Children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school as a result of dental pain. Unfortunately, fear of the dentist can make getting into the office on a regular basis a big struggle. For many parents, sedation dentistry is the solution. Of course, you may be wondering how safe the process is for your child. Here’s what you need to know.
How Safe Is It?
While sedation is generally safe for children, it’s always best to speak with the dentist about your options beforehand. Your dentist will have a few types of sedation they recommend and you can both decide which would work best for your childs teeth and peace of mind.
Because there are so many types of sedation out there, it’s important to be familiar with what’s available.
Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative and is the least invasive out of all sedation methods. You may know this drug as “giggle gas” or “laughing gas.” It’s mixed with oxygen, which children will either inhale through their nose or mouth. They won’t typically fall asleep with this drug, but will definitely feel more relaxed. Some children tend to get a little silly or even lightheaded, so be aware of those potential side effects.
Mild sedation is typically used on adults or older children. Your child would be relaxed after using this, but awake the entire time. They might not remember anything once the medication has worn off, so don’t be surprised if you have to answer questions about your childs teeth or what happened to them. A dentist or oral surgeon can administer this drug directly to your child because they stay awake under its influence.
Deep sedation requires an IV. This will enable your child to sleep through the experience. Since it will leave them fully unconscious, they will need to be closely monitored. Another medical professional is required in the room at the time of sedation to monitor heart rate while your childs teeth are being worked on.
The dentist can be a scary place, especially for a child. But sedation is a great way to make them a little more comfortable. Always speak with your kids dentist about your options. They will be able to answer any questions you may have.