5 Facts about Sedation Dentistry for Kids
Sedation dentistry can improve your child’s experience at the dentist.
Feeling nervous during dental appointments is a normal response for kids, especially younger children who are still very new to visiting the dentist. With the help of a parent and a caring pediatric dentist, most kids can work through their worries with time and exposure. However, sometimes a child’s dental anxiety can be very severe or a lengthy procedure is needed. In these cases, their dentist may recommend sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry for kids is very safe, but as a parent it’s natural to want to know everything you can about a recommended procedure for your child before agreeing to it. To help you get a better understanding of what sedation dentistry for kids is and the benefits of it, we’ve gathered the top 5 facts you need to know.
1. Our pediatric dentists go through special training to learn how to administer, monitor, and manage sedated patients.
Sedation dentistry has been around since the 19th century. It’s very safe and complications are rare, but it’s always treated with extreme care and seriousness.
At Pediatric Dental Specialists, our dentists and team go through special training for sedation dentistry.This training involves the proper administration of sedation and monitoring the effects. It also covers patient management to ensure your child always feels safe, comfortable, and relaxed.
Prior to sedation, our dentists will thoroughly review your child’s health history. They will ensure there won’t be any potential side-effects relating to any existing health concerns. Your child’s well-being is always our first priority. Our dentist will only recommend the safest sedation form available based on your child’s health.
2. There are different forms of sedation dentistry available for kids based on their level of anxiety and the procedure being performed.
There are two types of sedation dentistry available for kids—conscious sedation and unconscious sedation. Pediatric Dental Specialists offer two forms of conscious sedation for our young patients.
Conscious sedation dentistry allows patients to stay awake during their procedure. The two sedation forms available at Pediatric Dental Specialists are nitrous oxide and oral sedation. Nitrous oxide is a minimal form of sedation delivered through a nose mask. Your child will simply breathe as normal and experience a calming effect.
Oral sedation has a stronger effect and comes as a liquid or capsule medicine. This medicine gives a very deeply relaxed feeling and may even make your child feel very sleepy. When oral sedation is used your child may still feel the effects for a while after their appointment.
3. Anxiety is only one of many reasons why sedation dentistry is a great option for kids.
Dental anxiety is one of the most common reasons why dentists recommend sedation dentistry for a child, but it isn’t the only one.
Your child’s pediatric dentist may recommend sedation dentistry if your child needs a very lengthy procedure or multiple procedures performed at once. Also, light sedation may benefit children who experience restlessness in the chair. Another less common factor is if your child struggles with a sensitive gag reflex that makes it difficult for the dentist to perform dental care.
Age and special needs tend to play a big role in sedation dentistry. In some cases, even a very excited, playful child who loves to visit the dentist may be a more relaxed, safe patient with sedation. While your child’s dentist will always strive to keep your child enthusiastic during their appointment, when a procedure needs to be performed and sharp tools are being used, it’s sometimes best for light sedation to be administered.
4. Nitrous oxide is an easily regulated form of sedation that wears off quickly after the dental appointment.
Nitrous oxide or ‘laughing gas’ is a great choice for children who experience mild to moderate dental anxiety. It is mixed with oxygen and is easily regulated by the dental team during sedation. The dentist can easily deliver just the right amount of sedation. A light level of sedation is used for more confident kids or a deeper level when a kid needs more of a calming effect.
Unlike some other forms of sedation, nitrous oxide also wears off very quickly after the mask is removed. The gas itself will be gone from the body in just minutes and most kids will go back to feeling normal shortly after. Unlike oral sedation, kids don’t generally feel sleepy after nitrous oxide and can return back to their normal activities for the day.
5. Sedation dentistry can be an effective, stress-free way of getting kids with anxiety accustomed to dental visits.
Sedation dentistry is a very useful tool. It can help kids relax as they gain more experience and learn that the dentist is actually a friend.
Most kids develop dental anxiety or fear simply because they don’t know what to expect at the dentist. As a parent, going to the dentist is very routine and you usually know what you’re going to see, hear, and feel. For kids, a dentist’s office can be an intimidating place. A procedure as simple as a cavity filling can be very scary.
With the assistance of a compassionate, gentle pediatric dentist, sedation dentistry can help ease a child’s fear and help them on their journey to becoming a confident patient.
Learn more about sedation dentistry at Pediatric Dental Specialists.
The dental team at Pediatric Dental Specialists is always eager to help parents learn more about sedation dentistry. We can explore what option is best for your child. If your child experiences significant anxiety or fear during dental appointments, we recommend booking an appointment with one of our dentists for an evaluation.
To schedule your child’s appointment, contact your nearest Pediatric Dental Specialists office. You can also out our online appointment request form. When you book your appointment feel free to let the receptionist know you’re interested in learning more about sedation dentistry for your child. You can include this same information in the note section of the online form.