A pediatric dentist may sedate children for more in-depth procedures in the form of oral medication, via a facial mask, or intravenously. Generally, sedatives administered via a facial mask can be used for any procedure or appointment because they are so mild. However, the other two forms of sedation for kids are for more specific…
Sedation Dentistry for Kids
You might be considering sedation dentistry for kids if your young one is uncomfortable with the idea of being in a dental chair. Dental anxiety is a serious issue that affects people of all ages, and it can worsen as a person ages.
When is sedation dentistry for kids used?
There are various situations when sedation dentistry for kids is recommended. For example, if the child has a hard time staying still in the dental chair, dental sedation can be used to make treatments less stressful for the child.
Sedation dentistry is also recommended for children with special needs. It can curb spontaneous motions and can help make the child feel more relaxed and cooperative.
Common types of sedatives used by pediatric dentists
Most dentists will provide parents with several options when it comes to sedatives. Each type has its pros and cons, and it often comes down to how uncomfortable the child is, how long the procedure will take, and the child's medical history.
Certain types of sedatives enable the child to communicate, cooperate, and follow instructions. These include the following.
1. Nitrous oxide
Most people know this compound as laughing gas. It is used by dentists to calm patients who are uncomfortable with dental treatments. Nitrous oxide is delivered to the patient through a mask that is placed over the nose. The gas is combined with oxygen to ensure that the child can breathe comfortably during the procedure.
Nitrous oxide is a fast-acting gas, and it only takes a few minutes before the patient starts to experience its effects. It makes the patient feel relaxed, happy, and euphoric. Once the procedure is over, the dentist will pump pure oxygen through the mask to ensure that the nitrous oxide is completely eliminated from the body. Nitrous oxide can make some people feel nauseated, so it is typically best for the child to avoid eating anything prior to the appointment, though the dentist will provide specific instructions beforehand.
2. Oral sedation
Oral sedation can be used to calm and relax children who feel anxious during dental treatments or have a hard time controlling their muscles. An oral sedative can come in various forms like pills, liquids, and tablets. When taken, it makes the child feel drowsy and relaxed.
Parents should prepare their child for oral sedatives by limiting fluid and food consumption before the appointment, dressing the child in loose clothing, and making plans to monitor the child after the treatment. Oral sedatives might make the child feel nauseated.
3. General anesthetics
This is often the last resort because it puts the child in a state of deep sleep. It is rarely used except in cases where:
- The treatment cannot be performed safely without general anesthesia
- The procedure is lengthy
- The child has a condition that limits their ability to follow instructions
Frequently asked questions about sedation dentistry for kids
Parents who think that their child needs sedation dentistry will likely have questions. Let us go over a few of them now.
1. What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a field of dentistry that uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It can be used for children and adults, but it is most often used for kids who dread going to the dentist or have difficulty sitting still during treatment.
2. How does sedation dentistry work?
Different types of sedatives can be used, depending on the procedure and the patient’s needs. The most common type of sedation for kids is nitrous oxide, which is inhaled through a mask during the procedure. This helps them feel relaxed and sometimes even sleepy. Other types of sedation include oral sedation, taken in pill form, and intravenous sedation, administered through a needle in the arm.
3. Is sedation dentistry safe?
Yes, sedation dentistry is considered safe when performed by a trained and licensed professional. The medications used are also FDA approved. However, as with any drug, there are risks involved. Be sure to discuss these with the dentist before moving forward with treatment.
4. What are the side effects of sedation dentistry?
The most common side effect of sedation dentistry is drowsiness. This can last for a few hours after the procedure is over. Other side effects may include headache, nausea, and vomiting. These are generally mild and go away quickly.
5. How much does sedation dentistry cost?
The cost of sedation dentistry will vary depending on the procedure and the type of sedation used. Be sure to discuss pricing with the dentist before scheduling an appointment.
Get started today!
Are you dealing with a child who is terrified about getting dental treatments? Talk to a pediatric dentist about sedatives today. They will be happy to educate anyone on the safety and efficacy of sedation dentistry for kids.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Sedation Dentist in Richmond, TX.
Dental sedation is a way to make pediatric dentistry visits pain-free for children. It involves using sedative medications that help your child feel calm and relaxed. Perhaps more importantly, they are less likely to experience much discomfort during more invasive pediatric dental procedures. This review discusses sedation during pain-free visits with a top pediatric dentist.There…
Pain free pediatric dentistry aims to make dental treatments more pleasant for your child, wither by using a local anesthetic or a sedative if the child has dental anxiety. Sedatives like nitrous oxide can make dental appointments more pleasant for nervous children. They are also sometimes recommended for complicated procedures that might require a child…
Seeing a pain free pediatric dentist makes dental visits more pleasant for children. Dental anxiety is a common issue that affects people of all ages, and a fear of pain is one of its leading causes. Painful experiences at the dental clinic as a child can lead to a person developing a fear of dentists…