Dental Topics

Pediatric Dentistry 

Pediatric Dentistry exists as a specialty in order to provide an enjoyable dental experience for children, adolescents, and teenagers.  This includes children who may have developmental disabilities.  Our office is dedicated to making sure this happens from the minute you call to schedule you first appointment.  All of our staff have been trained, and continue to be educated, in the best way to treat children.  You will be amazed how easily your child will accept dental treatment because of the dentist, staff, and the fun and trusting environment we provide.  If necessary, we also provide other options for successful dental treatment.  These options include sedation dentistry and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). You can always accompany your child in the operatory.

Sedation Dentistry

Our main concerns are to provide high quality care and a positive dental experience for your child.  Some children cannot receive dental treatment in the usual manner due to their young age, fear, or inability to cooperate.  An option for these children is sedation dentistry.    Sedating a child has many advantages including completing all treatment needed in one visit, little recollection of the visit, and it provides the opportunity for the child to come back to our office for future appointments with a positive attitude.  Each particular dosage of medication is individually tailored to each child’s needs.  The medications are Demerol and Versed.  Demerol is a narcotic and has analgesic and sedative properties.  Versed is in the same class of medications as Valium.  It decreases anxiety, is a sedative, muscle relaxant, and has amnesic properties.  Dr. Dowell is very conservative when using medication with his patients.  The minimal dosage according to the child’s weight and age is used.  

Nitrous Oxide

Your child’s response to their dental experience is of primary importance to us.  Nitrous Oxide, or laughing gas, is an analgesic and a very mild sedative used by most pediatric dentists.  It is a very safe gas/oxygen mixture, which is inhaled by a nasal mask and takes effect after 5-10 minutes.  Nitrous Oxide in the dental office is never used as a general anesthetic: it does not put a child “to sleep.”  For this reason, local anesthetic is still necessary, but much more comfortable to receive.  Nitrous Oxide decreases fear, anxiety, apprehension, and sensation of pain.  The use of Nitrous Oxide can help many children learn to cope with a sometimes stressful dental experience.  Since Nitrous Oxide generally reduces fatigue and provides a pleasant sensation, it enables children to remain relaxed for their dental treatment.  Our office generally uses Nitrous Oxide along with Sedation Dentistry or by itself for operatory appointments in which patients have only one or two cavities.  

Related links to other websites

Arizona Dental Association –
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry –
American Dental Association –