Pediatric sedation dentistry is a dental practice that involves the use of sedatives to help children relax and cooperate during dental treatments. Sedation dentistry can be beneficial for children who have dental anxiety, special needs, or difficulty sitting still for long periods of time. Sedation during dental procedures can also help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with some dental treatments, such as extractions, fillings, or root canals.
There are different levels and methods of sedation dentistry for children, depending on their age, medical history, and dental needs. Here are the most common types of sedation dentistry for children.
Commonly called laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a gaseous sedative that a child inhales through a mask over the nose. The sedative, which is considered mild, helps children feel calm and relaxed, but they remain awake and aware of their surroundings. Nitrous oxide wears off quickly after the mask is removed and has few side effects.
Oral sedation is a moderate sedative that is given as a liquid or a pill before the dental appointment. It helps children feel sleepy and less anxious, but they can still respond to verbal commands. Oral sedation may cause some drowsiness and nausea after the procedure, and children need to be monitored by an adult until the effects wear off.
IV sedation is a deep sedative that is delivered through a vein in the arm or hand. It puts children in a state of deep sleep, where they are unaware of what is happening around them.
IV sedation requires the presence of an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist, who monitors the child's vital signs throughout the procedure. Keep in mind that it may cause some grogginess and soreness at the injection site after the procedure, and children need to rest for several hours before resuming normal activities.
General anesthesia is the strongest form of sedation that is administered by an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist. It involves using a combination of medications that are injected into a vein or inhaled through a mask or a tube. It makes the child completely unconscious and unable to feel any pain or sensation. The child will not wake up until the anesthesia wears off or is reversed.
Pediatric sedation dentistry can be a safe and effective way to help children receive the dental care they need, without fear or stress. If you would like to learn more about pediatric sedation, schedule a consultation with a children's dentist in your local area.
For more info about pediatric sedation dentistry, contact a local company.