Pediatric Conscious Sedation
Pediatric Conscious Sedation in Los Angeles
To decrease the anxiety that many children have for getting their treatment done, we at Children’s Dental Fun Zone of Los Angeles and West Covina offer our patients the option of oral sedation. Oral or conscious sedation is also an option at our Fontana, Eagle Rock, and Montebello location.
What is Oral Sedation?
Oral sedation involves the ingestion of prescription anti-anxiety medication that puts the children in a more relaxed state so that they will be more receptive to the dental procedure. While different medications are used by different pediatric offices, our office makes sure to only use the most safe and effective medications. The child simply drinks the medication and, after about an hour, starts feeling much calmer. The combination of the sedative medication and the nitrous gas (laughing gas) helps put the child in a relaxed state, which can make the procedure much more bearable.
How does oral sedation work?
The child is asked to come to the office on an empty stomach and is given the oral sedation an hour before the appointment. While the effects differ on each child, the drugs have a calming effect and often make the child drowsy. The child will still be able to respond to stimulation, recognize voices, and maintain his or her natural protective reflexes. With the sedation however, the child will not be as scared of the dentist or the procedure as he or she was before taking it. This is one great way to get the child to relax and have a much more comfortable dental visit.
Are there any advantages or disadvantages to oral sedation?
The pediatric dental experts at children’s dental fun zone highly recommend oral sedation for younger kids who have a lot of dental treatment that needs to be completed. The amount of sedation medication is given based on the child’s weight to make sure it is safe. Also, the pediatric dentist monitors the child’s breathing throughout the procedure to be sure that the airway is kept clear. Although the child may fall asleep after taking the sedative medication, they can be roused easily and can respond to commands. Overall, they are more comfortable and less anxious while getting their dental treatment done. The only real disadvantage is that sometimes even after treatment children may be drowsy and less alert. Parents should monitor their children after treatment and not allow them to partake in too many rigorous activities, like sports, after being sedated. It is also important to make sure their chin is lifted and their head is not sagging down to their chest when they sleep to prevent a closure of the airway.
Who is a good candidate for pediatric oral conscious sedation?
Smaller children, who are more afraid of the dentist, will do best when placed under oral conscious sedation. Special needs children can also benefit from being more relaxed by taking some oral medication an hour before treatment. Finally, kids with anxiety who are more afraid of the dentist will do better if they are given some sedative drugs.