Did you know that roughly 20% of children struggle with dental-related anxiety? Whether it’s from a previous bad experience or nerves stemming from the unfamiliar sights and sounds, it may be difficult for your child to get the essential dental care they need in the stress-free environment they deserve. Fortunately, that’s where sedation dentistry comes in. This calming solution is designed to help alleviate stress and create a more positive association with their dentist’s office, but is sedation dentistry safe for children? Read on to find out.
So, Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Children?
When used appropriately, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes that sedation dentistry is safe. Furthermore, it can be an invaluable tool for helping children with dental-related anxiety or special needs get the preventive, restorative, and emergency dentistry they need in a positive, stress-free atmosphere. Of course, as with any treatment, there are risks, which is why their dentist will learn about their medical history beforehand and monitor their vitals (including their blood pressure and heart rate) throughout their time in the treatment chair.
A Quick Look at Two Types of Sedation Dentistry for Kids
While there are several types of sedation dentistry, the two most common for kids are:
- Nitrous oxide sedation – Commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is the mildest option. To administer it, a comfortable nasal piece will be gently placed over their nose. Within a few minutes, your child will begin to feel calm and relaxed, but they will remain awake and able to respond to all verbal commands. After their treatment is complete, the nitrous oxide will be turned off and the effects will dissipate almost instantly – no grogginess or downtime!
- Oral conscious sedation – If your child needs a more powerful sedative, then oral conscious sedation may be the best option. Your child will simply take a prescribed pill before their procedure, ensuring they feel calm and comfortable by the time they get settled into the treatment chair. The effects will gradually subside after they leave their appointment.
If you want to learn more about each of these options (as well as if your child is a candidate for sedation dentistry), then the best thing to do is schedule an appointment with their dentist. After learning more about their level of anxiety and medical history, they will be able to determine if it’s the calming solution you’ve been looking for!
About the Author
Dr. Quach (Dr. Q) is a Texas native who loves serving his patients in Cinco Ranch, especially children. In fact, he’s completed more than 10,000 pediatric dental sedation cases in his 10+ year career in dentistry! He’s passionate about helping growing smiles thrive and prides himself on offering honest, personalized, and gentle care to those in his treatment chair. If you have a question about sedation dentistry or would like to see if your child is a candidate, don’t hesitate to visit his website or call (346) 372-7874.