Sedation can also be particularly useful for children with special needs, by preventing spontaneous movement and guiding cooperative behavior.

What type of sedation is used?

Dr. Al-Salim first assesses your child’s medical history and comfort level as well as the expected duration of the procedure before recommending a method of sedation.

Conscious sedation

Conscious sedation allows children to continually communicate, follow instructions, and cooperate during the entire procedure. The most common methods of conscious sedation include the following:

Nitrous Oxide

More commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide helps reduce signs of nervousness or anxiety. Dr. Al-Salim delivers the gas with a mask placed over your child’s nose. On rare occasions, nitrous oxide may cause nausea.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedatives, typically in tablet, pill, or liquid form, induce a drowsy feeling and rarely produce serious side effects, although nausea has been reported.

Other Forms of Conscious Sedation

Less common ways to administer sedatives include intravenous (IV sedation), suppositories, or nasal spray. A general anesthetic, to put your child in a deep sleep, is rarely used in pediatric dental work.

If it’s time for your child to begin seeing the dentist, call or use the online booking tool and schedule a pediatric dental appointment for your child today.