Dental Sedation in Pediatric Dentistry

If your child has ever had a toothache, then you know how disturbing this can be. Worse still is that the toothache can become unbearable. If this happens, teeth removal or teeth filling becomes a better solution.

Also, anytime your child needs dental care, it makes you hesitant because of the pain that comes with dental procedures. Your child can be worried and unwilling to cooperate with the dentist. All these make the procedure challenging. This is the gap that sedation dentistry exists to fill. It’s important to seek professional pediatric dentists for your child’s safety.

Your pediatric dentist will use a mild sedative to manage your restless child. These sedatives manage your child’s pain during the procedure. But is sedation safe for kids? What types of sedatives are safe? Read on to understand pediatric dentistry sedation.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is the use of medication to relax patients during dental care. It keeps patients awake except when they’re on general anesthesia.

How Safe is Sedation Dentistry for Children?

Is pediatric sedation safe? Children’s sedation dentistry is safer for children above six years. This age category experiences lesser complications than younger children. Furthermore, conscious sedation works to calm your child during a procedure.

Whether you should allow dentists to sedate your child is your decision. However, our pediatric dentists can help you make informed decisions.

Types of Sedation

What kind of sedation is used in pediatric dentistry? A dentist can use many types of sedatives to perform a dental care procedure on your child.

Nitrous Oxide

This is also known as laughing gas. It’s safe and mild. It can relax your child during a dental implant procedure. The dentist administers this sedative on your child using a mask. The mask concentrates a mixture of oxygen and medication.

After administering it, the dentist will ask your child to breathe using the nose but not the mouth. The mixture usually has a faint sweet smell. Approximately five minutes after inhaling it, the sedation will take effect. Your child will also have the mask on until the end of the procedure.

While on this sedative, your child will remain awake throughout the procedure. Yet, the child might have a euphoric feeling of happiness.

After completing the dental procedure, the dentist turns off the nitrous oxide. The dentist will then ask your child to breathe in pure oxygen for five minutes. This helps clear any nitrous oxide remains.

Mild Sedation

This sedation involves anxiolysis. It keeps you cognitively awake but impairs your physical coordination. Under this sedation, your airways, cardiovascular and ventilatory organs will work normally.

Moderate Sedation

Moderate sedation calms and relaxes you during dental procedures. You’ll not feel any pain or anxiety, although you’ll be awake during the procedure.

Deep Sedation

Deep sedation involves sedatives that will make you unconscious during the dental procedure. Under this sedation, you can respond to several stimulations. Likewise, you’ll be difficult to arouse. Your independent ventilation will also be lower than usual.

General Anesthesia

For this sedation, anesthetists combine different medications to make you fall asleep. Since you’ll be asleep during the dental procedure, you’ll not feel any pain. You’ll also be unconscious.

The dentist might also perform oral sedation pediatric dentistry on your child. This will happen if the dentist discovers that your child is too nervous before dental care.

Your child will take this sedative through the nose or the mouth. Likewise, this sedative will make your child quite drowsy. It’ll also keep your child calm and relaxed throughout the dental care procedure.

Oral sedatives take twenty minutes to start working. So, the dentist will sedate your child and wait for a while before performing any procedure.

The dentist may use an IV sedation on your child. Intravenous sedation involves the dentist inserting a needle into your child’s vein. The vein could be in the hand or arm. Children’s Dental FunZone is one of the few practices outside of a hospital setting that offers IV sedation.

How to Prepare Your Child For Sedation

Before a dentist sedates your child, you should consider some eating rules. The dentist has different drinking and eating rules for different ages.

  • Your dentist will tell you to feed your baby 6hours before the appointment. This applies if your baby is less than 12months old and is on formula.
  • If your baby is less than 12months old, you can breastfeed them 4hours before the appointment.
  • But, for all children, you will not feed them with non-clear liquids regardless of their ages. Also, do not feed them solids past midnight on the day of the dental procedure.
  • You can feed your children with clear liquids 2hours before dental care.

How Long Does It Take For Sedation To Wear Off?

Different types of sedation take different times to wear off. Nitrous oxide wears off in five minutes. IV sedatives and Oral sedatives may take up to 24hours to wear off. For more details, please read our site page on IV sedation.

At Home Care and Follow Up Visits

After a dental implant procedure, the dentist will allow you to stay with your child. You’ll observe your child as the medication weakens. Your child may take a shorter time or a longer time to be alert.

These sedatives also work differently in children. Some children will cry, act confused, feel sick, vomit, and others might cry. When you observe either of these, comfort your child and allow the sedatives to fade.

Your dentist will also give you a follow-up schedule. Ensure you follow it.

Feed your child soft food after the procedure. Give your child enough time to rest and slowly restore regular food hours after the procedure.

When to Call a Dentist

Your child’s gums can remain sore for up to 24 hours after the dental implant procedure. But, if you observe any of these; Severe pain, vomiting, severe gum bleeding, or fever, inform the dentist.

Get a Consultation

Children’s sedation dentistry is a safe practice. It helps relax and calm children during dental procedures. It’s safer for children above six years. However, you may have questions about children’s sedation in dentistry or oral sedation in pediatric dentistry. Feel free to consult an experienced pediatric dentist anytime you’re in doubt.

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