Sedation Dentistry for Kids

Sedation Dentistry for Kids

Aug 21, 2020

Unlike general anesthesia that renders your child unconscious, dental sedation only reduces anxiety during visits to the dentist. Sometimes the kid might become drowsy and inactive, but the effects deteriorate within a short period.

When Is Sedation Admissible?

Dentists administer sedatives in various situations. The first situation is if the kid can’t stay still until a dentist completes a procedure that requires high precision. Therefore, sedation makes the child comfortable during a visit to a dentist if need be.

Secondly, some kids struggle with anxiety during visits to the dentist. Sedation makes them feel less anxious and happier about the dental visit.

Finally, a dentist can administer sedatives for children with special needs, to prevent spontaneous movements during a procedure.

Types of Sedation Used by Pediatric Dentists

For child-friendly dentistry, dentists can choose from a list of sedation methods. Each method has its benefits.

First, the dentist will check your child’s medical history, level of comfort, and duration of the procedure, before recommending a sedation method.

Conscious sedation allows a kid to communicate, follow instructions, cooperate, and relax at the same time. Below are the major methods of conscious sedation:

Nitrous Oxide

Your dentist might recommend nitrous oxide also known as laughing gas, for kids that portray some signs of anxiety.

The dentist will deliver a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask that he or she places over the kid’s nose. The gas relaxes your child quickly and produces a happy and euphoric feeling. One of the benefits of the gas is, it is painless to deliver and wears off quickly.

Before removing the mask the dentist will offer oxygen to ensure that all nitrous oxide is eliminated from your child’s body.

Oral Sedation

If your kid is anxious, particularly uncooperative, and unable to control his or her muscles for a long period, the dentist might consider oral sedation.

Oral sedatives can be in liquid, pill, or tablet form and make the child feel drowsy during a dental procedure.

If your dentist considers using oral sedatives, he or she might require you to prepare your child before the procedure. The dentist will require you to limit your child’s food intake before the procedure. He or she will also ask you to ensure your kids are in comfortable clothing before the dental visit.

The dentist might also use Intravenous conscious sedation, suppositories, or nasal sprays. The mode of delivery might change, but the sedative remains.

Can General Anesthesia Be Used?

When offering sensitive pediatric dental care, dentists rarely use general anesthesia. However, they can consider using it if:

  • The procedure can’t be safely performed
  • Your child has a condition that limits them from cooperating or following instructions
  • The procedure requires a longer duration to be completed
  • It is a complex procedure, such as oral surgery

General anesthesia will require intensive preparation and a longer recovery period. However, a pediatric dentist will recommend the use of conscious sedation methods where possible.

What Are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry in Children?

Not all children are cooperative during visits to the dentist. Therefore, dentists use sedatives to reduce anxiety and make them more comfortable. Use of sedatives by pediatric dentists serves several benefits including:

Pain-Free Experience

Most kids resent visiting a dentist for the fear of getting hurt and feeling pain. Sedation provides a pain-free experience for the kids, making them comfortable to go for a dental appointment. Dentists still administer local anesthesia through injections, therefore your kid will not resent getting the injection since it is administered after sedation.

Better Quality Treatment

When your child is under sedatives, the dentist will be able to work quickly and effectively, unlike when the kid is moving around. Also, your child will not be prone to injuries that may result from spontaneous movements.

Prevents Further Anxiety

With sedation in dental procedures, your child can avoid traumatic experiences caused by anxiety. Since the kid will be asleep or less responsive, he or she will not experience discomfort or pain.

Making sure your child gets the proper dental care services is a priority for every parent. Therefore, if your child portrays anxiety towards dental visits, you can consider a pediatric sedation dentist. At Kid’s First Dental in Greenwood, SC, we can provide comfortable dentistry services for your kids.

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