Have you considered sedation dentistry for your child? Going to the dentist is no fun for anyone, but for children in particular the experience can be a traumatic one. Some kids can tough it out, but if your child just can’t face the dentist chair, sedation dentistry might be the right option for you and your little one.
There are several different types of sedation dentistry to consider for your child. Your dentist’s recommendations will vary depending on your child’s age, averseness to the procedures and weight.
Conscious sedation is a way to relax your child without completely putting him/her under. This form of sedation will make your child relaxed or sleepy so they are not as anxious during the dental procedure. It’s usually administered via inhaling a gas or swallowing medicine, depending on your child’s anxiety level.
One of the most common and mildest conscious sedation methods for children is the application of nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas. The gas is very safe and easily leaves your child’s body after the procedure is complete. They stay awake the whole time and are able to interact with the dentist although they may be a less sharp. However, the gas does make some children slightly nauseous. That’s why it’s best to feed them only a light meal the morning before the dental procedure if you know nitrous oxide is going to be used.
Oral sedation treatments are a little bit stronger than nitrous oxide. Some patients have had harsher side effects like nausea and vomiting. However, if your child is unwilling to cooperate or is experiencing extreme anxiety, oral sedation is a commonly recommended and medically sound anesthesia treatment plan for children. Your dentist should provide you with instructions about what to do before and after this treatment, including any details regarding dietary restrictions and allocated time periods for rest. With oral sedation treatments, your child will most likely have to stay at the dentist’s office for an hour or so after the procedure is over, where she will be carefully monitored to make certain that there aren’t any lasting side effects. It can also take a while for the sedatives to wear off, so be prepared to carry your child to your car.
Unconscious Sedation – General Anesthesia
In the most extreme cases, general anesthesia may be an appropriate option for your child’s dental work. This will put them completely asleep, similar to tonsil removal or any other kind of medical procedure. General anesthesia is recommended if your child needs serious dental surgery done, if they have a lot of work that can be done in one sitting, or if they simply won’t tolerate dental work otherwise. There are some risks involved with general anesthesia, so your child will need a physical before it’s administered. Of course, make sure your child follows the proper guidelines before the procedure, and have a talk with them to make sure they understand what is happening and why.
The method you choose for your child’s sedation dentistry all depends on their age and tolerance for the dentist’s chair. Fortunately you have many choices in the matter. Consult with your child’s dentist and even your PCP. Don’t forget to ask a lot of questions to make sure you get the right treatment for your child.