What is Sedation Dentistry, and How Safe is it for Children?

June 8, 2021 | By Molarbear

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation Dentistry is a dental procedure widely used by dentists to administer sedatives to their patients. These sedatives are essential to help a patient relax before and during treatments while reducing the pain felt during the procedure. Over the years, dentists prefer to use sedatives to perform different dental treatment types on patients safely.

Selecting the Best Pediatric Sedation

Many parents dread seeing their children in pain so they look for all possible ways of protecting them from exposure to any pain. Dental treatment has been associated with pain, causing many parents to seek alternative medication such as sedation to ease the pain.

However, is sedation dentistry safe for children? Evaluation by a pediatric dentist will enable you to know whether it is safe to administer sedation on your child. The criterion for selection will depend on your child’s anxiety levels, the dental procedure, and the child’s medical history. Here are the general levels of sedation.

Awake: This procedure does not usually require the dentist to use sedation medication. Instead, the dentist will use their mental skills to calm the child in preparation for the dental procedure. Some of the tactics used in awake sedation include:

  • Positive reinforcements
  • Distraction either by playing the child their favorite music or show
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Parental presence or absence in unique cases

Deep Sedation

In this type of sedation, your child will be deeply asleep throughout the procedure. Although asleep, your child can still exhibit minor movements or mumble some sounds in response to pain or stimulation. Still, your child will not have any recollection of any activity during the session. During the process, parents are advised to monitor the progress and gather vital information on how to handle the child after the procedure.

Conscious Sedation

This is a mild type of sedation dentistry where the child is awake during the procedure but very calm and ideal for children between four and six. While under conscious sedation enables your child to breathe normally and respond to tactile stimulation and verbal commands.

Methods used by dentists to administer conscious sedatives. 

  • Using Laughing Gas: This procedure is achieved by mixing laughing gas with oxygen and administering a small breathing mask. The sedative’s effects stop immediately, the gas supply is cut off, and the mask is taken off from the child. Your child will return to their normal state and go about their activities.
  • Oral Sedation: The pediatric dentist near you can administer a pill or a drink to sedate the child. However, the child can still respond to verbal commands while their body functions remain normal. After the procedure is over, your child may still be sleepy; hence a good rest is recommended to clear off the sedative from their bodies.
  • Combination of Laughing Gas and Oral Sedation: Pediatric dentists may choose to use both sedatives combined if the procedure is lengthy. However, the results of this combination will vary depending on the child’s levels of anxiety, age, and the dental procedure. 

Tips for Choosing a Pediatric Dentist Near Me

  • Due Diligence: Always go through their websites and look at other patient’s reviews before contacting the dentist. For example, you can conduct a simple google search on Houston pulpotomies near me and carefully read about them. Alternatively, seek help from your neighbours, colleagues, or friends for leads.
  • Schedule Consultations with the dentist: Ensure you schedule a visit to their offices and do a physical assessment of their certificates and licenses, which you can run with the Dentist board in your area to confirm their legitimacy. Meaning, if you live in Houston, a search on sedation dentistry Houston, pediatric dentist Houston, or sedation dentistry near me can verify whether or not the practice is among the registered hospitals.
  • Select the Top Candidate and Schedule your Child’s First Appointment: Ensure you create a comparison matrix to make an informed decision. Once you are satisfied with your assessment, pick out the candidate who best fits your qualifications and book a visit.

Notably, all pediatric dentists undergo formal training in all the above methods to handle young patients professionally.

Associations Membership

American Dental Association
American Academy
Texas Dental Association
GHDS
GHDS

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