It would be completely understandable if you are a parent and have concerns about sedation dentistry for your child. Earlier questions were raised about the safety of sedation and anesthesia in pediatric dentistry which included reports in the media about complications and even fatalities in rare cases. Therefore you may have to keep certain important factors in mind if your child is due for a dental procedure and needs sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry can be safely administered to pediatric patients when it is carried out by a qualified, experienced and trained maxillofacial surgeon or anesthesiologist in an accredited ambulatory surgical facility.
If your child has dental anxiety or special-needs, sedation dentistry has proven itself as a safe and effective procedure to help ensure the child receives the dental care he or she needs to provide good oral health during their lifetime. Children can become fearful without dental sedation and may in every likelihood resist dental visits or sit still in the chair as he or she grows older increasing anxiety levels and fear about undergoing any procedure including a routine cleaning. The anxiety may also continue into adulthood. The dentist’s task will be made very difficult by an anxious and fidgety child resulting in less than ideal conditions and care for everyone.
Depending on the procedure and the time needed to complete the same along with the unique needs of your child there are many options for dental sedation and anesthesia. They include:
Local anesthesia is the simplest form and involves injecting a numbing medication around the area to be treated. The local anesthetic will block the nerves in the area that has pain and the patient will experience numbness. It is almost always administered along with any other anesthesia treatment to minimize the anesthetic requirement for making patients comfortable.
Young patients that are anxious about dental procedures may be provided nitrous oxide in addition to local anesthesia. Nitrous oxide works well to reduce anxiety in cooperative patients but is ineffective in patients who are dental phobic or those that cannot sit still for any dental procedure. The patient will remember everything about the procedure because they will be fully aware of their surroundings. Nitrous oxide can, therefore, be used to reduce anxiety but does not have any anesthetic effects.
Oral sedation allows the pediatric dentist in Houston to give children a pill or syrup to swallow which has a sedative effect to relax patients during the procedure. However, there are some problems associated with oral sedation as it needs to be given at least 30 minutes earlier before the scheduled appointment time. The medication can last for 2 to 6 hours and the patient may, therefore, be required to go home without being fully awakened. It may result in inappropriate care being received from parents, not be familiar with how to care for the sedated patient at-home.
In addition to the above children may also be administered intravenous or general anesthesia especially if the child is medically compromised and has special needs.
You can certainly research for a pediatric dentist near me to understand if he or she can perform sedation dentistry. However, you must bear in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry have both recommended that a professional in anesthesia must be with your child to allow the dentist to concentrate on the procedure. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons support the anesthesia team model where oral and maxillofacial surgeons along with trained assistants conduct anesthetic procedures along with the surgical procedure. Sedation Dentistry in Houston which also has clinics in nearby locations like Bear Creek, Copperfield, Katy & Cypress has an entire team of oral and maxillofacial surgeons to administer sedation to pediatric patients for conducting dental procedures of any type. They adhere to the recommendations laid down by the AAP & AAPD and have all the facilities needed to routinely administer anesthesia and perform surgery on pediatric patients safely. Therefore as a parent, if you are anxious about the dental procedures needed by your child and are a resident of any of the locations mentioned above you should confidently be approaching the dentists at this clinic with the confidence that your child will be well taken care of and receive the treatment he or she needs comfortably.