Up to 16% of children have a fear of the dentist. If your child has fears of going to the dentist, you might be wondering what options you have to make them more cooperative and comfortable. Sedation dentistry could be the answer you’re looking for. But what is sedation dentistry and is it appropriate for children?

In this article, you’ll learn more about sedation dentistry and how it works in pediatric dentistry at Nicholasville pediatric dentist office.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry refers to using a type of drug that causes relaxation and is safe for children. The four levels of sedation are minimal, moderate, deep, and general anesthesia. There are several types of sedation drugs used to reach these levels, but there are two that are unique to dentistry.

The first is the use of nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is a combination of nitrogen and oxygen that you breathe in when the dentist administers it to you. Not only does it provide relaxation, but it may dimish pain as well.

The second mode of sedation is oral conscious sedation. Unlike general anesthesia, where you’re completely unconscious, oral conscious sedation is when you’re awake and aware, but the drug renders you drowsy.

The patient is under complete care and monitored the entire time during sedation to ensure safety and that vitals are normal.

When to Use Sedation

When you’re considering sedation for your child, you want to talk to the best dentist for kids. Dentists need to be trained, licensed, and knowledgeable when administering any type of sedation. If not, an anesthesiologist who is licensed needs to be with the dentist.

Reasons for choosing sedation for your child may vary, and only your pediatric dentistry can help you make those choices. Here are a few reasons they may suggestion.

1. Anxiety

As previously mentioned, many children are afraid of the dentist, and this fear makes appointments challenging for everyone involved. Sedation can help calm them so cleanings, x-rays, and other services can proceed without disruption.

2. Special Needs

Children with special needs may need sedation when they visit the dentist. They may be extra fearful or anxious, or have senosry issues. This is up to the discretion of the parent and the dentist, and the dentist can walk you through which options are right for your child.

3. Multiple Procedures

If a child needs multiple procedures, they may require sedation. This is because it’s difficult for children to sit for long periods of time and sedation may keep them calm if the procedures are especially lengthy.

4. Tooth Extraction and Oral Surgery

Children inevitably break or damage teeth, and when that happens, your point of contact should be an emergency pediatric dentist. However, there are times when your dentist will recommend a tooth extraction.

A tooth extraction is when a tooth becomes so damaged that it needs to be removed completely. This can be extremely painful, requiring a local anesthetic. But for children, sedation might be a better choice because of all of the tools involved.

Oral surgery will likely require a type of sedation as well. Your dentist can decide, based on the procedure, which type of sedation is needed.

Sedation: What to Expect

At your Nicholasville childrens dentist, giving your child sedation may cause some concern. There are things you can expect, however, when your child needs sedation.

Here are somethings you can expect, and do, to make the process smooth.

1. Talk to Your Child

Prepare your child for their sedation at home. This way, when they come into the office, they’re not surprised or scared about what’s going to happen, and encourage them to bring a comfort item, like a stuffed animal. If possible, ask if you can accompany your child during their sedation so they stay calm as well.

2. At the Office

When it’s time for your child’s appointment, your dentist will call you back and begin the process. If they’re using laughing gas, your child will receive a mask to place over their face, and they will breath in the gas.

Your child will be monitored the entire time they’re under sedation by the best kid’s dentist.

3. Instructions

Your dentist will give instructions on what you need to do before your appointment. This will pertain to when your child can eat or drink, and what they can have hours before sedation occurs.

4. Post-Sedation Instructions

Your child will likely be drowsy after the sedation has worn off. Your dentist will give you a list of instruction on signs to look for in case there’s a problem.

While the effects of the sedation will eventually wear off, there may be side effects like irritability, crying, vomiting, or confusion. The time sedation wears off will be different for each child, but encouraging your child to rest will help them feel better.

5. Watching the Numbness

When your child goes home, they may still feel numbness or pain for hours after the sedation wears off. If your child’s pain become unmanageable, they run a fever, or have bleeding gums, contact your dentist as soon as possible.

Overall, sedation is a safe process for children. If you ever have any other questions, feel free to reach out to the dental staff.

Don’t Stress Sedation

Sedation for your child can make their experience at the dentist more comfortable and put them in a calm state. When you’re more informed about sedation, you can feel at peace about taking your child to the dentist.

Do you have more questions about sedation for your child? We’re here to answer them! Contact our office today to get all your questions answered.