Does the thought of getting your teeth cleaned make your entire body go numb with fear and anxiety? Think of how much scarier this process is for children to cope with.
Unless you want your child to endure the agony of toothaches and cavities, you may want to look into child sedation dentistry. This is the perfect solution for those who are afraid to step into the dentist’s office.
Here is everything you need to know about sedation options for child dentistry and how you can make your kids feel less anxious about getting their teeth checked.
What Is Child Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry involves using medication to help kids relax during dental procedures. This is also known as “sleep entistry.” It is similar to patients who are given general anesthesia during surgery.
Having a child under anesthesia for dental work can help them stay calm and relaxed during their appointment. Then you do not need to deal with screaming kids who hate going to the dentist. Your child no longer has to suffer from a painful toothache due to their fears.
Is It Safe?
The current guidelines for dentists and oral surgeons to follow ensure that the process is completely safe for kids. The American Academy of Pediatric Density has rules requiring at least 2 people present in the room when the sedation is administered.
One of these two people will be the oral surgeon or your dentist. This way, you can rest assured knowing that your child is taken care of the entire time by health professionals who are skilled at administering safe sedation.
Dental sedation with nitrous oxide is excellent because it makes kids feel calm. Therefore, the dental procedure for patients becomes much more efficient. Keep in mind that every child is different.
Your dentist will need to review your child’s entire health history to get rid of any concerns before giving them anything. This is necessary to prevent any allergic reactions or negative effects. Click here if you are looking for children’s sedation dentistry near me to protect your child during their dental appointment.
Sedation Options for Child Dentistry
There are three main kinds of sedation options that your dentist may recommend. These are nitrous oxide, oral sedation, or intravenous sedation. Oral sedation is the easiest one for kids because it is administered through the nose or mouth.
Your dentist will give this once the child arrives for their appointment. After being sedated, it should take approximately 20 mins or so to feel the full effects.
Thanks to oral sedation, your child should feel calm and relaxed. However, they will not be fully asleep. They may still be awake during the process, but the calmness will override any anxieties.
Nitrous oxide or laughing gas also helps calm children’s nerves if they are afraid of a dental procedure. This is combined with oxygen and delivered through a mask.
It takes a couple of quick minutes for nitrous oxide to take full effect. After the dental procedure is done, your baby will be given pure oxygen to help get rid of any remaining unwanted nitrous oxide.
Finally, the intravenous oxide is another type of sedation for child dentistry that your doctor may offer. This is given to the patient through a needle. Since most children fear needles, your dentist may not bring up this method at first.
They may look into oral sedation or nitrous oxide because those are simpler for kids. However, your dentist will examine your child’s medical history before picking any of these sedation techniques.
During intravenous sedation, your dentist will first put your child to sleep before inserting the needle. They may also use a tube that is inserted in the throat to help with breathing normally.
How to Prepare for Child Sedation
As a parent, you need to work with your dentist to help your child through the sedation process. It all starts from home when your dentist tells you which food and drinks your child must avoid before sedation.
You must also provide your dentist with your child’s complete medical history. This should include all the information about over-the-counter medications, supplements, or current prescriptions that your child is taking.
You should spend some time with the dentist before your child’s appointment to discuss how the process will take place. Then they can explain everything to you in detail, so you know what to expect.
This will help you feel more secure knowing that your child is in safe hands. Your dentist will be an expert at keeping your child relaxed during their tooth appointment.
What to Expect
On the day you arrive at the dentist’s office, you may want to bring an item of comfort with you. This can be your child’s favorite toy or stuffed animal.
The goal is to help your child feel as comfortable as possible with items they are familiar with to help with the unknown surroundings of the dentist’s office.
However, avoid bringing other children with you. Your child’s siblings or friends should stay at home so that you can provide your undivided attention to the patient receiving dental care.
Before sedating child for dentistry, the health professional will thoroughly check the patient’s blood oxygen level, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.
This is necessary to ensure that everything goes smoothly without any ill effects. Your dentist may also ask you to remain in the room for when your child wakes up from sedation.
This is because kids can feel a bit confused or nauseous when they wake up and may need your help to feel comforted. After the appointment, you should drive your child home and provide a safe space for them to rest.
Avoid letting your child return to daycare or school on the same day because they may still feel a lot of sleepiness and dizziness.
Your Child Is in Safe Hands
Now that you know all about child sedation dentistry, you can rest assured that it is a safe procedure. Like adults who undergo anesthesia during surgery, this is to help your child feel calm and relaxed during their dental appointment.
This way, they can still receive treatment even if they are anxious and scared of the dentist. If you enjoyed reading this child dentistry guide, check out some of our other posts for more information.